SOME National Trust staff in Cumbria have been told they face redundancy as the charity nationally looks to save £100m.

The heritage charity, which closed its houses, gardens, car parks, shops and cafes during the coronavirus pandemic, said it expected to lose nearly £200m.

Around 1,200 trust staff nationally are at risk of losing their jobs, but Jeremy Barlow, Assistant Director of Operations for the National Trust in the Lake District, told the News & Star it was still too early in the consultation period to say how many jobs would go in the county.

“We are looking across the board and how we can operate going forward,” said Mr Barlow.

The trust, which cares for places in Cumbria like Aira Force and the house of Beatrix Potter, says there will be a 45-day consultation period before a final decision is made.

Mr Barlow had previously said that the charity had been forced to scale back projects in the county that were scheduled to take place in the financial 2020/21 year, in order to save money, and they had furloughed around 80 per cent of staff across the organisation leaving 60 to 70 staff remaining in the Lake District.

“A sustained loss in income threatens our entire investment programme across the National Trust. In the Lake District, a number of our projects are being impacted.

“We’ve had to pause and downscale work on a river restoration scheme at Ullswater and the Derwent which is aimed at rebuilding biodiversity, improving water quality and mitigating flooding.

“We have also had to pause and delay major investments in converting our heat and power from fossil fuels to renewables, such as a hydro electric scheme at Watendlath and the replacement of a wood-fuel boiler at Sizergh Castle,” added Mr Barlow previously.

Although the trust in Cumbria have opened up campsites, car parks, gardens and parks, indoor historic houses are likely to remain closed into the autumn, said Mr Barlow.

“It has been difficult opening up places while complying with social distancing, which has led to additional costs for things like more toilet blocks,” he added.

Trust director general Hilary McGrady told staff they had exhausted every other possibility before proposing job cuts.

The trust, which has 5.6 million members hopes laying off 1,200 staff, about 13 per cent of the 9,500-strong salaried workforce, would save £60m. “The figures we are making public are organisation-wide and reflect the whole National Trust. Our plans have been drawn up by looking across the organisation not at individual areas in isolation,” said a spokesperson.

However, with some fearing the effects such schemes could have on farming businesses, including reducing stocking densities, National Farmers Union uplands chairman Thomas Binns said any pause provided time to reflect on how farmers could be affected by these initiatives in the medium to long-term.

A spokesperson from the Prospect union, said the “big programme of layoffs” would leave staff worried about their futures.