Help shape the future of Kendal Fell
11 June 2019
Users of Kendal Fell are being encouraged to give their views on proposed plans that will help shape the future management of the fell.
Kendal Fell is a registered Town Green which is owned by ourselves and in part leased by Kendal Golf Club. It is maintained for the environmental and amenity benefits it provides to the public, including its use as a golf course.
A seven-week consultation has been launched today (Tuesday) to understand how people feel about the use of the fell. The feedback from the consultation will be used to finalise management and action plans and a code of conduct for fell users.
The plans are designed to address concerns that have been raised in recent years about changes in the fell’s habitats and features.
In many areas what was grassland has become woodland or been invaded by coarse grasses and bramble, swamping out many of the wild flowers which were present and making conditions unsuitable for some of the rarer butterflies.
This has led to renewed concern 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.
As the landowner of most of Kendal Fell, we worked with other members of the Kendal Fell Advisory Group (KFAG) to develop draft proposals for how the fell could be protected and used in the future.
KFAG member organisations: Kendal Golf Club, Fellside Forum, Kendal Civic Society, Cumbria Butterfly Conservation, Open Spaces Society, Friends of the Lake District, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and ourselves, now want to hear the public’s views on the draft documents.
Our deputy leader Councillor Jonathan Brook, said: “We are determined to preserve and protect the biodiversity of this wonderful area and to manage it in the interests of all users.
“We’d now like to know whether the documents and proposals that KFAG have produced address people’s concerns and questions. We hope all users of the fell will help to shape the future management of the area by taking the time to respond to the consultation.’’
The draft documents being consulted on are the Kendal Fell Management Plan, Kendal Fell Action Plan, Kendal Fell Code of Conduct and Kendal Fell information signs.
Kendal Fell Management Plan
The Management Plan aims to:
- maintain access to Kendal Fell and showing respect to all users
- provide a high quality golf course for locals and visitors
- maintain and promote the nature conservation interest of the fell, particularly its species-rich grasslands
- maintain the landscape character of the fell
- preserve the historic and archaeological features present
The plan provides the background history of the fell and confirms ownership of the various parts. It notes features and of ecological and cultural interest and provides a summary of the past and current management. It provides a priority list for future management and a species list for birds, butterflies and plants.
Kendal Fell Action Plan
The Action Plan forms part of the 2018 Kendal Fell and Golf Course Management Plan. It provides details of the management actions to occur within a five year timeframe starting in 2019.
Code of Conduct
This sets out a clear set of rules that users of Kendal Fell should adhere to which will hopefully ensure that all users can enjoy the fell and respect other users.
Everyone will use the fell for different reasons and the code sets out how we must respect everyone who uses the fell and the need to look after our surroundings and the rare flora and fauna found on Kendal Fell.
The proposed signage is to be sited at various entrance points around the fell.
The consultation asks for views on the design and content of this signage. It is proposed that the signage will include some details about the history of the fell, code of conduct, various interest points as well as maps to help signpost users to the various interest points using the safest path.
Deadline for consultation responses is 31 July 2019.
A brief history of Kendal Fell
- In medieval times Kendal Fell probably formed a large area of unenclosed common pasture and may also have been used as a common source of stone and wood, with the lower parts almost certainly being used for wool drying on tenters.
- In the late 1700s the “waste ground” of Kendal Fell was given to the town under the terms of an Act of Parliament, the Kendal Fell Act 1767 (an enclosure act), for the purposes of raising monies for street lighting, street cleansing and to pay for the Poor House.
- The Act allowed the continuation of activities such as sheep grazing, “stone-getting”, wood gathering and coppicing, lime production and the erection and use of tenters but regulated them and allowed rent to be collected by the town for use of the land. As a result of this Act new field boundaries were laid out.
- The 1767 Act was repealed by the Kendal Fell Act 1861, which now allowed the trustees to grant building leases for housing, roads and sewers and to prevent lime burning and quarrying outside specific areas.
- In 1897 part of Kendal Fell was let to the Cunswick Golf Club which renamed itself the Serpentine Golf Club. In 1907 the Racecourse Golf Club merged with the Serpentine and the combined club was renamed the Kendal Golf Club.
- In 1912, the course was reorganised and upgraded and roughly followed the current layout. In the late 1940s, however, quarrying at the southern end was extended and the course was reduced in size for several decades until quarrying and subsequent landfill operations ceased.
- The 1907 Kendal Corporation Act repealed the 1861 Act and vested the freehold of the Fell in the mayor and burgesses of the borough of Kendal. This Act preserved some provisions of the earlier Acts, including that certain parts of the Fell were to be set aside for the recreation of inhabitants of the borough and that the Corporation had power to devote further parts of the land to recreation.
- The primary purpose, however, was for the quarrying and burning of limestone. The Local Government Act of 1972 vested the ownership of Kendal Fell in us.
- The main part of Kendal Golf Course is owned by South Lakeland District Council and leased to Kendal Golf Club, whilst the northern section of the course is owned by Kendal Golf Club.
- In 1972 Kendal Fell was registered as a Town Green under the Commons Registration Act 1965 and in 1980 SLDC was registered as the owner of the Fell under this Act.
Kendal Fell and Golf Course is pictured.