South Lakes MP Tim Farron has backed a local campaign to urging the YMCA to ensure the community is protected on the lakefront at Windermere.

This is following the announcement that YMCA North Camp near Newby Bridge has been put up for sale.

The 18-acre site on the southwest bank of Windermere has been owned by the organisation for 70 years. It is home to a number of organisations which includes South Windermere Sailing Club (SWSC), Old School Kitchen cafe and Lakes Laser Tag.

A petition to highlight the need to keep the picturesque area of the Lake District accessible to the community was set up by Windermere Sailing Club (SWSC)

On Friday Mr Farron was presented with the 1,500-signature strong at South Windermere Sailing Club which called for community access to the site to be protected.

In his letter to the YMCA Mr Farron said: "Having recently completed the Windermere Marathon, it emphasised to me all the more how little of the frontage of England's biggest and most popular lake is accessible to the people it is meant to be there for.

"The YMCA has had a sterling history of making sure that the sites it operates on the shore of Windermere have been accessible to the public. 

"With news of the impending sale of the property comes the expected fears of change that may see access to the lakefront limited by the new owners. 

"Even if YMCA feel they have no choice but to sell, we should ensure that the land is sold with the caveat that access must be retained at the same level that is currently enjoyed by the public."

The sale comes after the YMCA invested £6.5m to build a new facility on the 55-acre South Camp. For sale through national agents Sanderson Weatherall, it is used for residential, education, holiday, commercial, and leisure uses.

According to Sanderson Weatherall, it is expected the property will attract a great deal of interest from a wide range of prospective applicants. Initial concerns from the community are that the site could be taken over by a private developers for more holiday lodges on the waterfront.