Workington MP comments on the British 'staycation' phenomenon

The Staycation is a hot topic at the moment with many of us looking to destinations across Britain for our holidays.

I have always been a strong advocate for the destinations in my constituency such as Silloth, Workington, Maryport and Cockermouth and I want to see those towns making more of their tourism offer.

The Lake District is on our doorstep and already attracts huge numbers of visits and holidaymakers each year to Cumbria. I want to see those same visitors exploring the Solway Coast, Cockermouth and taking a shopping trip to Workington during their stay.

Over the past few weeks, I have visited many tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants as they reopen after the COVID -19 lockdown. I am proud that we have such a diverse tourism offer in my constituency, with such an impressive range of services. The Workington constituency now needs to join up our offer to visitors and tourists and I want to do more to promote our towns and rural landscape.

This week I met with the RSPB, Natural England and AONB. The Workington constituency, especially on the Solway Coast is a beautiful rural and coastal landscape- home to many species of animals and birds. With areas such as the Glasson Moss and other peat bogs nearby, with their rugged- and in parts barren landscape. This natural aspect is an attraction that I want to see develop.

Due to these natural assets, Workington constituency has a unique offer.

Cumbria is one of a two areas in the northwest to be part of a pilot project to protect vital wildlife. Local Nature Recovery Strategies are designed to promote the Government’s ambition to protect the local environment and nature. I have already discussed my interest with Cumbria County Council for this pilot to include the Workington constituency and this is something that I will continue to champion.

I want to assist in developing wildlife tourism. Of course, this area of the world is a long way off having bears, wolves and boars roaming across the county. It is important that nature tourism complements the other visitor attractions that currently exist and enhance the offer for visitors and tourists to our region.

I want to see the introduction of smaller but equally important species such as beavers and white- tailed eagles combined with the protection of rare species that are already present in the Workington constituency such as bitterns and small blue butterflies.

I am currently working with the University of Cumbria who have done a considerable amount of work on bringing the white- tailed Eagle to Cumbria- alongside other successful projects in Scotland and the Isle of Man to reintroduce this species.

I hope soon it will not just be people looking to enjoy a staycation in the towns and villages of the Workington constituency, but we may too encourage some new bird and animal species to explore our fantastic area.