Users of Kendal Fell have helped shape new plans designed to protect and maintain the popular open space for generations to come.
Kendal Fell is a registered Town Green, owned by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), leased by Kendal Golf Club (in part) and maintained for the environmental and amenity benefits it provides to the public, including its use as a golf course.
A seven-week consultation was held over the summer of 2019 to understand how people feel about the use of the fell. The feedback from the consultation has been used to finalise management and action plans and a code of conduct for fell users.
The agreed plans are designed to address concerns that have been raised in recent years about changes in the fell’s habitats and features.
In many areas what was grassland has become woodland or been invaded by coarse grasses and bramble, swamping out many of the wild flowers which were present and making conditions unsuitable for some of the rarer butterflies.
This had led to concern about the loss of important wildlife habitats and changes in the character of the fell and the need for a new management plan to protect the landscape.
As the landowner of most of Kendal Fell, SLDC worked with other members of the Kendal Fell Advisory Group (KFAG) to develop proposals for how the fell could be protected and used in the future.
KFAG member organisations – Kendal Golf Club, Fellside Forum, Kendal Civic Society, Cumbria Butterfly Conservation, Open Spaces Society, Friends of the Lake District, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and SLDC – held the consultation to hear the public’s views on the ideas, resulting in the agreed plans published this week.
The Kendal Fell Management Plan outlines key principles on:
- Maintaining access to Kendal Fell and respect being shown to all users
- Providing a high quality golf course for locals and visitors
- Maintaining and promoting the nature conservation interest of the fell, particularly its species-rich grasslands
- Maintaining the landscape character of the fell
- Preserving the historic and archaeological features present
The plan provides the background history of the fell and confirms ownership of the various parts. It notes features of ecological and cultural interest and provides a summary of the past and current management.
It provides a priority list for future management and a species list for birds, butterflies and plants and a separate action plan sets out responsibilities for activities such as mowing, woodland and grassland management and maintaining pond features.
The Kendal Fell Code of Conduct sets out a clear set of advice that users of Kendal Fell should adhere to, which will hopefully ensure that all users can enjoy the fell and respect other users.
Everyone will use the fell for different reasons and the code sets out that users should show respect to everyone who uses the fell and of the need to look after the surroundings and the rare flora and fauna found on Kendal Fell, including by keeping dogs under proper control and clearing up after your dog.
New signage will be sited at various entrance points around the fell, which will include details about the code of conduct, along with details about the history of the fell, various interest points as well as maps to help signpost users to key features and safest paths.
SLDC deputy leader Councillor Jonathan Brook, said: “We would like to thank all users of the fell and the KFAG member organisations for helping to shape the future management of this much-loved area by taking part in the discussions and the consultation.
“We now have agreed plans that will preserve and protect the biodiversity of this wonderful fell and help us to manage it in the interests of all users for years to come.’’
The agreed Kendal Fell Management Plan, action plan and Code of Conduct can be viewed on the KFAG page on SLDC’s website.