AMBLESIDE NEWS 1st August 2022

Ambleside’s Summer Flower, Produce and Craft Show is being held by the Parish Centre on Saturday week, August 13, 10.30-4pm. There are classes for home-grown produce, as well as floral art and crafts which should be on the theme of ‘Bird in Flight.’  The closing date for all entries is next Wednesday August 10, one entry per category. Classes include the heaviest onion, small and largest marrow, best single vegetable and best selection of home grown vegetables in a basket. Egg entries must include a picture of the hen that laid them, and there are also prizes for jam, marmalade, chutney, honey, a favourite cake, scones, and decorated biscuits. Crafts on the topic of Bird in Flight can include textile pieces, mobiles, woodwork, painting, drawings and collage, handcrafted objects, poems and photographs. Entries are free, entry forms from the Parish Centre and Ambleside Library. Exhibits to be on show tables on Friday August 12, between 4.30-9pm, judging is Saturday from 9am, prize-giving at 4pm, prizes may be in cash or vouchers. Exhibits to be collected between 4.30-5.30pm. Proceeds from the Show to support the work of the Parish Centre. Admission is £2. 

As this week’s Lake District Summer Music (LDSM) Festival draws to a close, one of the highlights will be ‘The Lark Ascending’ Trail on, Friday August 5 when violinist Esther Abrami will perform the popular Vaughan Williams piece starting at 10.45 at the Heaton Cooper Gallery, Grasmere. The al fresco pop-up mini tour of the stunning piece moves next to Rydal Mount Gardens, Rydal at midday, where it will be played in the beautiful setting of William Wordsworth’s garden. ‘The Lark Ascending’ was voted the nation’s favourite work of classical music last year for the 11th time in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2021, and 2022 is the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Tonight, Thursday August 4, 7.30pm the Marian Vocal Consort are singing in Ambleside Parish Church, and tomorrow evening’s concert includes further pieces by Vaughan Williams, including ‘On Wenlock Edge’. Tickets at or phone 01539 266200.

Police in the Lakes report a high increase in visitors to the area which brings its own issues, as the road network around the Lake District struggles to cope with the number of vehicles. Near Ambleside, vehicles are obstructing the A591 at Waterhead near to Jenkins Field, where there are solid double white lines to prevent parking, although police say many people are unaware of the meaning of solid white lines in the middle of the road. Police No Parking posters have been placed along the foot path. Although police can issue tickets for obstruction, this would need to be done daily, which isn’t a good use of police resources, and the problem may need a long term solution. Police remind dog owners not to leave pets in locked cars in hot weather, when only 20 minutes in a car can prove fatal to a dog. A problem has also arisen with motorised bikes being ridden on public spaces, which is both dangerous and unacceptable behaviour. Contact police with any information about this either by calling 101 or reposting it online through the website, However if a crime is in progress always call 999. There is also a new online Live Chat service, to communicate with a police officer in real time, or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111. Local crime figures show increases in burglary, public order offences and hate incidents on this time last year, plus a 64% increase in sexual offences and 53% in theft, although drug crime and public order offences were down. Overall total crime was up 21%, 


Christmas Lights back on

Ambleside’s famous Christmas Lights will be back this November, by popular request. However, more volunteers are urgently needed, especially younger ones, to help on the big day and beforehand. Covid has prevented the big Switch On day and Lantern Procession since 2019, however this year’s Switch on will go ahead, on Saturday November 19, but with a few changes. Following a recent meeting of directors and volunteers, the plan is to start up the event again, with at least one and possibly two Father Christmas cruises from Waterhead on the day, to fetch Santa from Bowness. The Lantern Procession led by Father Christmas as twilight falls will be slightly slimmed down, and there will be no lantern-making workshops held. Instead, lantern making kits will be available at various shops in Ambleside. All lanterns will be lit by LED lights rather than candles, to eliminate the need for fire extinguishers. It has yet to be decided whether there will be a firework finale in Rothay Park after the lantern procession. The website and Facebook page will be updated soon and the Lights Committee plan to meet again before mid-August, and hope by then that new volunteers will have come forward to take on various aspects of the Switch On day. “It is all well and good that people say ‘We want the event back!’ but what we need is people to say ‘I can help on the day (and beforehand)”, Richard Attenborough said on behalf of the Directors. “The trouble is, it is all too easy for such people to let others do the work!” Anyone interested in helping should email Richard at

Levelling Up 

MP Tim Farron will speak on “Levelling up” at Lakes Parish Council’s next Plans & Other Business public meeting on Wednesday August 3, at 6pm, Upper Floor, Ambleside Library.

Parish Council

At their recent meeting, councillors recommended refusal for change of use to retail (food and alcohol) from 10am-10pm for the Lanty Slee, Wayside Pulpit, Elterwater. This was on the grounds that previous development as a holiday let was refused, and councillors felt that future use of the building might be intended for this purpose, because the layout of the plans represent that of a dwelling, and not a retail building. The lease is only for another 3 years which doesn’t provide future security and is very risky for the upset it would cause. Council had major parking concerns as the narrow lane up to the property cannot stand more traffic due to road infrastructure, and there is no additional parking available for potential staff, delivery/service vehicles or customers. This area is heavily congested in the summer months and cannot endure more traffic. The location on the fell is not suitable as it is not within or amongst other properties but stands alone. Overall, this was an inappropriate development for the location it is situated in.

Councillors also recommended refusal at Springfield, Rydal Road, Ambleside of an application for extensions to the main house and to the detached coach house. This was on the grounds that it is not in keeping with surrounding buildings and the materials proposed are not suitable nor local.

Waterhead Hotel’s application for proposed permeable paving to extend its existing patio area was also recommended for refusal on the grounds that it is unnecessary to lose green space, which is preventable.

Lychgate Restoration

Lakes Parish Council voted last week to pay the small balance outstanding on the cost of restoring Ambleside’s Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Lychgate into St Mary’s churchyard, after Coun Leslie Johnson offered to use part of his ward councillors’ allowance to meet the deficit. The initial cost of £1,800 has already been met by donations and match funding, and only £186 was still needed. Some councillors thought the Church of England was wealthy enough to meet the shortfall, but others regarded the Lychgate and graveyard as a community asset used by all denominations, and Councillor Johnson’s gesture was agreed on.

Clappersgate to Skelwith Footpath

Despite meetings with the National Trust and LDNPA, Lakes PC have been unable to establish a continuous footpath from Clappersgate to Skelwith, which would keep pedestrians safe from having to walk on sections of the busy A593. With the numbers of walkers increasing, Council said it would request new signs warning motorists of ‘Pedestrians in Roadway’, amid growing fears for their safety. Highways will also be asked to repaint worn out white and yellow lines in Elterwater as a road safety priority, and road resurfacing is also needed.

A-board problems

Lakes PC is distributing letters to all businesses in Ambleside and Grasmere, highlighting the regulations regarding the use of A-boards displayed outside their premises. A-Boards are regulated in size and positioning and limited in numbers to one per business, yet a number of Ambleside retail businesses were displaying two A-boards when councillors walked round with a Highways enforcement officer recently, identifying breaches of the rules. Councillors commented that enforcement officers were failing to enforce, yet no fewer than three local government departments appeared to be doing the same enforcement job.

Council also noted that broken glass and bottles had been left on the 55 Steps up to Lower Gale, where there were also loose railings, broken slates and no lighting at night. They also agreed that when outdoor events finish, pressure should be put on organisers to go round and remove all temporary signs put up for competitors. Councillors also went round removing nearly 50 advertising signs cable-tied  to lamp posts. Clerk to the Council, Charlene Iredale also reported receiving two abusive phone calls from the public, neither with complaints relevant to Lakes PC. She said there were growing concerns about bullying, harassment and intimidation towards Clerks, council staff and councillors, and abusive behaviour will not be tolerated on the phone or in person.

CCVT cameras

Police have given feedback on new CCTV cameras installed in Ambleside ten months ago which were used on a daily basis for monitoring and had been of huge benefit. CCTV footage had aided in ten cases involving shoplifting, missing persons, fights and suspicious vehicles.