This bank holiday weekend-when you are paddling in the sea or sitting by the shores of a lake-take note of the clarity of the water. Is it crystal clear or is there a film of dirt and rubbish floating on the surface?

We are spoilt in terms of our areas of outstanding natural beauty, but the crime to many is how little we respect what we have. The damage is becoming such a problem in the Lake District that a campaign has been set up to educate local businesses, residents and visitors about the impact of their actions. ‘Love your Lakes’ has a simple message with a relatively simple response.

By reducing the amount of phosphates (a main ingredient in household cleaning products) the amount of algal blooms in the water decreases. Apart from being an eyesore, the algal blooms reduce the amount of oxygen in the water leading to dire consequences for water and plant life. These blooms are not only harmful to organisms in the water but are also toxic to people and animals if left to build up. Closure of the lakes due to toxic build up would be a tragedy as areas like the Lake District rely on their tourist trade for survival.

The problem is not only relevant near water but across the country, and Love Your Lakes aims to communicate the message that if we all make steps to use environmentally friendly cleaning products our rural landscape would benefit enormously.

Green cleaning products

Alma Win: The products are all free from phosphates, chlorine and petrochemicals and are 100% biodegradable (www.almawin.co.uk)

Ecover.com: Made from fully renewable plant-based ingredients and by a fully biological production process. PH neutral (www.ecover.com)

Bio D: made using sustainable sources and natural raw materials to have the minimum impact on the environment (www.biodegradable.biz)

Ecoleaf: derived from plant extracts and are based on biodegradable and non-hazardous ingredients (www.ecotoopiea.co.uk)

Wild swimming-Lake District recommendations (www.wildswimming.co.uk)

Magnificent Wastwater: England’s deepest, most dramatic and most beautiful lake.
Eskdale: a magical series of pools leading up to Scafell Pike.

Rydal Beck: William Wordsworth’s mountain waterfall pools with view across Rydal Water

Swim across to Wildcat Island of Swallows and Amazons fame

** To find the perfect break see our Travel and Holiday online directory.