Tourism - Lake District & the Economic World

Almost £500 million is spent by visitors to the Lake District every year. Over 42,000 local jobs depend on tourism, and it's now vital to the local economy. But some people fear too much tourism will destroy the natural beauty people visit the Lake District to see.

Attempts to manage tourism in the Lake District have become a struggle to reach agreement between a number of different interest groups, including the National Park Authority, environmentalists, the tourism industry and the charitable organisation, the National Trust.

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Tourism in the Lake District

Almost £500 million is spent by visitors to the Lake District every year. Over 42,000 local jobs depend on tourism, and it's now vital to the local economy. But some people fear too much tourism will destroy the natural beauty people visit the Lake District to see.

Attempts to manage tourism in the Lake District have become a struggle to reach agreement between a number of different interest groups, including the National Park Authority, environmentalists, the tourism industry and the charitable organisation, the National Trust.

A major flash-point is Lake Windermere, the district's largest lake. A fierce controversy has arisen over attempts to impose a speed limit on the lake which would prohibit powerboats and jet skis. On one side, environmentalists claim power boats ruin the tranquillity of the area. On the other, local businesses accuse the environmental lobby of damaging tourism in the area.

Another source of conflict in the Lake District is the 'blot on the landscape' syndrome. Environmentalists claim that businesses such as Hayes Garden World are spoiling the character of the area by over-expansion. In one instance, even the National Trust stands accused of creating an eye-sore in the interests of attracting more tourists.

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Tourism in the Lake District

But perhaps the biggest problem in the area is the traffic which often chokes the narrow country roads. In the lake-side community of Ambleside there has been a long-standing campaign for a bypa** to relieve congestion. But environmentalists have blocked the move because of the damage they say it would cause.

A radical traffic management initiative has been proposed for the whole of the Lake District to try to solve the traffic problem. But the initiative hasn't taken off, due to lack of agreement between the different interest groups involved. Increased use of public transport is one hope for the future, including more use of the steamboats.

What about the future? Some people believe drastic measures should be taken to reduce tourism in the Lake District, while others believe there should be le** restrictions. Some think the local economy is far too dependent on tourism and argue that action should be taken to provide alternative sources of employment..

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The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

The (five) original CAP features: - 1) Subsidies - Money was given to farmers per animal they had to help them feed and care for the animal. This encouraged farmers to have too many cattle, just to get the money.

2) Set-aside - this was orininally voluntary when first set up, farmers were given £200 per hectare they set aside and didn't use. Farmers often set aside their least productive land therefore productivity still remained high.

3) Guaranteed Prices - Farmers were guaranteed by the EU, if they failed to sell their product at a reasonable price in the market the EU would by it at the original price. This encouraged farmers to over-produce, knowing that any extra produce would be bought by the EU at a reasonable price. This also led mountains of excess crops lying around the EU.

4) Grants - these have been available since 1992 to farmers who are seen as environmentally- friendly by planting hedges instead of using fences, planting woodland, & providing wildlife habitats.

5) Quotas - Dairy farmers were producing too much milk due to a fall in demand for milk products. Farmers were allowed to produce a certain amount and no more . If they exceeded the quota they were fined. In 1992 there was a further reduction in quotas.

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Home Farm, Arden

For many years british farmers have had their incomes subsidised, first by the british govt and then by the EU to keep the price of food down. However this support has recently started to be withdrawn, for no obvious reasons, despite the protests of the british farmers. Farmers now have to find alternative ways to support themselves and earn a living. One example of such a farmer is Nigel Redfurn of Home Farm, in Hampton, in Arden, near Birmingham. Mr. Redfurn has aproximately 200 hectares of land on which he farms both animals and crops. Due to the good climate Nigel Redfurn is able to grow and farm almost anything, (he has summer temps of 16*C and winter temps of 3*C, as well as 700mm of rainfall per year), markets for his products are close by, the town of Burnbury is 60km away and Uttoxeter is 50km, and merchants would come to his farm to buy his arable crops.However now, due to the cutback in support for farmers Nigel redfurn has had to make some changes to Home Farm. There is now an area on the farm in which caravans are stored, because of the need for planning permision, this was delayed due to opposition from the Hampton society. Up to 20 caravans can be stored on his farm, for an income of £250 per caravan for one year. Because of this Nigel has had to lock his gates more securely due to attempts to steal the caravans. Nigel has also got rid of his cows due to the poor return he was getting on his milk, the only animals left on his farm are some young bulls being raised for their meat and a flock of 300 sheep. Another diversification scheme on Home Farm is the conversion of two cow sheds into accomodation for bed-and-breakfast visitors. These are either holiday makers or businessmen attending the NEC, two miles away, accomodation is £30 a night, or £45 for a double room.

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Home Farm, Arden (cont.)

Nigel is also thinking of taking advantage of the fact that Birmingham airport is so close by and allowing people to leave their cars on one of his fields and after an overnight stay being taken to the airportfor their flight. Mr. Redfurn would store their cars for £3 a day until their return. Another wat in which Home Farm has diversified is by renting out fields for pony grazing, rent for just part of the field is £30, however with a shed its £100.

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Rice Farming in the Ganges Valley

Whats needed for rice farming? - Five month growing season

Temperatures over 21°C

Monsoon rainfall over 2000mm

Flat land flooded

Dry time for harvesting

Heavy alluvial or clay soils to provide an impermeable layer

Large labour force

Water buffaloes for ploughing

Rice seeds

annual floods deposit rich layers of alluvium (silt)

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Rice Farming (cont.)

Problems of Rice Growing

Flooding – provides water and fertile silt to grow the rice but sometimes disaster strikes when the floods are so severe that they destroy the rice crop.

Drought – in some years the monsoon rains 'fail' and the rice crop is ruined.

Shortage of land and a growing population – many farms are too small to support the family. The ever-increasing population makes the situation worse. Food shortages are a real problem.

Little use of machinery or modern methods.

farmholdings are broken up into tiny plots and spread over a wide area. This makes efficient farming difficult.

The majority of the best farmland is held by a few wealthy landowners.

Many of the poorer farm labourers have no land at all and work within a latifundia, a systems where they rent small plots, giving 60% of their output to the landlord and in addition having to work on the landowner's land for free.

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Changes to Rice Growing in the Ganges Basin

1 The Green Revolution:

  • The use of HYVs or high yielding seed varieties, such as IR8, more than trebled food production, giving higher average yields and allowing double or treble cropping;
  • Greater use of fertilisers, tractors and mechanised ploughs;
  • Grants and loans to buy new seeds and equipment.

But there are both advantages and disadvantages:


1) Yields increased three times; 2) Multiple cropping; 3) Other crops grown which varied the diet; 4) Surplus to sell in cities creating profit; 5) Improving standard of living; 6) Allows purchase of fertilisers, machinery.


1) Poor farmers could not afford HYVs, fertilisers and machinery; 2) Some borrowed and ended up with large debts; 3) HYVs need more water and fertiliser, which is expensive. 4) Eutrophication caused by the increasing use of fertilisers.

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Rice Farming (cont.)

a second way in which rice farming can be improved is through Irrigation:

Despite the monsoon rains the water supply can be quite inadequate for growing rice, especially if more than one crops is grown. Irrigation is a must for farmers.

In the Ganges Valley there are:

  • Wells: holes are dug to reach underground water supplies, the water is then lifted from the well using a shaduf or a waterwheel or by modern electric pumps – the water is then fed along open channels to the field;
  • Inundation canals on the riverbanks, which fill up as the river floods and take the water to the fields.
  • Terraces can be constructed on sloping land to allow gravity-fed irrigation and help prevent soil erosion.
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Rice Farming (cont.)

3 Appropriate Technology:

This technology is suited to the needs, skill, knowledge and wealth of people. Large expensive irrigation projects and dams have many disadvantages. Appropriate technology is needed, for example,

  • Individual wells with easy to maintain, simple pumps
  • Renewable energy sources which use local resources, e.g. wind, solar, power, biogas
  • Projects which use local labour rather than machinery
  • No hi-tech machines needing expensive fuel and foreign spares
  • Low cost schemes, which are sustainable.

4 Land Reform

The aim of land reform is to:

  • increase farm size for small landowners
  • set an upper limit on the amount of land owned by the wealthiest landowners
  • give surplus land to the landless farm labourers
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The impact of tourism in LEDC's.

What attracts people to Zanzibar?

  • sea ideal tempreture (around 27*C), making swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking all v. poular activities.
  • dolphins
  • the Jozani Natural rainforest is home to the rare Columbus money, + money other rare, (& beautiful) animal and plant species. (nature trails)
  • beautiful white, (clean) beaches
  • clove trees
  • hot/warm tempretures all year round (28 - 38*C), cool sea breezes offset the summer heat
  • islands fringed with beautiful coral reefs
  • beautiful mosques
  • hotels (fit in with surroundings), have swimming pools, electricity, water, + many other forms of entertainment
  • (interessting) museums/monuments - (slave trade) - Palace museum.
  • ancient towns - eg. Stone Town
  • spice towns: (buy spices)
  • cheap tours

green = physical attractions, blue = human attractions

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do these attractions have a positive impact to the


  • brings (more profitable) work and employment to the LEDC's residents
  • brings money into the country, which can then be used to improve infrastructure, schools, hospitals, better emergency services, etc.
  • some of the local businesses benefit from the tourism
  • water and electricity usually improved
  • improved communications
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  • often the big companies/hotels bring employees from original country
  • often local businesses and traditions are destroyed
  • local people not allowed to go to some beaches
  • food prices go up - locals now can't afford essesntial products
  • sometimes increase in crime
  • tourists create a lot of sewage (& pollution)
  • all water goes to tourists - creates water shortages
  • tourists companies can suddenly leave (/tourists visit different countries), often LEDC in huge debts afterwards from loans taken to improve tourist industry
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