THE National Trust and the Wordsworth Trust have added their voices to calls for the Lowther Estate Trust to drop its idea of mooring holiday boats on Grasmere.

At the time of writing, some 245 letters of representation had been sent to the Lake District National Park Authority about the proposal.

The online petition started by Facebook campaign group Houseboats Off Grasmere has been signed by 3,570 people so far and a crowdfunding appeal has raised £1,515.

In a statement, the National Trust said it opposed the proposal to moor up to 10 "gentleman's yachts" on the lake. It believed this would "cause harm to the outstanding universal value of the World Heritage Site".

The trust, which looks after Grasmere Island and parts of the lake shore, said: "We believe Grasmere should be protected as open access space for everyone, for ever.

"It is currently used for recreation from families enjoying a picnic and a play at the water's edge, to swimmers, recreational rowing boats from a local business and fishing from rowing boats.

"It is a place where generations of local residents and visitors have enjoyed free and open access to the water.

"We believe the size and nature of these boats and the use proposed is materially different from the current situation. Permanent moorings and overnight stays would change the character of lake use, and impact on the overall character of the lake."

Meanwhile, the Wordsworth Trust has told the LDNPA that the proposals appear "to conflict with all that William and Dorothy Wordsworth valued and loved about this beautiful, tranquil and undeveloped landscape".

In a statement, the trust said it was "not in favour of development that might change the character of this area".

It said Grasmere was where Wordsworth lived while writing many of his poems, including Home at Grasmere, in which he celebrated its “majesty, and beauty, and repose”. It was also where the poet's sister Dorothy wrote her famous journal, in which she described the lake as “a beautiful image of stillness, clear as glass”.

"Part of their legacy has been the continuing enjoyment that many people have had in seeing Grasmere much as it was in the Wordsworths' time," said the trust.

"The Wordsworths' central role in the Lake District's history and culture is a core element in the recent recognition of the Lake District as a World Heritage Site."

Friends of the Lake District has told the LDNPA that the holiday boats would "constitute a clear change of use requiring planning permission". The landscape charity said a certificate of lawful existing use or development "should not be granted".

Lakes Parish Council has also called for the certificate to be refused, stating that "Grasmere is a small tranquil mere" used mainly by rowing boats for generations.