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Authority criticised for selling parts of Lake District

Yewbarrow Woods was put up for sale twice. Photo: ITV Border

The Lake District National Park Authority has been criticised for trying to sell seven plots of land in the national park.

They include Yewbarrow Woods, which the authority has failed to sell for the second time, and Stickle Tarn.

Campaigners say they should stay in public ownership.

Yewbarrow Woods is 35 acres of wild woodland in a quiet Lake District valley near Kendal.

It's a Site of Special Conservation so development is restricted. It has a deer fence around its perimeter to maintain the habitat for other wildlife and needs regular cash to maintain it.

No buyer was found for Yewbarrow Woods. Credit: ITV Border

Local residents would rather it remained owned and maintained by the National Park.

There's very few original native woodlands that haven't been touched and messed about with and this one goes back a long, long way.

The other interesting thing about it is that the Manchester water supply goes through it as well.

But I can't help feeling that the most appropriate owner for this piece of woodland is the National Park.

I think it's very easy to say why it hasn't been sold...would you pay £100,000 for something that actually costs you money to upkeep and that you couldn't get any income from?"

– Cllr Peter Thornton, Leader of South Lakeland District Council

Two of the properties that the authority put up for sale have been sold: Lady Wood near Grasmere and Long Bridge near Keswick.

But the decision was controversial and local communities successfully slowed the sale of 3 other properties by registering them as a community asset.

Yewbarrow Woods and Waterside Knott near Newby Bridge were marketed again.

The deer fence at Yewbarrow Woods needs regular maintenance. Credit: ITV Border

We have been successful with selling some of the properties. We know that there is genuine interest out there in many of the others that we want to pursue but clearly we keep it under constant review.

We're alive to people's concerns and suggestions and we react to that and where we believe we can can find suitable responsible owners for properties that we're able to market successfully then what that does obviously is generate cash that we can reinvest within the parks."

– Mark Hoggar, Lake District National Park Authority

And so the quest to find an owner for this idyllic countryside continues.

More on this story

  • No bids to buy Yewbarrow Woods

    The Lake District National Park Authority was trying to sell the woodland. It's one of seven properties they're trying to offload.