Update for Residents


Dear Resident,

 This is just a quick note to let you know the National Trust is pleased to appoint Cumbrian building contractor Thomas Armstrong Construction Ltd to construct the new water sports facilities.  The majority of this phase of work will be at the north end of the park, though some work on drainage & infrastructure will take place in other areas.   It is anticipated that most construction work will take place Monday to Saturday 0730hrs to 1800hrs. 

 The work is due to commence over the next few weeks and we are aiming to complete this phase of work in November 2017.  During construction the majority of the park will remain open ‘business as usual’ and any discreet periods of business interruption will be noted on our website and by use of local signage within the park.  


Yours sincerely,





Casting off…

06-12-2016-ff-watersports-press-releaseWork begins at Fell Foot for new sports facilities, backed by Sport England

This week heralds the start of an exciting new major project at the National Trust’s Fell Foot.

A new sports facility is to be built on the shore of Windermere, thanks to £500,000 of investment from Sport England.

The £1.9 million development is part of a series of improvements to the National Trust-owned site, which include: the restoration of the 19th century boathouses, a new café, landscaping the historic garden area and a small glamping area. These proposals were given planning permission in October 2015 by the Lake District National Park.

Steph Byast, Fell Foot Operations Manager said: ‘We’re excited to say that today sees the start of a project we’ve been discussing and planning for years, with our architects Muf Architecture/Art. Our contractors are Thomas Armstrong Construction and are moving in this week. We’ve been working closely with current and future users, looking at the design plans and practicalities. Materials and services such as heating will be low maintenance, better environmentally and to have a low visual impact in the historic landscape of this fantastic place.  The park will be open as usual over the winter, and fully open from Easter.  The new facilities will be opening October 2017.’    

The new facility will include new changing rooms and showers for swimmers, sailors, canoeists and rowers, also runners, walkers and cyclists in fact any kind of outdoor sport activity; as well as club and community social space and meeting rooms, for training courses, yoga, buggy fit and other activities.

There will also be covered and outdoor storage, workshop space and upgrades to the jetties and slipway provision. The new facilities will continue to provide a base for South Windermere Sailing Club which has been based at Fell Foot since 1961, and Windermere Rowing Club who joined us in 2014.

Mark Fearnley of South Windermere Sailing Club said:

We’re really looking forward to having a new club house and changing facilities, along with much improved launching facilities, a bigger boat park, and more car parking. South Windermere Sailing Club is a thriving family friendly club that provides everything from teaching beginners, through youth coaching, up to highly competitive racing. We hope that these developments will attract a whole new group of members who want to go sailing and racing at this beautiful location.’

Fiona Marley Paterson, Chairman and Founder of Windermere Rowing Club said, “As a new club, establishing the sport of rowing in the South Lakes for the first time, we could only have dreamed of building multi-million pound facilities. Our Learn to Row courses have been incredibly popular and our club has grown to a thriving, active community in two years. Working with the National Trust and other local sport clubs on such an exciting project has allowed us to find more suitable facilities quickly and in exactly the right way: in partnership with other water users. We’re really looking forward to building on the spirit of co-operation that we’ve already begun at Fell Foot and celebrating all our sports under one roof for many more years to come.”

Visitors can use it as a base for self-led activity, experiencing ‘taster’ sessions for various activities; or they can take the plunge, and join as a club member, if they wish to participate regularly.

It will provide easy access to the outdoors and state-of-the art changing facilities. As well as on-the-water activities, Fell Foot is also host to a fast-developing ‘Park Run’ which enables new and experienced runners to experience running together in fantastic safe, surroundings, and also hosts growing sports such as Nordic walking and orienteering.

Gareth Field, National Trust Outdoor Sports Programme Manager said: “The parkrun has become a fantastic community event bringing on average 150 people a week into Fell Foot, for a 5k race, at 9am every Saturday in the main season. Some of those have been so inspired by their surroundings they’ve become regular volunteers at Fell Foot.”

Tom Slater Fell Foot Project Manager said: “We’ve wanted to improve facilities and increase local water sports participation for a long time, and we’re delighted to have that vision supported by Sport England. Fell Foot offers one of few public access points to the lake at the southern end and this development will enable lots of people to experience and enjoy getting out on the water.

Director of Property, Sport England, Charles Johnston said: “We are delighted to provide £500,000 of National Lottery funding to help the National Trust develop this fantastic centre. Offering new customer-friendly facilities, as well as better spaces for storing and accessing boats, Fell Foot can now attract even more people to water sports all year round. Situated at the shore of Lake Windermere, it’s the perfect spot for water sport enthusiasts, and thanks to their offer of taster sessions, it can also be enjoyed by beginners too.”

The lakeshore has been flooded every winter, often experiencing up to 8 ft. of water in the facilities, rendering them out of action for many months and costing thousands to repair. The new building will be sited out of the risk area providing longer term a sustainable and usable building enabling people to use Fell Foot all year round.


Over this winter we will be closing off our South Car Park – why have we done this?

1431746668940-184325Over winter our visitor numbers significantly drop and so there is no need for a second car park. The north car park will continue to be open, and we will still open up the south at peak times, for example on Saturday mornings when we welcome Park Run to Fell Foot. There will be a sign in the North car park advising on whether the South is open or closed, meaning you don’t need to drive down to find out.

 Most weekends over winter we will also have a member of staff working at our visitor welcome in the north car park. We aim to better welcome and engage with our visitors and supporters, tourists and locals, with a consistent familiar face to welcome you on each visit to Fell Foot.

 If you’re part of an outdoor user group which uses Fell Foot for kayaking, canoeing, swimming, etc. or need accessibility advice then please give us a call on 01539531273 or email fellfoot@nationaltrust.org.uk before your visit. We can arrange for access to the south car park for pre-booked groups and advise on accessibility.


Fell Foot Local Neighbourhood Drop-in Invite

We would like to invite you along to our next Local Neighbourhood Drop-in session in the Boathouse Café at Fell Foot between 3.30 and 5.30pm on Wednesday 2nd November. This is another opportunity to pop in to get an update on developments in the Fell Foot Project, talk with the staff, ask questions and a chance for us to feedback on any quieries raised at the last drop-in session in June.

We look forward to seeing you at Fell Foot on the 2nd November. Please be aware there is no lighting at this time of year from the carparks down to the café, so it is advisable to bring a torch if you are leaving towards the end of the session.

Best wishes,


Kelley Sproston-Heath, Volunteering & Community Involvement Officer for South East Cumbria & Morecambe Bay

kelley.sprostonheath@nationaltrust.org.uk    Fell Foot Park, Tel: 015395 31273

Fell Foot Family ‘Muck-in’ Day


Did you know there used to be a grand villa at Fell Foot, where the house lawn is today? It was sadly demolished in the early 20th Century. We want to enhance all that makes Fell Foot special through giving it a new lease of life. Over the next few years we are restoring the original arboretum, landscape, gardens and pathways across the park.

Do you fancy giving us a hand with ‘historic restoration in action’? The whole family can muck in with practical, hands-on jobs that we will be working on, from traditional gardening maintenance to bulb planting.

Old image


Come and join the Fell Foot team on Saturday 24th September from 10.30 – 3pm. Please let Kelley know if you want to join in kelley.sprostonheath@nationaltrust.org.uk. Bring suitable footwear, outdoor clothing, a packed lunch and we provide workgloves and tools.

Community News

June 2016 – Fell Foot Community News

We launched a new staff structure at Fell Foot earlier this year, and hopefully you are starting to see some of the benefits of having a newly dedicated gardens team. They have been doing lots of garden restoration work in the grounds with the support of our volunteers.



You may have noticed that some preparatory works have started on site for the future watersports facilities. We have created a temporary boat park in the north field to house the boats whilst works are ongoing. This has also involved creating an access track into the north field, which will eventually be the carpark serving the new watersports facilities.


We had a really busy half term and bank holiday and we have been working with the local police to try to manage the parking situation out on the main road. They did issue cones on the most dangerous sections at the start of the week, however we are aware that by the end of the week many of them had been moved. Police did come out to ticket cars on the last weekend. We have discussed with the Police about them putting up some official signage on the worst sections of road outside Fell Foot, so hopefully these will be in place by the summer holidays.


Ranger staff, National Trust volunteers and Parkrunners worked really hard together at the start of May to sort out the ongoing drainage problem at the access gate to the south meadow. They have done a fantastic job to make a quagmire into something far more accessible – we just need to see if it stands up to the amount of rain we had last winter now!



As part of National Volunteer Week, childen from Leven Valley Primary School came to volunteer at Fell Foot for the day. They helped us with all sorts of things, from practical gardening and litter picking, to surveying the wildflower meadow and trialling a Junior Parkrun. It was a really hot a day and they did so well. A big thank you from all the team at Fell Foot!

leven valley volunteering


Whilst we are fundraising for new equipment for our very popular adventure playground, the team have also been building a natural wildplay area. We have had some great feedback so far – why don’t you come and have a go to test your balancing skills….


What’s coming up this Summer?

If you are up for a bit of an adventure, join us over the weekends in the summer holidays for wild camping at Fell Foot on the shores of Windermere. This is a rare opportunity to pitch your tent in a beautiful spot. We have our evening bat walks starting at 8.30pm on the Thursday 18th and 25th August (£5 pp). We also have the annual ‘All England Stone Skimming Championships on Saturday 20th August (visit http://www.scrt.co.uk for entry details). Spaces are limited on all events so we suggest you book early to avoid disappointment – 01539531273 or fellfoot@nationaltrust.org.uk.

view from the boat


If you require any more information or want to find out about other ways you can get involved at Fell Foot then please do give me a shout. We look forward to seeing you at Fell Foot over the summer,


Best wishes,


Kelley Sproston-Heath, Volunteering & Community Involvement Officer – kelley.sprostonheath@nationaltrust.org.uk