Countrystride #84: LATRIGG with Friends of the Lake District

...in which we make the perennially popular ascent of Latrigg in the company Douglas Chalmers, outgoing chief executive of Friends of the Lake District. Setting out from Fitz Park, Keswick, where the landscape charity was founded at a public rally in 1934, we learn about the farming upbringing that led Douglas, a Lake District agnostic, to fall in love with the county after wintertime drives up Tebay gorge. Following a deep dive into the history of the conservation movement, we learn about the early Thirlmere skirmishes that pre-empted the formation of a formidable campaigning charity. Ascending Latrigg's grassy flanks, we take a whistlestop tour of Friends' history: of the campaigns that established the National Park, that fought against monoculture afforestation, that undergrounded miles of electric cables, and which, latterly, rallied against zip wires over Thirlmere and houseboats on Grasmere. Arriving at Latrigg's iconic bench – one of the north Lakes' great viewpoints – we talk magic Lakeland moments, we consider upland farming's perilous future and we learn why Cumbrian folk make the best of neighbours.




View over Derwent Water and the Newlands fells from Latrigg.

Our guest for the day: Douglas Chalmers, outgoing CEO of Friends of the Lake District.

Across the meadows from Keswick...

Skiddaw from the ascent of Latrigg.

Dave and Douglas - and a fine background panorama.

Looking to Helvellyn.

A perfect Lakeland summer's day. (One of the few!)



And here's the link to Terry Abraham's film (which features Mark!):