POLITICAL parties have been urged to commit to a plan for England's largest lake that would be acted upon by the next government. 

For the last three years Save Windermere, under founder Matt Staniek, has campaigned continuously for the end of sewage discharges into Windermere. 

Mr Staniek has achieved national attention through his campaign which has received support from celebrities Feargal Sharkey, Lee Mack, Paul Whitehouse and Steve Coogan. Last week the Liberal Democrat candidate Tim Farron and the leader Ed Davey invited the media to join them with Mr Staniek at Windermere. The event drew widespread press coverage when Mr Davey fell off his paddleboard into the lake. 

Matt Staniek hands his ten-point plan to the Liberal DemocratsMatt Staniek hands his ten-point plan to the Liberal Democrats (Image: Save Windermere)

Now Mr Staniek said: "We have developed a comprehensive plan which requires strong commitment from our next government to ensure the long-term health of our lake.

"No more rhetoric, no more photo opportunities. We need a commitment to end sewage pollution in Windermere." 

Mr Staniek has also sat down with the Labour leadership to present three years worth of evidence and data gathered by the campaign. 

"Windermere is this country's greatest natural asset, and its protection should be a priority for every party," Mr Staniek said. "Over three years, we have constantly exposed the truth surrounding the exploitation of Windermere."

Save Windermere was involved in exposing a sewage scandal earlier this year, when it was revealed by the BBC that Glebe Road Pumping Station had spilled untreated sewage for 10 hours. 

United Utilities, the water company involved, blamed the dump on an 'unexpected fault on the third party telecoms cable network in the area.' 

Matt Staniek with comedians Paul Whitehouse, Lee Mack and Steve CooganMatt Staniek with comedians Paul Whitehouse, Lee Mack and Steve Coogan (Image: Save Windermere)

"As soon as we discovered this fault was affecting the Glebe Road pumping station, our engineers took urgent steps to resolve the situation and we informed the Environment Agency within an hour of the pollution being confirmed," a spokesperson said. 

Save Windermere has conducted a ten-point plan which they have given to political parties. This includes in the next five years an inquiry into the Environment Agency and OFWAT, the water industry regulators. They have also called for the permits to be reviewed, discharge limits to be tightened and prosecution for illegality and non-compliance. 

In the long term (10 years) the group wants to see complete sewage removal from the lake and Windermere achieving a 'high' ecological status under the Water Framework Directive.