IT IS, to my mind, unthinkable that the common land off New Road at Kendal should revert to a parking space for private vehicles.

I walk across it most days of the week and observe people of all ages strolling, sitting on the benches, talking and eating together, looking out to the river and spotting the dippers, the mallards, the goosanders, the herons, our resident swans, and, of course, the cormorants in their to-ing and fro-ing from the Kent to the estuary downstream.

If there are serious concerns regarding the parking of cars, then the solution is very clear: institute a park-and-ride system that allows easy access to the town, ensures a reliable and frequent public transport system so that Kendal becomes a local and regional inter-connective hub, reduce the punitive car parking charges in and around Kendal and invest in adequate signage within the town itself and on all its major access routes.

Do the people of Kendal want a green and pleasant space protected for 'air and recreation' that connects the open riverside spaces in a unique walk from one of the finest art galleries in the country to one of the oldest and finest stone bridges in the land?

Or do we want to lose that protected space, open it up to the very real possibility of privatisation (which would be the inevitable consequence of 'de-registration') and put in its place a closed, concrete space full of cars, camper vans and exhaust fumes?

Ultimately, this is a choice not just about what individuals want, but about what the community needs in terms of personal and communal well being, now and in the future.

Jon Nixon