Lake District National Park Authority's 'buy a kissing gate' plea for Valentine's Day

LOVERS of the Lake District are being encouraged to think beyond the obvious this Valentine’s Day with cupid’s arrow pointing more towards kissing gates than flowers.

Lake District National Park bosses are tugging at the heart strings of loved-up couples, urging them to show some tender loving care to the country’s largest national park.

With romantic gestures set to boost the UK economy by £978m, the Lake District’s fixtures and fittings also require some tender loving care – especially with the much-coveted UNESCO world heritage badge on the table.

Park management team leader Chris Tomlin concedes the maintenance of nearly 2,000 miles of paths and byways, almost 8,000 gates, 3,000 route signposts and 1,400 bridges is a big issue.

“We already appeal to those wanting to remember someone special to contribute towards these structures on our website and thought Valentine’s Day was the perfect progression,” he said.

“Perhaps some of our 15 million visitors, and residents, can cast starry-eyes in our direction on this significant day by buying a kissing gate, or even a signpost, to show they love the Lakes too.”

Kendal-based pair Jessica Lawson, who works as a Lake District National Park administrator, and music agent fiancée Phil Simpson will tie the knot later in the year.

And the couple hope others will follow their lead and show their lasting love for the Lake District this Valentine’s Day.

“It gives so much pleasure to so many people but there is a toll on the landscape and as keen walkers we know it’s important to give something back,” said Miss Lawson.

“Maybe this Valentine’s Day, instead of saying it with flowers, some will think actions speak louder than words and buy their loved ones something that will bring pleasure to thousands.

“When we marry in August, instead of favours we’ll be asking guests to support conservation here in the Lakes.”

Further information about supporting the Lake District is available at www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/donating.

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