Malcolm Tillyer, LHT chairman, said: “Kathleen was passionate about providing affordable housing for local people and she was a wonderful trustee for nearly 20 years.
"She chaired our Rents and Tenancy Group for a long period and was genuinely interested in our tenants and got to know many of them personally.
"Kathleen sadly died in April 2020, aged 84, and it was a wonderful gesture to so generously bequeath this significant sum to the trust.”
Mr Tillyer said the "inevitable growth of second home ownership" had made the problem of a lack of affordable homes for local people "even more acute."
"The trust is committed to doing all it can to help address the problem," he said.
"We have grown significantly over the last few years – primarily as a result of the generosity of local people who have bequeathed their houses to the trust or, like Kathleen, left financial bequests."
Ms Atkinson lived in Windermere for more than 50 years.
She was brought to the town by a research job at the Institute of Freshwater Ecology, based at Ferry House.
She worked at the institute from 1961 to 1995.
Ms Atkinson was the secretary of state-appointed member of the Lake District Special Planning Board from 1986 to 1997, and spent time as an invited member of the Environment Agency Regional Environment Protection Advisory Committee.
She served as a trustee of the Rivington Heritage Trust from 1997 to 2010, Friends of the Lake District from 2003 to 2013 and the Lakeland Housing Trust from 1999 to 2018.
Article By Joe Fletcher Reporter
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