OUR much-maligned river in Kendal has sadly "lost its way".

It used to be a place of pure fun for us as children, but now it is seen by many to be a monster which suddenly appears from its slumbers, causes mayhem and misery, and then retreats for another 50 years or so.

People are now paranoid about our river and it has subsequently lost its purpose and value to Kendalians.

Yes, it floods from time to time, and always will, but when it is harmless please appreciate it for what it is: a lovely river to be enjoyed by all, either by just watching it or being in it.

The Kent was an amenity of Kendal, readily accessible for children and families, and fisher-folk of all ages; now it is seen as a no-go area.

Can we please, while all this planning is going on, reconsider its benefits to the people of Kendal before it is destroyed forever, and let us have our access points reinstated? They were put in for our convenience, and one by one they have thoughtlessly been taken from us.

The access point at Nether Bridge is a disgrace; there is no way can anyone use it to get to the river as it is overgrown with brambles etc, and it has been like this for years. The one on the opposite side to Kirkbie Kendal School, and the one by the Parish Church, were unceremoniously removed. Both were wonderful access places to get right down to the water’s edge, especially on a hot summer’s day. Similarly, along the river bank at Aynam Road and Gooseholme you need to have the agility of a mountain goat to get down to the river (and to get back up again!).

Please let the people of Kendal realise they have a friendly river. It is a ready-made natural amenity right on our doorstep to which we have been denied access. A bit like our former canal, but that is another sad and disgraceful story.

M Mason