VILLAGERS in Grasmere could face an eight-mile round trip to visit their nearest post office if a new home for the service is not found by January.

The current subpostmaster is due to retire in the New Year but villagers are determined not to lose the post office. Closure of the Red Lion Square office would mean the nearest post office is in Ambleside, four miles away.

But South Lakeland District councillor and Grasmere resident Vivienne Rees said talks are taking place behind the scenes to secure the post office’s presence in the village.

She added it was an important service ‘at the heart of the community’.

“There was a hope that the Co-op could incorporate the service into it but that’s not been possible sadly,” she said.

“However we are keen to find a feasible alternative such as housing the service within a business that it could help support. Everyone is hoping for a positive outcome.”

Coun Rees said that the current premises were too small to run the service and a shop.

She said: “But economically and socially it is an integral part of village life - particularly in Grasmere where there is a large number of elderly people.

“Travelling to Ambleside is inconvenient.

“People meet in the post office to get the latest gossip and meet with friends, losing that would be sad.

“It would be ludicrous if Grasmere was left without a post office.”

A Post Office spokesperson said: “Customers should be assured that the Post Office is committed to maintaining a Post Office service in Grasmere and will work hard to ensure this.

“If this involves a relocation of the Post Office it would be subject to a full public consultation."