A CONISTON businessman is giving a ‘helping land’ to Cumbrian causes.

Phil Johnston, owner of The Coppermines and Lakes Cottages, is inviting charities and groups to use one of his fields as a fundraising car park.

Right in the centre of the village next to the Ruskin Museum, the land can be used for a limited number of days to top-up the funds of those who need it most.

The Coniston Christmas Lights Committee were the first to benefit from the generosity, as they raised £350 on Bank Holiday Saturday.

Member Heather Troughton, of Coniston said: “It will make a massive difference to us because it will cost about £3,000 to put on the lights this year, so this was an easy way to make money and a great amount for us.

“All we had to do was arrange for two people in the morning and two in the afternoon to be at the site to take money and direct the cars, and visitors seemed happy to be helping a local cause.

"We decided how much to charge, but The Coppermines put up posters around the village so people knew we were there.”

It was hearing about the lights committee which sparked Mr Johnston to offer use of the field.

He said: “I saw that help was needed and thought as the land was just sitting there, it made sense to let the committee use it to raise some money.

It’s a great way for visitors to support the local community and I would encourage anyone in a similar situation to get in touch.”

Any charity or cause can apply to use the field - contact The Coppermines on 01539 441765.