Local management issues – March update
The number of new Covid 19 infections dropped by a half in the week ending 5 March and the infection rate in Cumbria dropped to 37 cases per 100,000 as opposed to 61 per 100,000 in England. South Lakeland is about the lowest area in Cumbria at 19, as of 8 March. 41% of all eligible Cumbrians have also received their first vaccination. So with Lockdown and the Vaccination campaign, we are looking at a return to normality. However, there is no need for complacency just yet.
Grants are still available and change regularly as restrictions alter. More information is available on the SLDC website.
With Spring on the way, the prospect of Lockdown restrictions easing and the foreign holiday ban, this means that normality in Coniston and the Crake valley involves being overrun by visitors. To cope with this, the National Park, in partnership with various agencies, like the Police, SLDC, CCC, National Trust have formed a Tactical Visitor Management Group and developed specific area visitor management plans. There is one specific to around Coniston and another around Hodge Close/Tilberthwaite. They have been reviewed by the local Parish Councils
These plans include regular Ranger and Police patrols, clearer signage, controlling the movement of Camper Vans on narrow roads and the provision of litter bins. To prevent parking congestion, the Park is encouraging Pop up Car Parks and likewise for temporary Camp sites to limit the amount of fly camping. The park is also recruiting Welcome Hosts , who will be in hotspots like Brown Howe and Monk Coniston to help visitors and promote the Countryside Code, linked in with a National campaign. The patrols will be dealing with infringements through education and enforcement. It is worthwhile to remember that these infringements are locals as well as visitors.
Another problem we are seeing throughout the area is illegal off-roading. This is being addressed in some of the local visitor management plans and with the local PCSOs.
Farmers Arms, Lowick
The Farmers Arms has been bought through Grizedale Arts and funded by a mixture of local buy in and grants. The aim is to refurbish the property, open up the Pubic bar and turn it into a local Community Hub/Arts venue. It is still in the purchase process, but is taking a bit longer due to furlough and Covid related issues.
District Councillor issues
Many of you will know that Anne Hall, after many years of devoted local service decided to retire late last year. So, we are down to 2 from 3 District Councillors, with a Bye election in May. All I can say is that Anne is hard act to follow and Tracy, myself and her replacement will strive to uphold the standards she has set over years. Thank you Anne.