Grasmere Gingerbread raises a mountain of money for Lake District conservation

Harrison Ward with his crumbs at a restored footpath in the Lake District

WHAT was once fed to pigs in Grasmere village has raised a staggering £5,000 for vital conservation work in the Lake District.

Ironically, some of the proceeds raised from the sale of Grasmere Gingerbread® crumbs helped repair crumbling footpaths in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“We started donating £1 from every bag of crumbs sold to the charity Nurture Lakeland a few years ago,” explained Joanne Hunter, co-owner of the 165-year-old business.

“At the time we specified it went to towards footpath restoration as it was a serious issue at the time – particularly on popular walking routes.

“I did a lot of hill walking then and I could see the damage that we were all causing.

“That we have now passed the £5000 mark in money raised by crumbs sales is incredible.”

To celebrate the milestone, Harrison Ward, Mail Order Manager at Grasmere Gingerbread®, took an armful of crumbs to a footpath at Loughrigg Terrace in the Lake District.

Today, Sarah Swindley, CEO of the Lake District Foundation – the organisation that replaced Nurture Lakeland – said a “massive thank you” to Grasmere Gingerbread®.

“Their generous donations continue to help the Lake District Foundation provide grants for local projects that keep the landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Lake District and Cumbria special,” she explained.

“Last year, these included five different wildlife conservation projects involving rivers, woodland planting and restoring alpine vegetation.

“These, in turn, have helped to unlock further understanding of the World Heritage status across local communities.”

Grasmere Gingerbread® is now being featured as a special case study on the Lake District Foundation website.

“By fundraising for the Lake District Foundation, Grasmere Gingerbread inspires other businesses and visitors to visit, give and protect and we are delighted to have their ongoing support,” added Sarah.

Grasmere Gingerbread® crumbs are now sought after by celebrity chefs, restaurants and amateur cooks to include in a range of sweet and savoury dishes.

“When I was a little girl helping out in the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop I remember taking buckets of crumbs to the pigs that a farmer kept in the village,” said Joanne.

“At the time the crumbs were just viewed as a waste by-product from the baking process.

“It was only when customers started asking if they could buy them that we realised it was criminal to throw them away.”