A new project aimed at improving the biodiversity and water quality of England's largest lake launches today (April 18) with just seven days to raise funds.

Campaigners have recently highlighted a decline in Windermere's water quality. Now, a coalition of Cumbrian environmental organisations are set to spearhead direct action to restore the life of the lake.

Kendal-based charity the Lake District Foundation is leading the fundraising and has partnered with South Cumbria Rivers Trust and Windermere Science Festival.

The fundraising campaign is taking place during the national ‘Big Give’ week which starts on Thursday, April 18 and ends at midday on Thursday, April 25.

The Lake District Foundation’s aim is to double £40,000 pledged by local businesses, Trusts and philanthropists.

If the charity raises £40,000 this week, the pledged funders will match that sum and the project will secure £80,000 to support the life of the lake.

The Westmorland Gazette: Clearing for reedsFunds raised will go towards restoring and planting 1400 square metres of reedbeds in Windermere. The project aims to harness ‘reed power’ which will boost biodiversity, support water quality and reduce erosion, as well as creating sustainable eco-systems.

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation CEO said: "This wonderful lake, treasured by millions, is facing extreme environmental and climate pressure.

"We know the challenges that Windermere is up against, now it’s time to take positive action.

"We have an amazing opportunity to raise £80,000 to fund the life of the lake, but we can’t do that without your support.

"We desperately need everyone who cares about Windermere to make this fundraising drive count by donating what you can and sharing the campaign with friends, family and colleagues.

"We only have seven days to reach our goal."

Lake District Foundation Ambassador, Instagram Influencer and outdoors advocate Thao Nunns said: "This is such an important campaign and I’m proud to support it. Windermere is an icon, famous around the world for its beauty.

"The lake is also a vital eco-system and we should do everything we can to protect it for generations to come."

The Westmorland Gazette: New reed deliveryNunns, who works with the Lake District-based outdoors group Wonderful Wild Women continued, “There is increased awareness on the challenges facing the lake, but I’m pleased to see real action happening to improve the situation.

"I hope that everyone who loves Windermere can get behind this campaign and help to raise the funds needed."

The business and organisations who have pledged to match funds raised during the week are Langdale Estates, Lakes Distillery, Cedar Manor, Burn How Garden House Hotel, Lake District National Park Authority and the Reed Foundation.

Big Give week runs from 18th – 25 April and you can support the campaign at lakedistrictfoundation.org/biggive.