Lake use figures to inform service provision
29 January 2019
Boating, sailing, power boating, jet skiing, kayaking and paddle boarding are the most popular activities on Windermere with 30.3 per cent of survey respondents reporting those as a weekly activity.
Walking was the second most popular activity with 11.7 per cent once a week, followed by swimming at 7.7 per cent once a week.
The figures were part of the Lake Windermere Service Survey 2018, conducted jointly by ourselves as owner of the lake bed and provider of public slipways and swinging moorings; and the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), which has responsibility for the lake byelaws.
The information will be used to improve both authorities’ understanding of the needs of lake users and ensure that services and facilities are in line with or exceed their expectations where possible.
The top five facilities used at least once a week were; public jetties (25.2 per cent), car park (24.1 per cent), public toilets (22.6 per cent), drinking water (15 per cent) and the trailer/dinghy park (14.2 per cent).
When asked about their experience of using the facilities, the five receiving the highest levels of satisfaction (excellent/good) were; advice/help/info service (44.2 per cent), public slipway (40.5 per cent), public jetties (40.9 per cent), car park (39.8 per cent), and short stay public moorings (32.1 per cent).
The most popular vessels used on the lake are sailing boats, with two fifths (41.6 per cent) of respondents using them. There was a similar response rate from users of motorboats (13.9 per cent), canoe/kayaks (13.5 per cent) and powerboats (12.8 per cent). Sailing boats were also the most popular vessel used by respondents to the 2014 survey.
Just over a quarter of respondents (27 per cent) launch their vessels from Ferry Nab, with just 5.5 per cent launching from Waterhead slipway. Fell Foot was the other most popular area from where respondents launch their vessels, with the other main launching areas being Windermere Aquatics and private launches.
The majority of respondent’s vessels are kept on a marina (30.3 per cent), with just under a quarter (22.3 per cent) keeping theirs on a swinging mooring and one in five (19.7 per cent) keeping theirs at home. When comparing the results to the 2014 survey, the percentage of responses from lake users keeping their vessels on a swinging mooring has reduced from 45 per cent.
Of those who have needed assistance since 2014 with a boat breaking free or requiring emergency attention, a quarter (26.8 per cent) of these respondents’ boats had broken free from their moorings or required emergency attention. Of these, the overall majority said that they were provided with enough information for them to decide what action to take.
The majority of respondents (78.1 per cent) that needed rescue and recovery assistance since 2014 rated the rescue or recovery service as excellent, with 14.6 per cent rating it as good.
There were numerous comments commending the work of the lake wardens and rangers, with many feeling that they performed a good service on the lake and were courteous and helpful when interacting with them.