Applications for pop-up campsites cause concern in the Lake District

Businesses in the Lake District are gearing up for what could be their busiest summer ever, but there's a row over some of the plans for how to accommodate extra visitors to the National Park this year.

The Government is allowing landowners to open pop-up campsites and car parks for up to 56 days in an effort to try to provide more capacity as foreign holidays remain limited.

As lockdown eased last year, the Lake District saw an influx of visitors, and with it came problems of litter, congested roads and abandoned campsites. There is concern from locals that this new allowance for pop-up campsites could lead to the same thing this summer.

Fly-camping in the Lake District Credit: ITV Border

There are plans for ten of these temporary sites in the Lake District, where on average about 30 people could camp. Landowners say it will create more legal managed camping.

The Lowther Trust is one of the businesses that has applied for a pop-up campsite. They say they're looking at ways to bring toilets and bins onsite, wardens to manage noise and how to sign post people to where they can wash responsibly.

The National Park says this is just one way its preparing for what could be its busiest summer yet. Staff will also be patrolling popular fly-camping spots and educating visitors on the countryside code.

Cumbria Police is also planning ahead for managing the increased number of tourists. Assistant Chief Constable Andy Slattery says the force is working hard to open up more campsites, car parks, and toilets to minimise the disruption for locals and the environment.