Secretary of State Expands Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks

Limestone pavement on Orton Scar is to be added to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Photo and copyright C.Paxton.

Limestone pavement on Orton Scar is part of the beautiful Cumbrian countryside that will be enjoined with the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Photo and copyright C . Paxton.

The Secretary of State has decided to approve extensions to the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. This follows a long and thorough investigation process launched in 2012 that included public consultations by surveys and public meetings into the desirability of the areas that were under consideration for selection by Natural England to be designated National Park status. Together the LDNP and YDNP form a huge protected area that covers much of the best countryside of the ancient British Kingdom of Brigantia.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park boundary has expanded by about 25%, adding some delightful parts of Cumbria that were formerly assigned to old Westmorland. Indeed some of the most beautiful places in YDNP are Cumbrian. These new Westmorland additions are landscapes of wild beauty in the case of the upland limestone moorland of Crosby Ravensworth Fell, Great Asby and Orton Scar. Here ravens soar over prehistoric cairn circles such as the White Hag,  and stone circles such as Gamelands and Oddendale, and funerary Cairn circle mounds like Penhurrock where bones of abnormal size were said to have been unearthed. These moors are reputedly haunted by a headless horseman on Gaythorne Plain.

I’ll be adding more pictures to this page in weeks to come that will hopefully convey some of this area’s charming qualities.

Where the newly added Dales are concerned, they are rich in old world, ‘Hobbity’ appeal – Orton with its lovely village shop and chocolate factory, Crosby Ravensworth with the winding Llyvennet river, where King Urien of Rheged supposedly best loved to unwind and The Butchers Arms Community Pub.  Maulds Meaburn with its delightful riparian village green dotted with lambs.

Though not within the National Park itself, the Market Town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, is well worth a visit too.

Not only are these additions very delightful landscapes in their own right, many also contain sites of great antiquity and other cultural treasures and have been rightly identified as having superb recreational value.

You can read the letters from the Right Honourable Elizabeth Truss MP Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs here

and view the maps here

Prehistoric Focus At Bowes Museum In 2015

The Carles of Castlerigg, one of Cumbria's great prehistoric stone circles, dated to about c. 3200 BC Photo and copyright C.Paxton

The Carles of Castlerigg, one of Cumbria’s great prehistoric stone circles, dated to about c. 3200 BC Photo and copyright C.Paxton

I hear that the Bowes Museum, just up the A66, has a family friendly prehistoric focus this month through to September 27th. Prehistoric artifact displays sound very good and there’s even a chance to make your own pottery and crafts prehistoric style! The following itinerary is from The Bowes Museum’s webpage and may be subject to change, so check their Prehistoric People page for the latest information.

Prehistoric Pottery
16 May, 10.00 – 12.30 or 1.30 – 4.00

Adults can enjoy a hands-on experience of with expert Graham Taylor during this practical workshop. Be transported back in time to see authentic prehistoric pottery and explore how people prepared clay to make pots, before creating your own replica. £17.50 per adult, which includes refreshments. To book a place, call 01833 690606; payment is required at the time of booking.

Prehistoric People Crafts
20 July, 6 & 21 August, 10.30 – 3.30

An opportunity to explore the exhibition and to try your hand at making Stone, Bronze and Iron Age inspired creations to take home in this drop in family activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.

Stone Age to Iron Age – Family Fun Day
28 July, 11.00 – 4.00

Come along to a day crammed with fun and informative activities, including storytelling with children’s author Adam Bushnell, creating a hunting headdress, making a cave painting and following a themed trail. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.

Creative Cave Painting
14, 24 & 25 August, 
10.30 – 3.30
Enjoy a unique opportunity to create your own cave painting in this exciting drop-in workshop. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.

This may be of interest to Cumbrians and visitors, as we have perhaps the finest prehistoric heritage of any county in the UK.

See what’s happening at


Come to Britrocks Music Festival, Saturday 13th Sept. 2 pm to 7 pm at the Auld Acquaintance Cairn, Gretna

The Britrocks Festival Website Image

Click The Image To Visit The Britrocks Festival Website

According to a message from Rory Stewart MP and Hands Across The Border, this Saturday at the Auld Acquaintance Cairn, Gretna, behind the Old Toll House DG16 5JD. you will be welcome to join the free Britrocks Music Festival, bring a picnic and enjoy some great music. See the Britrocks web page .

The Cairn is now the focal point for people who want a united Britain.

In his latest letter Rory says:

“Dear Friends of Hands Across the Border,

We are 6 days away from a decision which could quite simply destroy our country. We cannot let a country that our ancestors sacrificed for so long to build, simply drift away through apathy, complacency and indifference. Instead, let us prove that when our country was at threat, our citizens were still prepared to stand and work together.

The event will be preceded by poetry readings at one o’clock from our especially commissioned poets: Charlotte Higgins and Magnus Dixon. Charlotte won the poetry society’s 2011 competition and has written a remarkable poem about the cairn. At just thirteen years old Magnus was named the 2013 Foyles Young Poet of the Year. He will read about his identity as a Scot and the referendum.This Saturday, we will gather English, Welsh, Irish and Scots, young and old, in solidarity –with optimism, showing, by our presence at the cairn, what a family of nations can mean.

Then at two o’clock we will host the extraordinary BRITROCKS! free music festival.  We will hear everything from Afro-Jazz act the Waaw Waaws based in Edinburgh to the Opera singer Millie Underwood reflecting the diversity of our union. Other acts include The Alleys, Robby Boyd, Reuben Loftus and Christian Moss.  Take a look at the BRIT ROCKS! website ( to find out more details.

Please join us.  Be a cairn-builder. Be a builder of the Union.

Very best wishes, and I very much hope to see you  there,


Also Rory Stewart MP says:

“on Wednesday 17th, the night before the vote, we will be lighting a ‘Beacon for Britain’ at the Cairn. Everyone is also welcome to join us for our candle-lit vigil from 8 until 10 pm on the night of the 18th as we await the result of the referendum after polls have closed.

Let us unite and save our country!

Very best wishes,


P.S. Here are some thoughts on the strength and flexibility of Scottish identity:

Bring Along Your Stone For ‘Auld Acquaintance’ July 20th Through September

Rory Stewart supporting our community pub

This message in from our MP Rory Stewart (seen here supporting our community pub)

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Dear All,

Please come and join us at Gretna on Sunday 20 July, for the laying of the Foundation stone of “the Auld Acquaintance’, and please forward this to others.

We will be gathering from midday and we will put the first stone down for the cairn shortly before 2pm.

It will be an event for young and old, all nations, and people of any political persuasion or none. We will have food, music, activities for children and of course some stones too! (But please bring a stone that means something to you if you can). And if you can’t make the 20th, the site will be open every day through September. Our hope is that people will continue to come every day after the launch day, to keep building up the cairn.

Detailed directions can be found here. The field is right next to the Old Toll House.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to make a contribution to the cairn, however small, we have set up a crowd-funding site here.  It also contains some videos of early supporters.

Thank you again for your support. Do email as always with any thoughts, or suggestions.

Please forward this on to as many people as you can, and please also tweet and retweet with the link

We look forward to seeing you there,

Hands Across the Border


 follow on Twitter | friend on Facebook | watch on youtube 
Copyright © 2013 Rory Stewart UK, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:

Treasures Of Cumbria – a new online cultural resource

What do you treasure in Cumbria? Treasures of Cumbria is a new online cultural resource launched in January 2014 by The Cumbria Museum Consortium. It is, in a sense, an extra-mural extension of the museums into cyber-space – a website serving as a public archive of the Cumbrian things, places, memories, people, songs, poetry, recipes and traditions that people think are special, worth sharing and preserving.  Even the soundscapes, such as the sound of  a water wheel turning at Little Salkeld Mill and interesting memories recounted, such as The Mysterious Fire of Morecambe Bay are treasures that people value and that deserve preservation. They have meaning and lasting value.

A classical example of a Cumbrian treasure preserved for the county on this system is the wonderful Roman cavalry sports helmet that was found recently at Crosby Garrett, and displayed at Tullie House before leaving Cumbria forever.

How many more treasures are out there to be revealed? This is going to be a very interesting and valuable resource.

Enabling technologies

The digital revolution enables people to enjoy and share the things that they value in multi-media format – images, text, video and audio recordings. Treasures of Cumbria is a remarkable project that harnesses the recent developments in consumer-level digital equipment and information technology in a highly accessible way. The content management system is free to use and accessible to people of all ages and walks of life. It is likely to be highly useful to communities that wish to celebrate their distinctive qualities. A key thing to remember is that we must respect Copyright law and not copy material from existing publications whose copyright has not expired. There is some guidance on that on the website. Contributors retain copyright for their contributions but allow CMC copyright for them too.

Tullie House Staff Introduce Treasures of Cumbria at Lyvennet Activity Group Lunch Club

Proof came that there’s no age limit to the digital revolution on Thursday, February 6th, as staff from Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum visited The Lyvennet Activity Group’s Lunch Club (LAG) at The Butchers Arms Community Pub and explained the Treasures of Cumbria project after a nice sociable lunch. The staff demonstrated use of the website on their iPad tablets, and on lap-top computer equipment kindly provided to LAG by Cumbria Community Foundation‘s  Health and Well-being Community Fund administered by Action For Communities in Cumbria (ACT).

Treasures of Cumbria website being introduced to members of The Lyvennet Activity Group at the Lunch Club at The Butchers Arms Crosby Ravensworth. Staff from Carlisle's Tullie House demonstrated use of the website on iPads.

Treasures of Cumbria website being introduced to members of The Lyvennet Activity Group at the Lunch Club at The Butchers Arms Crosby Ravensworth. Mary Ferguson and Maria Staff from Carlisle’s Tullie House, Maria and Mary demonstrate use of the website on iPads.

The staff explained that we can use the system to celebrate the things that we treasure here and make them known to others by registering as a contributor and uploading photographs and information about each treasure.

As anyone who knows Cumbria knows very well – we do have a lot of treasures around here; the physical include those that are primarily natural, our fells, valleys, rivers, lakes, fields and forests, to things cultural: our glorious monuments ancient to modern, our many stone circles, castles, Churches  and superb Cathedral and our traditions and memories.

The new website has been launched but will be subject to improvements over time as and when the need becomes apparent. The address is:

  1. To publish your treasures you need to register with the system, the process of registration is very easy.
  2. Then you enter your profile information,
  3. Click on the “Add a Treasure” button and upload your media and related information for the treasure.

An important feature on the site is the map that shows people where the treasures are in the County.

There are various ways you can browse for treasures. You can use the map to discover them or search by contributor or view the treasures in order of popularity and date added to the system.

Tullie House and Art Gallery Trust in Carlisle is the lead partner and accountable body for the partnership which includes  Lakeland Arts in Kendal and Bowness and the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. This Consortium is funded by Arts Council England ( through their Renaissance Major Grants Programme.  

The CMC partners own website addresses written out are: , and

To conclude I quote the important message from the new website that hopefully will encourage you to record your treasures large and small:

          A treasure is something that’s meaningful to you.

“We Need Smarter, More Connected Local Government” CALC AGM 2012

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“We need smarter, more connected local government.” That was a key message in Eddie Martin’s Vision for Local Government in Cumbria key-note address to local Councillors at CALC’s 38th AGM 2012, held at Carlisle Racecourse, on Saturday 10th November. In a lively and stirring speech that was well applauded, the Chair of Cumbria County Council candidly clarified the need for further ‘profound changes’ in local government and that our first priority will be Cumbrians’ “health, well-being and quality of life”  while addressing the “iniquitous waste of resources”.  Eddie described Cumbria as big, mostly rural and sparsely populated and reasoned that government here is perforce very different from that of Manchester or Birmingham and that Westminster needs to recognise this.  CCC employs 8,500 staff and provides no less than 822 distinctly different functions. There are 239 Parish Councils and 269 villages and 310 schools in the county.

Budget Squeeze Will Drive Rationalisation – Parish Councils Will Be Important Organs Of Change

In the four years 2011-2014, CCC will be cutting about £115 million from its budget, this is necessary to reduce current debt levels of about £350 million, and he reminded us that local Councillors should be active in seeking avenues for improvement for our communities and to exercise new powers from the Localism Bill to benefit our communities. That’s what the powers are there for. He warned us that over 300 people died of hypothermia in the county last year and that Cumbria saw the highest number of children in care  here this year, 620.  There are people in fuel poverty and suffering food scarcity, there’s a dearth of private sector employment.

He said that Community-Parish Council relations are improving and reminded us that Local Councils have more power to affect some changes in our communities than our MPs do, and should employ creative and unorthodox approaches to help their communities where appropriate. Indifference and lack of imagination must not prevent us from being part of the revolution.

Making Connections

He praised the Hub coordinators as exemplars of community leadership in “making a terrific contribution” helping drive progress in developing fast broadband communications infrastructure and he advocated unitised services as a means of cost control, citing joint waste disposal as an example that could save about £8 million.

A lot of money has already been saved by better fiscal management and by bringing services  in house and off-contract, in some cases this has allowed extension of services that would otherwise have incurred additional costs.

The introduction of Snow Champions (Click link to download PDF) is one example of how Community/Civic volunteering can help improve quality of life and well-being in communities.

Please Support The Orton Fells Landscape Designation With The Amendment Proposed By Friends Of The Lake District


Here’s your chance to help positively influence British landscape conservation! Some readers will have visited the British Lake District National Park and the neighbouring Yorkshire Dales National Park. The chances are good that you will have passed through some beautiful countryside in between that wasn’t designated as Park the first time around in the late 1940′s,  Westmorland’s The Orton Fells.

The Orton Fells Landscape is being considered for inclusion in the Dales National ParkThe Orton Fells Landscape is now being considered for inclusion in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

It’s a wild and beautiful landscape of karstic limestone pavements, upland meadows and heather-clad moorland (home to Black Cock, a form of rare Grouse), hardy sheep and fell ponies, with the rich fertile Orton valley running to The Lunesdale gorge. It’s Eden District’s Wild West.

Fell Ponies at Sunbiggin Tarn, Orton Fells, Westmorland, CumbriaFell Ponies at Sunbiggin Tarn, Orton Fells, Westmorland, Cumbria

The time has come for all those of us who support our Orton Fells’ inclusion in The Dales National Park to write in to the Secretary of State for The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman to voice our support and suggest amendments where they seem desirable.

Aerial view of distinctive limestone pavement overlooking The Orton valleyAerial view of distinctive limestone pavement overlooking The Orton valley

Limestone pavement above Sunbiggin Tarn, Orton FellsLimestone pavement above Sunbiggin Tarn, Orton Fells, rare sub-arctic flora micro-habitat of internationally recognised importance.

Why would this be a good thing?
It is likely that our Orton Fells’ inclusion in the National Park would help conserve the natural beauty of this lovely area of Westmorland for our own and future generations and would facilitate considerable economic uplift for local businesses while being an asset to the Nation and for visitors from other regions. The inclusion of our area is long overdue, everybody so far consulted agrees that the natural beauty warrants conservation. Some of the most beautiful Dales in the National Park are Cumbrian (Mallerstang with its historic Pendragon Castle for instance) and in no sense would our section of the Park be a “poor cousin”, we would preserve our identity under a wider banner that truly deserves special status for landscape quality and that is closely connected geologically and topographically with The Dales.
We have had the spoken assurance of The Dales National Park’s Chief Executive (at the January 19th Fells To Dales Business Forum meeting in Kirkby Stephen) that the naming of our area of the Park will be arranged to best suit local wishes, for example The Westmorland Fells or Westmorland Dales. This may well be resolved at a Public inquiry, should we have one, later in the year.
Economic Benefit
At the same meeting we heard estimates of anticipated economic benefit for local businesses involved in tourism to be somewhere between 10 and 20% increase in annual turn-over, with the duration in occupancy expected to be extended to about 34 weeks in the year.
At this stage we can still ask for amendments to the planning, if we wish. One important amendment to request would be the adoption of the northern boundary proposed by The Friends of The Lake District that would include land with superb views around Reagill and Sleagill. A good deal of thought has gone into this boundary suggestion and it enjoys popular support among many of the residents of those Parishes.
Making Your Voices Heard – Key Points

  • You don’t have to be a resident to voice your opinion on this matter. Past and prospective visitors to the area are welcome to voice their support, please state your interest and it will count.
  • In your communication please include your name, address and signature and include your message.  Please refer to the benefits mentioned above as justification if you wish.
  • Each member of your household may write in separately with equal validity.
  • Numbers count.
  • This is a once in a life-time opportunity that will have far-reaching and long lasting benefits for us and the Nation.

The address to write to, please, is:
Department for The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
Protected Landscapes Team,
Zone 1/09 Temple Quay House,
2 The Square, Temple Quay,
Or by email to

The deadline for getting your message to DEFRA is March 16th.
For more information on the planning, please see the Lakes To Dales Section of Natural England’s Website

Please Vote For Our Digital Heroine – Libby Bateman

Please Vote For Libby Bateman As Digital Champion 2011

14/10/2011 in Big Society, Press Release by Charles Paxton

Tags: Digital Heroes, Heroism, Libby Bateman, Talk-Talk Competition

Hello everybody.

Please can you take a few moments to click the link below and vote for Libby Bateman as our Digital Champion for 2011? She really is a digital heroine. Though busy with running a business and as a parent, she has devoted a huge amount of her time and energy to improving broadband in Eden – its a vocation for her and she’s truly dedicated to improving internet access for us.

As chair of East Cumbria Community Broadband Group Forum she has been rightly short listed for the Talktalk Digital Heros Awards. We just need to vote to confirm that she deserves the name digital heroine. This has now gone out to the public vote on their website.

Click on Cumbria and vote for Libby!

If she wins this then she would disperse prize money for rural broadband projects in Eden.
That’s the kind of lady she is.
Please could you log on and vote for her? And ask your friends and family to do the same? Share it via social media etc.
Many thanks,

Charles Paxton

Broadband Champion & Director EVD

Big Society Celebrated – Andrew Stunell MP Lays First Brick On Affordable Housing Project

Andrew Stunell MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government with responsibilities for Housing and the Big Society laid the first brick in the Lyvennet Community Trust's affordable housing project.

Andrew Stunell MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government with responsibilities for Housing and the Big Society laid the first brick in the Lyvennet Community Trust's affordable housing project.

Tuesday 19th July – Crosby Ravensworth enjoyed a ministerial visit from Andrew Stunell MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government with responsibilities for Housing and the Big Society. The rain held off as this personable gentleman laid the first brick in the Lyvennet Community Trust‘s affordable housing project. He spoke at length with members of the community about the project and was clearly impressed by the dedication, determination and drive demonstrated by Mr. David Graham, Chair of the LCT and the others members of the trust involved in having achieved so much.

David discussed the plans with the MP and Mr. Gordon Nicholson before the commemorative brick was laid.

David discussed the plans with the MP and Mr. Gordon Nicholson before the commemorative brick was laid.

There was a nice crowd and friendly atmosphere at the ceremonial brick-laying

After celebratory applause and photography Andrew walked with the crowd up to The Butcher’s Arms community pub. Here he was met in the doorway by a lad with a spade who’d paused to take a breather – the volunteers had been hard at it. Andrew inspected progress and was full of praise for the hardworking volunteers’ efforts, he then delivered a very encouraging speech in the soon-to-be completed bar area. In the course of his speech he remarked upon the exemplary nature of the project, the importance of maintaining the pub as the heart of the community and as service hub and the delightful scenery which he felt sure would be powerfully attractive to visiting patrons, of which, he declared, he expected to be one!

Write in for landscape conservation: Reasons Reagill and Sleagill Should be included in National Park Extension

View of Haweswater Fells from Orton Fells

Proposed designation of Orton Fells as a National Park: reasons for extending the northern boundary to the rivers Leith and Lyvennet.

by O.J.Weaver, Secretary,
Leith-Lyvennet Conservation Group.

A pdf of the response form is available for download from Natural England’s website at (click on ‘Lakes to Dales Consultation page’ link and scroll down to ‘Consultation Documents’), or you can download it directly from this link:

We strongly agree that the Orton Fells should be designated within a National Park but we believe, equally strongly, that there are compelling reasons for the boundary to be extended to the natural boundary formed by the rivers Leith and Lyvennet.  This boundary is easily definable.  It respects communities.  It embraces an area that is recognisable, consistent, and of outstanding interest.

On the western side of the area bounded by the two rivers, the Higher Limestone continues as a prominent ridge from the high moors in the designated area further south to the vicinity of Great Strickland.  There is a gradual lessening in height but no significant difference in character.  Along its length is the same landscape of exposed limestone outcrops, large-scale fields of improved or semi-improved pasture, a scatter of prehistoric monuments, and a historic pattern of dry-stone walls.  From the ridge are breath-taking views of both the Pennine Fells and the Lake District peaks.

To the east the land slopes gradually in a series of small, well-wooded valleys whose streams and rivulets gather themselves before reaching the dominant valley of the river Lyvennet on its eastern side.  The underlying geology is the same throughout the area so field walls, farmsteads, villages and hamlets are all of carboniferous limestone giving the total area a remarkable cohesion, as yet largely undisturbed by modern intrusions.  Away from the wooded valleys much of the land is pasture and for those with an eye for historic landscape it is not difficult to see, under the smaller rectangular fields and straight Surveyors’ roads of the Enclosure Awards, the once open stretches of moor,  grazed communally by the tenant farmers of the local villages and still recorded in land names : Reagill Common, Newby High Moor, In Moor, High Moor, and Shap Common.  Administered by the Courts Baron of the manors, the common grazing of these large areas can be traced in great detail by court records, bringing to life the patterns of life of the mediaeval countryside.  Visually and in historical record the landscape of the area is a remarkable survival and worthy of preservation.

Equally remarkable are the villages of this area.  Two of them, Morland with its eleventh-century west tower, unique in Cumbria, and Crosby Ravensworth are ancient settlements.  Others are planned villages of twelfth-century date, built deliberately to settle the land and increase its population.  Each follows an arranged pattern of individual farmsteads, usually along a single street, and each allocated with strip fields stretching back from the street and often to a nearby stream. Much is still visible today and maps and aerial photographs reveal more evidence of this highly organised pattern of mediaeval settlement.  Planned villages are rare.  To have such a group in one area is of exceptional interest and has been described by a leading landscape historian,            Dr Brian Roberts of Durham University, as “important on both a national and a European scale”.  Most of the villages have vestiges of their original field system but at Reagill, Newby, Great Strickland, and Maulds Meaburn, the evidence is particularly strong.  The boundary proposed by Natural England would include only one of these, Maulds Meaburn.  A Leith-Lyvennet boundary would include all and preserve the unity of the area.

The boundary proposed would also have the unfortunate result of dismembering one of the key elements in this landscape, the river Lyvennet.  In its upper part, which would be included, are the sites and monuments of prehistoric and Romano-British occupation.  In its lower part are the villages, farmsteads, and watermills of a predominantly mediaeval landscape, little altered by modern development.  The river moves gradually from the wind-swept slopes of its upper reaches to the greater tranquillity of its middle and lower parts where its banks are clothed in attractive woodland.  It is, for those who have explored it, a river valley of outstanding natural beauty with a history of human settlement that is of exceptional interest and eloquence.  The proposed boundary would sever the river in two.  A Leith-Lyvennet boundary would preserve its natural unity.

The history of the area can be read in its manor houses, farmsteads, cottages, and barns which give the villages their dominant character, still largely untouched by modern intrusions.  Many of the buildings are of seventeenth and eighteenth century date and traditional in style.  But while this is a predominantly agricultural area, evidence of an industrial past is to be found in its abandoned quarries and limekilns, and, of particular interest, the former coal pits of Reagill, Sleagill, and Newby, worked from the late seventeenth century to the coming of the railway in the mid-nineteenth, and whose grassed-over miniature spoil heaps are an unusual feature of the landscape.  Details of the output of coal, its transport to places in the locality, and the names of the colliers who worked in the pits, researched and published by Dr Blake Tyson, give a vivid picture of a small but flourishing industry of former times.

Outstanding among the people who once lived in the area is Thomas Lawson, Quaker schoolmaster of Great Strickland, born in 1630 and buried in the Quaker burial ground at Newby on his death in 1691.  A leading botanist of his time, his work is recognised as of national value. His notebook recording his research is in the library of the Linnean Society, London.   Of more local renown is Thomas Bland of Reagill (1799-1865) who created the celebrated Image Garden in Reagill, built the monument to Charles II at the source of the Lyvennet in 1851, ‘Black Dub’, and whose drawings of the antiquities, manor houses, mills, cottages, and landscapes of north Westmorland are now preserved in his notebooks in the museums and libraries of Penrith, Carlisle, and Kendal. His nephew, Thomas Salkeld Bland is the author of ‘The Vale of Lyvennet’.

It is a much visited area.  It is well provided with footpaths, bridleways, and quiet lanes which are popular with walkers, riders and cyclists.  It has a national cycle route passing through its centre.  The principal roads, M6, A6, and A66, pass close by but do not intrude.  Nor is there any other major blemish.  From many parts of the area the Pennine Fells form an ever-changing background and from the western ridge the mountains of the Lake District  are in view.  In contrast,  the small wooded valleys in the heart of the area give a more intimate beauty.  For its natural beauty, its cultural heritage, and its recreational value, this area bounded by the Leith and Lyvennet is a natural extension of the Orton Fells area and fully deserving of National Park designation.

Leith-Lyvennet Conservation Group.