IN THE walk report by John Edmondson (Gazette, September 6, 'Valley walk to waterfall') there is reference to the views in the 'Wensleydale valley'.

This regrettable tautology has become normal these days. It seems nobody writes about Langdale any more, it has to be the 'Langdale Valley'.

Lakeland has suffered from renaming throughout the years. It seems to be normal that offcomers arrive, who are not in tune with local culture, and decide they can do better than the existing names, which they do not understand.

Thus House Holme (Ullswater) became Norfolk Island; Langholme (Windermere) became Belle Isle; Birthwaite became Windermere (thought to be better for the fortunes of the railway company – a bit like 'Oxenholme Lake District' today); and Beathwaite became Levens village.

This process started quite early. St. John’s in the Vale, formerly Buresdale, may have a new romantic name promoted by Sir Walter Scott, even though St John’s Church, in fact, sits high up on the pass to Naddle.

Of course, offcomers have been arriving for a long time, although recently we have witnessed a major demographic shift. Perhaps this change is unstoppable, just as another traditional feature, dialect, has died out.

For example in the old days 'barns went doon to t' beck to laik'. Nowadays 'children go down to the river to play' (although not if they are unsupervised!).

To my mind renaming of places is wrong. Let’s leave the habit to bungalow estates where people can bestow names such as 'Dunroaming' and 'Scafell'” on undistinguished structures and developers can call dreary collections of houses names like 'Willow Grove' without blotting out names with a millennium history from the time when Scandinavian was spoken here.

Kent Brooks