Framed by the dramatic Skiddaw Mountains and the Lake District Fells, the award-winning Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa has long been committed to protecting the earth it sits on. From ongoing conservation projects and the abundance of nature-inspired wellness retreats on offer, right down to the ingredients used in the restaurant and the product houses available in the spa, the estate has always put the planet at the forefront and 2023 proves to be no different. 

Sitting within the Lake District National Park, Armathwaite Hall is proud to have an ongoing project in which they manage the 400 acres of land to being the safest possible haven for wildlife, reduce its carbon footprint across the estate, and overall fight against climate change. A key aspect of the project, particularly for 2023, is the planting and protecting of trees into the already established ancient natural woodland, of which 10,000 have already been grown over the past 15 years.  With enough space in between for the rough pasture and wildflowers to thrive and rewild, the trees provide the perfect habitat for birds, inviting new mammals to the area, and support the absorption of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. 

This year, the estate has plans for rare breed cattle to graze the land, keeping stronger grasses while encouraging a diversity of plants, abundance of insects and flowers to thrive. This method of conservation grazing is already well-established across some of the surrounding fields and is a low impact farming solution to ensure the land isn’t over fertilised and instead, allows for reseeding. 

With conservation, environment, and education having always been at the heart of the estate’s ethos, Armathwaite Hall boasts its very own Lake District Wildlife Park, home to hundreds of local and exotic animals. A part of the British & Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) since 2001, and now a part of a global network that breeds and protects endangered species, not only will the estate shelter the native wildlife that lives right on their grounds across the year, but they will also continue to strive to conserve at-risk species across the world.  

Other aspects of the project include: 

  • Red Panda Conservation: Armathwaite’s Wildlife Park houses two Red Pandas, both of whom are part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme. Due to deforestation, poaching and habitat fragmentation, the breed is at serious risk. To support, once a day the park holds an educational talk for guests to raise awareness and as part of the project, they make a significant annual donation to the Red Panda Network. 
  • Lemurs and SEED Madagascar Conservation: The Park is also home to three different species of Lemur: Red Ruffed, Ring Tailed and Black and White, all of which are critically endangered in the wild and at risk from habitat loss and poaching. Throughout the year, the Park will continue fundraising and donating money to SEED Madagascar, a charity that works with communities to build schools, educate on sanitation, health, and improve the cohabitation of animals and humans in Madagascar. Not to mention guests can also meet and nurture these animals in the wild themselves with the Keeper!
  • International Vulture Programme: The Park is home tow two species of Vulture, the most threatened group of birds in the world. Both the Hooded and Turkey are endangered due to poisoning, hunting, electrocution, and habitat loss. On a regular basis, Armathwaite raises public awareness through daily Bird of Prey flying displays, fundraising opportunities, and donations to the International Vulture Programme. 
  • World Land Trust: For many years the Park has raised money for the World Land Trust to help protect the rainforest, inspired by the Brazilian Tapirs they look after on the estate. 

Director of Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa Carolyn Graves states: “Being situated within one of the most scenic areas of the Lake District, our commitment to protecting the planet remains steadfast and we are looking forward to continuing that commitment well into 2023 and beyond. In particular, witnessing the Wildlife Park’s growth and their positive impact on wildlife not only in the UK but around the world has been truly inspiring, particularly as an animal lover myself.

General Manager Simon Steele further comments: “At Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa, we’re not just in the business of providing luxury accommodations, we’re also committed to being good stewards of the environment. We believe that sustainability isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a responsibility that we take seriously. From our efforts to rewild the surrounding woodland to our educational guest talks and workshops, we’re constantly taking action to reduce our environmental impact and support important causes. We’re proud to say that our guests share our passion and appreciate the real results we’re achieving together.”

Not only does Armathwaite actively protect wildlife in this way, but it also ensures every other aspect of the business offers that same commitment to sustainability. Including in the Spa, which works closely with VOYA, an organic beauty brand who have just announced a new partnership with Plastic Bank, whereby they have pledged to stop the equivalent of over 2 million plastic bottles from entering the ocean.