Car parking charges are being waived to help flood-hit Lake District communities

Car parking charges are being waived to help flood-hit Lake District communities

Charges at five car parks across the Lake District are being waived until after the New Year, to help attract visitors back to the area.

The car parks are all owned by the Lake District National Park Authority, which said they will be free of charge until 3 January 2016.

The authority said the move was to support communities affected by recent floods caused by Storm Desmond, which resulted in record amounts of rain falling on the Lake District.

The free car parks are at Glenridding, Eusemere in Pooley Bridge, Waterhead at Ambleside and Broadgate Meadow and Stock Lane, both in Grasmere.

The authority has had to temporarily close some rights of way that are unsafe after the storm.

These include the bridleway alongside Glenridding Beck, which has collapsed into the water and a dangerous bridge at Hartsop, where the footpath crosses Hayeswater Gill.

Another dangerous bridge near Chapel Stile, where a footpath crosses Megs Gill, has also had to be closed; other bridges closed are one over the Glenderaterra Beck near Brundholme, one over Kilnhow Beck near Threlkeld, Comb Beck Bridge at Thornthwaite and one carrying a footpath over Emmanuels Ghyll near Cowan Head.

The bridleway at Wads Howe in Longsleddale is also closed because of damage; walkers and cyclists need to use the parallel road along the valley.

Glenridding was hit hard by two floods

Glenridding was hit hard by two floods

The Lake District authority made temporary traffic orders closing the routes in the days after the flood, but intends to reintroduce new closures at the end of December until work is carried out.

It said: “We have made orders to close the paths listed following storm damage in December 2015.

“The closures will be for six months initially, but hopefully the paths will be made safe and repaired before then. If not, the closures may be extended for a further six months. These will replace the notices that are in force until the end of December 2015.”

A bridleway through Whinlatter Forest is closed after its surface was damaged. The route between Hallgarth and the road to Whinlatter Pass has a closure order in force until 7 January, though this could be extended if the danger continues.

A similar order has been made closing the bridge over Bullfell Beck near Mungrisdale, which is in a dangerous condition.

Full details are on the Lake District authority’s website.

A fund set up to help victims of the floods has raised more than £2m in just 12 days.

The Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal was launched with the intention of attracting £1m to help alleviate the effects of Storm Desmond in the county. Organisers at Cumbria Community Foundation have now set a new £5m target for cash.

Andy Beeforth, chief executive of the foundation, said: “When the appeal was launched, the flooding was only just beginning to impact the county. We now have a greater sense of the true scale of need, and the Community Foundation has taken the decision to increase the appeal target to £5m.

“We know that the 2015 floods have impacted more severely than any previous flooding incident. This target will be kept under review and may be raised further as the impact of the flooding is better understood.”

The foundation said it has also received Government £1m match-funding bringing the actual total raised to £3m.

Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team members at a flood site. Photo: Langdale Ambleside MRT

Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team members at a flood site. Photo: Langdale Ambleside MRT

Mr Beeforth said: “We are very encouraged and delighted by the Government’s commitment to match fund the appeal and be able to support our communities even further.”

So far more than £166,000 has been given out in grants and more than 230 households have received quick financial help to try to rebuild their lives.

Ian Brown, chairman of the foundation said: “I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of people around the UK.

“When you launch an appeal, you don’t know how people are going to react to what’s happening in your own community and to see what is happening is amazing. It just shows that people have got more in common than what divides them.

“People see the photos, see the need help for help and are creating fundraising events and digging deep into their own pockets. It’s very heart-warming, very encouraging to see.”

The fund is open to anyone whose home has suffered flooding significant structural damage or people who have lost work or income because of the storm or flood. It is providing support for cleaning up, emergency repairs, clothing, food and drink, heating and heating equipment, childcare equipment and basic furniture.

It is also providing grants to voluntary and community groups who are providing immediate relief to people, offering longer term community rebuilding projects or have experienced significant structural and or flood damage. Most grants will be in the range between £5,000 and £15,000.

Information on how donate is on the foundation’s website.

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