COUNTRYSTRIDE #75: THE BATTLE TO SAVE ULLSWATER

...in which we celebrate the 60th anniversary of a decisive House of Lords speech that saved Ullswater from becoming a reservoir. Setting out from Pooley Bridge with valley born-and-bred Miles MacInnes, we learn about the arrogance of Manchester Corporation, who after wins at Thirlmere and Haweswater, considered Lakeland water its own; we learn about the grass-roots campaign that fought back, and which garnered support from around the world; and we consider the leading voice of that campaign – Norman Lord Birkett QC – Ulverstonian and alternate British judge during the Nuremberg Trials, whose barnstorming speech to the Lords saw Manchester's water bill defeated by 70 votes to 36. As we wander, we talk with Miles about a Lakeland childhood, about Pooley Bridge's fishy past, and consider why Ullswater might be the best lake of all.






Pooley Bridge

Lovely light over the distant stretches of the lake.

Mallards below Dunmallard.

The new Pooley Bridge - now a tourist attraction in its own right.

Our guest for the walk: Miles MacInnes.

The Ice Age Schelley atop the sandstone plinth in Pooley Bridge village centre.

Eusemere.

Dave and Miles on the Ullswater Way.

The cement shoreline is the extraction point.

Mark and Miles.

Our map of the walk.