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Fracking 'highly unlikely' in the Lake District

The government has announced today that fracking is highly unlikely ever to be allowed in the Lake District.

The news has been welcomed by groups including Friends of the Lake District who say it will bring clarity to planning laws.

Fracking is the controversial method used to extract underground shale gas. The government has now opened the bidding process for new licences in areas where fracking will be allowed.

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Lake District farm providing eggs for major firms

The Lakes Free Range Egg Company provide eggs for McDonalds Credit: ITV News Border

The Lakes Free Range Egg Company began just 18 years ago, with 200 chickens.

Now it produces two million eggs every year and supplies to major firms like Saindbury's, Tesco and McDonalds.

Despite growing considerably in size owners Helen and David Brasstheir's main ethos of animal welfare and traceability still stands.

Helen and David Brasstheir are owners of The Lakes Free Range Egg Company Credit: ITV News Border

Every egg is printed with a unique code, which means when you type it into their website you can find out lot of information about where it's come from.

The company employs 75 people at their main headquarters near Penrith, and around 100 more throughout the farms they collect from.

New president for Friends of the Lake District

The Friends of the Lake District have elected a new president, Sir Martin Holdgate.

Sir Martin Holdgate is an environmental scientist and international conservationist who became Director General of IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) in 1988.

He has lived in Cumbria since 2000 and has been an active member of the Friends of the Lake District Key Supporters' Group since then.

"Last year Natural England made Designation Orders that would add some wonderful country between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales to the two National Parks. We have been waiting for this since 1946 when the importance of that countryside was recognised in the Hobhouse Report.

"Last year the Friends played an active part in a public inquiry on those extensions, and the report has been with the Secretary of State for six months. Please, Ms Truss, get on with it and confirm the National Park extensions!"

– Sir Martin Holdgate, President of The Friends of the Lake District

More volunteers need to inspire future land managers

A training scheme to revive declining rural skills is looking for inspirational mentors.

The Lake District National Park’s Fell Futures project is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and helps 16 to 23-year olds gain experience in conservation, landscape management or outdoor education.

There are currently nine people on the scheme but it's organisers say they need more volunteers to help pass on their understanding of countryside needs and actions to apprentices.

“Literally, we just need five days over the next year from people with the relevant knowledge and background. Through workshops and field visits they will share their own talents and experiences.

“This is a great opportunity to inspire the next generation of Lake District land managers.”

– Matt Eaves, Apprenticeship supervisor
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