Kendal Civic Society is one of those organisations which lies at the heart of the town's community.

For years it has been an active voice in the conservation of some of Kendal's best historical buildings and features, while also embracing innovative design and changes it believes will benefit the town.

It has certainly made its mark on Kendal.

It was involved in the restoration of historic buildings in Collin Croft, one of Kendal's yards.

It restored the charming Summer House shelter and resting-place in Serpentine Woods, raised £50,000 for the restoration of Change Bridge over the former Lancaster Canal and £27,000 to bring the steps at Natland Mill Beck Bridge back to a high standard.

The society is not afraid to fight hard against developments it does not think are right for the town.

Members read every planning application submitted within the town's Conservation Area and some from Kendal which are not and comments are sent to South Lakeland District Council where appropriate.

It also runs historical guided walks of the town and I joined one this weekend, held as part of the Kendal Walking Festival.

It was led by society vice-chair John Bateson, whose enthusiasm and love of the town's heritage really shone through.

His tour provided fascinating insights into Kendal's past.

A 30-yards by nine-yards building, New Biggin, once stood in the centre of Highgate, close to the present town hall; there are two Yard 2s on either side of the Furness Building Society - one is on Highgate, the other on Stricklandgate; Market Place was once home to a pillory, stocks and dungeon.

We visited The New Shambles, where butchers once slaughtered animals and displayed and sold the meat.

We walked around Fellside and learned how Kendal soldiers serving in the Crimean War made up a ditty, in which they sang about being, not from Kendal, but from Fellside.

John pointed out the site of a former pub, marvellously named The Hyena.

And we saw Sepulchre, a Quaker burial ground I had not known had existed.

For more information about the society and its walks go to