I HAVE long held the view that, as a town, Kendal has turned its back on its most beautiful asset: the magnificent, tree-lined River Kent.

I applaud those people who recently decorated the trees with bunting, and would now suggest they should be adorned with padlocks and chains to reinforce the message that these trees should never be felled as part of the flood defence scheme.

As many of your readers will know, the historian David Starkey commented that Kendal "could have rivalled York" had the town planners been less willing to tear down its magnificent architecture and sever the historic links to the river.

Equally, York is one of many UK towns and cities where the river is cherished as a valuable part of the landscape and a key part of the city's appeal to visitors.

South Lakeland District Council, this is your chance to atone for the short-sighted policies of your predecessors by embracing the river and its trees as the real heart of your town.

Joanne Jones