Author Archives: Stagey Lady

Invitation to learn about electric vehicles

The value of using electric vehicles will be the focus of a free one-day workshop for small and medium businesses in Cumbria.

Organised by Eco-Innovation Cumbria, the event will feature demonstrations by some of the region’s leading experts.

Key note speakers Helen Acott, Fleet Manager for the Energy Savings Trust, and  Regional Development Manager for Renault North West, Mathew Kiziuk, will explain how adopting electric vehicles will help businesses to progress,

And regional car specialists DSG will talk about the reality of using an electric vehicle: the practicality of the technology, emissions, range, lifespan, warranties, running costs, and charging.

The workshop, on February 26 at The Beacon in Whitehaven, aims to help firms understand the business case for EVs, and explain about the changing EV infrastructure in Cumbria.

Glyn Griffiths Eco-Innovation Cumbria Project manager said: “Businesses increasingly recognise their responsibility to help the environment. This workshop will explain how they can reduce impact on the environment and reduce CO2, at the same time building business partnerships and collaborations that will collectively help to create the change to a cleaner environment.”

He added: “This workshop will be fast-paced and interactive, encouraging exciting collaborations between organisations as well as innovative solutions. We hope it will appeal to those who have fleets of vehicles, cars and vans, traders and those who use vans for their work.”

Eco-Innovation Cumbria, a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund, offers small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) throughout the county the opportunity to make use of invaluable university resources in order to develop and grow in an innovative and sustainable way.

Said Mr Griffiths: “This project is about creating a positive environmental impact, but it’s also about supporting the business community in Cumbria to grow and thrive.”

Other contributors include Simon Brace, Lakes Electric Delivery Service (LEDS); Phil Davies, Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS); Al Wilson from the Centre for Leadership Performance (CfLP); Daniel Heery, Will Madden and Sue Gilbertson from Charge my Street

Bookings can be made here


Art tuition in Wordsworth’s garden

 The gardens of William Wordsworth’s home at Rydal Mount will be the setting for a weekend of art classes in the Lake District.

The Easter event is two days of expert tuition from a couple of artists in one of the most beautiful landscaped settings in England.

gardens in may

Beatrice Hasell-McCosh and Tyga Helme will be guiding painters with some experience or none at all in the grounds that inspired the romantic poet.

Beatrice, who works between South London and Cumbria, grew up in the Lake District. Her paintings are based on memory and closely observed figurative studies drawn from life.

Tyga, who studied Fine Art and History of Art at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh, is a draftsman, painter and printmaker, and her work is made exclusively from life.

The art weekend has been organised by Emily Heath who, with husband Matthew, has taken over as curator of Rydal Mount, near Ambleside.

She said: “There is no lovelier place in the world than the Lake District and, for artists, the gardens and grounds here are full of colour and texture, along with the majesty of mature trees.

“The gardens have been landscaped according to plans drawn up by the poet himself. We hope it will prove to be an inspiring location.” She added: “Students will be guided to develop observational skills and explore the different expressive qualities of drawing and painting. Alongside observational and technical skills, deeply personal responses are encouraged through different ways of looking and being in the landscape.”

The art weekend – which doesn’t include accommodation or materials – is on April 21 and 22, and costs £250. Places are limited so early booking is advisable. The organisers can provide a list of local accommodation providers.

Booking here

Hosts who will help the Lake District

An Ambleside guest house with strong links to the Lakeland fells has joined the Lake District Foundation visitor giving scheme.

Guests planning to stay at Haven Guest House will now have an opportunity to make a donation when they stay at the property, and the owners will also donate £1 for every direct booking.

allie an chris

Allie and Chris Hodgson

The guest house is run by Allie and Chris Hodgson who are closely connected with an event that helps the local community across the valley in the Patterdale area. They are members of the team that organises the annual Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay race which in turn helps raise funds for the people and the places around the event.

“Over the years we have built a close relationship with many people in the local Patterdale community; we rely on the goodwill and generosity of the landowners and residents in the valley so try to put something back into the area on an annual basis,” said Chris. The event is named in the memory of two of his sporting brothers who died tragically young.

Leg1 start

Runners in the Hodgson Brothers relay in the Lake District

“So we are delighted to help the Lake District Foundation which funds conservation, environmental and cultural heritage projects in whole of the Lakes. As well as raising funds we want to raise awareness of the Foundation and will be publicising their work in our guest house”

Recent Foundation projects have included a grant of £4,500 to the Cumbria Local Nature Partnership, enabling them to lead the development of a strategic approach for managing the biodiversity of the National Park; and a grant of over £2,600 to the John Muir Trust, which last year took over responsibility for the management of a large part of Helvellyn. The money will fund a new project aiming to increase the populations of threatened arctic-alpine species found on the high crags of the Helvellyn range.

“The relay organisers made a donation this year to the John Muir Helvellyn project, and this is something very dear to our hearts,” said Chris.

In 2018 the relay organisers also supported Glenridding Village Hall; Patterdale School & Nursery who raise nearly £2000 by serving refreshments at the event; and the King George V Playing Fields in Patterdale which is race HQ and who are currently raising funds for a new pavilion.


The Lake District Foundation inspires people to care for and donate to projects that care for the spectacular wildlife, landscapes and cultural heritage of the Lake District and Cumbria.  The LDF supports the delivery of the shared aims of the Lake District National Park Partnership as the main fundraising and grant making partner. This is achieved through innovative and successful fundraising campaigns locally, nationally and internationally. The Lake District Foundation encourages partners to work together to ensure a coordinated approach to fundraising and income generation. For more information visit


New Kendal show by Cumbrian artist

New paintings by Cumbrian artist Linda Ryle are on show at Kendal’s Abbot Hall gallery.

The ten recent oil paintings fill the wall reserved for contemporary art in the gallery’s shop and all are all for sale. The display will run until the end of January.

Linda Ryle in her studio.

Linda made her name in the 1970s making belts for celebrities. She went on to develop an extensive and unusual career including craft work and different periods of painting. A major retrospective, Time Regained, was staged at Grasmere’s Heaton Cooper Studio two years ago.

Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Linda trained at Goldsmiths’ School of Art, London in the 1960s, and now lives in Cockermouth. She is married to the painter Julian Cooper.

She designed and produced leather belts for the shop Ace on Chelsea’s Kings Road (and later at Covent Garden market) whose clientele included singers, actors and celebrities such as Elton John, Lulu, Bianca Jagger and Brit Ekland.

As a painter her work included farm animals and cats, some of which were published as cards, but by the mid-1980s she had diversified.  There was, for example, a series of small canvasses based on dreams, after she had become immersed in the ideas of Carl Jung, the analytical psychologist.

Linda’s first solo show was in 2004 at the Percy House Gallery in Cockermouth. The paintings of trees, river and beck had begun in the late 1990s, inspired by the sound and movement of wind through leaves and branches, sunlight on pebbles, the drag and flow of reeds.

The new display in Kendal, interior objects, are oils painted on linen.

linda ryle paintings at Abbot Hall

A winning haven for guests in Ambleside

An Ambleside guest house has won the coveted Visit England ROSE Award in just the second year under new management.

Haven Cottage was taken over by Allie and Chris Hodgson in spring last year, and they are thrilled to be one of just 100 recipients across the country – and just three in Cumbria.

allie an chris

The ROSE Awards – Recognition of Service Excellence – put the spotlight on those accommodation providers who give visitors the warmest of welcomes.  They recognise the owners, management and employees of establishments that go above and beyond, making customers’ experiences extra special, irrespective of star rating, style or accommodation type.

Suite 8 balcony & seating

Haven Cottage, which has three double bedrooms and two luxury suites, holds four-star gold accreditation from Visit England. With a reputation for excellent breakfasts, for which they have also received an award, the guest house is currently number one in Ambleside in the Trip Advisor ratings.

Breakfast Special

Visit England Director Patricia Yates said that the ROSE awards recognised outstanding accommodation providers. “It is the human touch that these people provide that make visitors’ experiences memorable, ensuring repeat business and helping the industry thrive. The awards celebrate the teams and owners whose efforts surpass expectations.”

Allie and Chris moved back to the UK after running ski-chalet accommodation in the French Alps, in Morzine and then Samoens, and now run Haven Cottage with the help of housekeeper Cristina Dumitrascu. They make a point of using local suppliers in and around the Ambleside area.  Chris is a member of Ambleside AC and was one of the organisers of the recent British Fell Relay races at Grasmere.

Allie said: “We are delighted to receive this award. It is all the more rewarding because it’s based on visitors’ experiences and confidential nomination. We do go out of our way to ensure guests are having a great stay. What’s the point in having all this knowledge and love for the lakes if we don’t share it with our guests? t’s a lovely surprise to be recognised this way.”

Haven cottage

Scholarship fund for young Lakes athletes

Young athletes in South Lakeland are invited to apply to a scholarship fund to help with their training costs.

The Ambleside Sports Association scholarship scheme aims to help young people to take up and sustain an interest in competitive sports. Applications will be accepted from individuals and clubs or teams of all ages and from all areas and all competitive sports.

The Association is particularly keen to support, and will give priority to individuals who are under 21 and resident in the area of the Lakes Parish Council, who want to take part in traditional competitive Lakeland sports.

Grants may be sought for specific equipment including clothing and other kit, travelling expenses and entry fees for specific events or a group of events, and training sessions. There is no upper or lower limit of the value of the application nor is there any guarantee that a grant will be made. A grant may be for the whole or part of the application.

Applicants may be asked to meet members of the Association informally to discuss their application. Successful applicants will be required to submit a report of the events they have participated and their success so far. Further details from:

juniors race to the finish, pic by Woodhead

Chance for youngsters to try track cycling

Youngsters who want to try track cycling are invited to have a go at Ambleside Sports – even if it’s something they’ve not done before.

The organisers of the cycling events at the Sports have a number of special bikes they can provide if young people get in touch before the day.

The track events demand bikes that have fixed wheels, no brakes, and cross-track tyres. Riders who have their own bikes can enter on the day, but cycling manager Bob McLean hopes that youngsters who want to borrow a bike will get in touch.

Bob, now 76, of Border City Wheelers, still rides his own bike. He first came to Ambleside Sports more than 60 years ago, cycling from Egremont in West Cumbria over the Hardknott and Wrynose passes.

Ambleside Sports will be held on Thursday July 26 and features a whole day of entertainment and traditional events, including hound trailing, fell running, and Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling. There will be stalls and trade stands and plenty of food and drink. Gates open at 10am, and the first event – the Rydal Round fell race – starts at 12 noon.

Anyone who wants to borrow a track bike should call Bob on 016973 61392.

Full details about the Sports:

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH