PLANS to protect and maintain a popular open space for generations to come have been welcomed by local organisations.

South Lakeland District Council has published plans to better manage Kendal Fell, which includes the creation of a code of conduct for users, signage and a focus on maintaining and promoting nature conservation in the space.

The finalised plan used feedback from a seven-week consultation that was held over the summer of 2019 to understand how people felt about the use of the fell.

One major concern raised was about the loss of important wildlife habitats and changes in the character of the fell and the need for a new management plan to protect the landscape.

Many areas of grassland have become woodland or been invaded by coarse grasses and bramble, which the plan aims to tackle with measures including scheduled mowing and monitoring times.

David Harpley, conservation manager at Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “It’s a good idea, definitely.

“Managing and planning is always important for sites like this because it determines what people do and how we are supposed to behave.

“It’s an important patch of space for the town and an important ecological area so it is important we manage it appropriately.”

SLDC worked with other members of the Kendal Fell Advisory Group (KFAG) to develop proposals for how the fell could be protected and used in the future.

These included Kendal Golf Club, Fellside Forum, Kendal Civic Society, Cumbria Butterfly Conservation, Open Spaces Society, Friends of the Lake District, Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Andrew Tait, policy officer for Friends of the Lake District, said: “We welcome the agreement of the new management plan for Kendal Fell.

“The plan has been the subject to consultation and the final document is the result of dedicated work by a number of organisations and individuals.

“Kendal Fell is part of Kendal’s heritage as it was gifted to the people of Kendal and is a registered Town and Village Green giving rights for recreation.

“It has a wide range of different users and its importance for use by local people has been brought into sharp focus are a result of recent lockdowns.

“The plan includes a code of conduct that is aimed at promoting respect and co-operation between different users and plans to enhance the biodiversity and landscape character of the Fell.”

A new code of conduct hopes to ensure respect is shown to all users and sets out a clear set of advice that users of Kendal Fell should adhere to, including keeping dogs under proper control and clearing up after them.

Additionally, new signage will be sited at various entrance points around the fell, which will include details about the code of conduct, as well as maps to help signpost users to key features and safest paths.

The full plan can be viewed here.