HUNDREDS of residents from across the south of Cumbria have attended ‘Community Conversation’ events to discuss a proposal to extend the southern boundary of the Lake District.

The plan, which was submitted to Natural England by Friends of the Lake District (FLD), seeks to extend the southern boundary of the national park by approximately 6 per cent.

The Community Conversations, which were organised by the Southern Boundary Partnership (SBP), a group of councillors from parishes across the area, were held at Thwaites, Grange-over-Sands, Lowick, Broughton and Ulverston over the summer.

Mapping of the proposed extension area proved to be the focus of attention for many, with questions on the route of the boundary line and the rationale for its selection.

Grange is included within the new boundary but Ulverston is not, while Flookburgh and areas to the south are also excluded.

The extent and route of the proposed new boundary was generated by independent research undertaken by FLD to assess ‘landscape quality’ in response to a request from a group of parish councils.

For a proposal to extend a National Park to be successful, the area specified must meet various statutory tests and align with the criteria used by Natural England to inform its ultimate decision on whether a landscape is of the quality and character to afford National Park status.

“We believe it has the potential to bring great personal and economic benefit to the area and we’re here to ensure that our residents and businesses are heard,” said David Savage of the Southern Boundary Partnership,

Details and mapping of the proposed extension area and a new Q and A section answering common questions about the extension are now available on Friends of the Lake District’s website: