Projects set up to care for parts of the northern and western Lake District could soon begin to benefit from the development of an “Instamap” of Cumbria’s most picturesque locations – an idea which is hoped will become a big-hit with users of the social media platform, Instagram.

As part of what’s being described as “a step change” in visitor-giving by Cumbria Tourism, the organisation is working with the Lake District Foundation and the Lake District National Park on a variety of projects designed to encourage donations to be made to projects set up to care for the National Park, from holidaymakers who have enjoyed their stay.

It is hoped that as a result of the inspirational photography hotspots map, important messages will spread further online about how visitor donations form a crucial part of the Lake District’s income stream.

The Lake District Foundation’s Sarah Swindley said: “The national park is free to enjoy, but not free to maintain. Together, we are on a mission to raise awareness of how the giving process is both simple but vital. We are in the early stages of rolling out contactless donation points so those people who do wish to contribute to the national park’s beauty can do so in a more simple and secure way than ever before.

"As we increasingly carry fewer coins, we hope contactless card donation terminals will help this vital income stream to continue, inspired by the stunning views shared online via social media. We’re aiming to have the chosen locations form a “green insta-trail“, which means each place would be accessible by leaving no carbon footprint. Aira Force, Bassenthwaite, Scafell Pike and Blencathra are among many possible inclusions”.

The Instamap leaflets, which are currently in the design stages and likely to be printed ahead of the summer season, will feature a series of recommended places to visit where great memories can be captured and uploaded to social media. Locations being considered for inclusion on the map are all beauty spots which are reachable by using sustainable transport.

Contactless donation boxes were installed at the Keswick and Ullswater Tourist Information Centres in April, where it’s hoped visitors will donate and inspire their followers online to do the same during future visits.

Sarah added: “The natural beauty that we enjoy in can only take care of itself to a certain point. We urge all our visitors to take a few moments to understand that this World Heritage Site only looks the way it does thanks to hard work and commitment.

"We hope that by spreading images of this beauty on social media, more people will be inspired to contribute towards that beauty.”

Plans to create the Instamap were born from the partnership’s involvement in the ‘Rethinking Parks’ programme by NESTA, a global innovation foundation which supports new ideas to tackle 21st century challenges.