To coincide with Climate Action Day, Thursday September 23, two Lake District heritage attractions are drawing attention to their commitment to protect the environment and reduce their carbon footprint.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway and sister attraction Ullswater ‘Steamers’ have both achieved the highest level Green at Heart Award for their sustainability initiatives.

The Green at Heart environmental accreditation scheme is based in Cumbria and helps businesses develop sustainable commercial practice and achieve savings through improving energy efficiency, cutting waste, improving transport planning and reducing vehicle journeys by electronic communications, after becoming a paying member at which point the company will 'assess' how to move forward with the client.

Ullswater ‘Steamers’ is a pioneer in this area and one of the first large attractions to achieve Gold standard over 10 years ago.

Since then, the organisation has championed sustainable business development and committed to a process of continuous improvement.

The heritage attractions are part of the Lake District Estates portfolio which has sustainability at the core of its business agenda.

Rachel Bell, Head of Marketing and Business Development Lake District Estates, said: “Amid the big challenges currently facing both the tourism industry and the wider community, it’s important that we keep working towards our ultimate long-term vision of a net zero carbon future as a sustainable, green business.

"We are delighted to have achieved Gold standard for the Railway, which hasn’t been easy, given that it’s an attraction that relies on fossil fuel to operate the heritage steam locomotives.”

Visitors who are keen to reduce their own carbon footprint whilst on holiday can easily travel by train from all over the UK to Cumbria.

Cumbria Tourism says with the Avanti West Coast main line linking to regional lines along the coast and the central Lakes, plus connecting bus routes offering routes right across the county, it really is possible to leave the car at home.

Rachel Bell added: "More than ever, people have been reconnecting with nature and rediscovering the world-class Lake District landscape.

"It’s so important that we play our part in maintaining the fragile beauty of these surroundings, so we will continue monitoring the impact our business has on the environment and identifying projects and conservation partners that can help us make a positive difference to this unique and special place.”