WE LIVE in a part of the world renowned for its beauty: the lakes and fells, the Cumbrian coastline.

There isn’t a day in the 23 years that I’ve lived in Ulverston, where I haven’t been grateful for this and taken at least a moment’s pleasure in it.

As a nation we have fought to protect our rural landscape and that’s something to be proud of, but I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that sometimes what we build can enhance the natural beauty that already exists.

I once saw a painting of Hoad Hill before the monument was built and was shocked at how naked and insignificant it looked. It was just a hill.

Now it is a beacon that beckons us home from across the valleys. It welcomes and soothes us.

By day its dazzling white render and copper top gleam in the sunlight and at night its changing colours provide that uniquely Ulverston magic.

I was walking along Earnse Bay last Sunday, in glorious, late afternoon sunshine, looking out at the windmills.

Yes, I know some of you will suck air between your gritted teeth at this, but I have to be honest and say, there is something mesmerising about their gentle majesty, the way they stand, tall and elegant along the horizon, like mythical creatures rising from the sea.

I once stumbled on a documentary about the planning of the northern stretch of the M6 motorway and the consideration that went into mapping a route that would complement the undulation of the land.

Travelling by road or rail, you can’t help but appreciate the result of such care.

You are not simply travelling from A to B, but experiencing a journey through beauty, in sympathy with the surrounding landscape.

And back to Ulverston, to those sturdy viaducts in all their Victorian splendour, carrying the trains from one peninsula to the other.

At night, in my attic bed, I drift off to their masterful rhythm, beating across the sands.