THE HEAVY snowfall felt on the first weekend of December has disrupted businesses in south Cumbria.

This comes after The Met Office issued an amber weather warning for snow covering large sections of south Cumbria, which was in place until midnight of Saturday, December 2.

Dexton Gooden, chef of Force Cafe in Ambleside, said they had to close their business earlier on Saturday because of the severe weather.

He said: "The snow was getting really bad, and since then, it has been really quiet.

"We are all the way up the top of the hill, so it makes it even more difficult for people to travel back and forth. We have been affected by the snow and the aftermath of it."

Grove Barn in Ambleside stayed open as normal, with a few visitors visiting the cafe.

"The rest of the week has been quiet, but because we are at the top of a single-track lane, our lane is still icy and treacherous, so whether that has put people off, I'm not sure," said Sarah Moss owner of the business.

"From working in the industry for years, this is always a quiet time between now and Christmas, but I would have liked it to be a bit busier than we actually are."

Luke Willis, owner of Toastie in Windermere, said they had a busy weekend throughout the snow, despite struggling to get deliveries on Saturday.

He said: "A lot of people were stuck in Windermere, so there were still quite a lot of people about.

However, he stated that throughout the week the number of clients has gone down.

"I don't think it is due to the snow. It is more due to the time of the year. The first couple of weeks are always pretty quiet."

Adrian Faulkner, Secretary of Windermere and Bowness Chamber of Trading, said: "As a chamber, we found it very difficult. Due to the sudden snowfall of over a foot in Bowness and Windermere traders found it very difficult to get their staff to work and their customers.

"The roads were blocked, the pavements were absolutely solid with ice and snow, and for the first two days, the village was very quiet with hardly any people out shopping."

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, said it is 'clear' that severe weather caused huge disruption for many businesses, residents and visitors.

However, he stated that it is 'hard' at this stage to quantify what it may cost in terms of trade.

Mr Haigh said: "Thankfully,  the worst effects of the massive snowfall were relatively brief, and Cumbria’s tourism and hospitality businesses are incredibly resilient and resourceful.

"Although hotels saw cancellations with people unable to travel, many bookings have been moved to alternate dates.

"It was wonderful to see how our businesses and local people rallied around and showed true community spirit to make sure all those caught up in the severe weather were well looked after.

"So many people were given a warm welcome at very short notice by our amazing accommodation providers and that is testament to the wonderful community spirit in Cumbria."