Cumbria park’s guides lead to cheque-in for Air Ambulance

Natalie Huddart (left) receives the park’s walking guides donation from Skelwith Fold’s Lauren Thompson

NORTH WEST AIR AMBULANCE has landed a £2,675 windfall – thanks to a trailblazing scheme from Ambleside holiday park Skelwith Fold.

Over the past year, the park has been helping guests to discover lesser-known trails and paths around the area in exchange for a charity donation.

And this month, the staggering total collected was handed over to North West Air Ambulance’s Cumbria fundraiser Natalie Huddart at Skelwith Fold.

Making the presentation was the park’s Lauren Thompson who helps put together the guides which holiday guests use to escape the more familiar beaten tracks.

Covering a range of routes, from easily navigated low-level paths to more demanding ascents of surrounding fells, all the walks have been submitted by park guests.

A minimum donation of £1.50 is asked for each, but Lauren says that many people offer more when they learn about the air ambulance’s life-saving work across Cumbria.

Natalie said the donation was very warmly welcomed as North West Air Ambulance receives no government or NHS funding, but must raise £9.5 million annually to stay operational.

Henry Wild, a member of the family which has owned Skelwith Fold for almost 25 years, said that the park has long supported the air ambulance’s work:

“We are in a relatively remote location, and often play host to hundreds of overnight guests – many of whom stay here because of the excellent walking opportunities.

“For that reason, we are always conscious of that fact that if anyone ever got into difficulties, the air-ambulance could make the difference between life and death.

“Our guests also appreciate this, and have continued to show great generosity with their walking guide donations, despite the economic pressures many are feeling this year.

“The guides are especially liked because they all start from the park, and often take in less well-trod and less crowded routes which can lead to some amazing viewpoints.

“Guests often compare notes about the walks on our social media, advising for example which are buggy-friendly or best for the less abled, so their popularity keeps growing,” said Henry.

North West Air Ambulance operates across an area of 8000 square miles with Cumbria at its heart, and attends a wide range of incidents from accidental injuries to severe medical emergencies.