A residents story
Since around 1999 there has been a timber access to the field at the end of Swinside Close which also incorporates a cut-out to aid dog access. In the spring of 2001 along with all other open spaces within Cumbria there was a restriction on access by law due to the foot and mouth epidemic. At no other time has there been any restriction on access to the field and I have never been asked to leave the field or return to the public footpath that runs from Bellrigg Lonning.
During our numerous walks we have often observed others in the field walking dogs, running on the numerous foot tracks, fishing and dam building in Tom Rudd beck. Often during the summer months groups will meet on the banks of the beck to paddle, swim or just lounge in the peaceful surroundings.
Other activities I have witnessed include kite flying, games of rounder’s and tag. There has often been a rope tied to the tree in the middle of the field and used as a swing. During periods of snow children have played in the field making snowmen and having snowball fights. Participants of these activities have covered all age ranges with both children supervised and unsupervised using the field.
Local running and orienteering clubs often use the field together with groups of ramblers and individual walkers. These people often take time to wander down to the beck to observe both the wildlife and the views and do not normally use the line of the public right of way.
Often my first walk of the day is around 5.30am and even during the winter months at both this time and during the evenings I have meet other people walking or running. Activity in the field is throughout the day and on all days of the week.
Livestock from the local farms use the field but most of the activities described above continue around them.
Now is the time to object to Allerdale Council about the designation of this land for housing development in the new local plan . In the next few months Storey Homes will be submitting a planning application for over 300 houses on this land along with land at Strawberry How if the public do not object this area of recreation and peace will be lost forever.
Martin West , Cockermouth