If you are driving up north along the M6 cast your eyes to the Howgill Fells south of Tebay.
Instead of seeing endless fell areas being grazed by sheep you might be surprised to observe some fenced off areas, where Natural England have planted deciduous trees.The same has been done in Bannisdale and Borrowdale near Tebay.
Wonders will never cease!
In years to come the these areas will hopefully attract birds and other wildlife instead of munching sheep.
They somehow won over the Tebay farmers who now understand that there will still be many acres of fells remaining for sheep grazing.George Monbiot received a hostile response to his plea to fence off some grazing land when he spoke to the Cumbrian farmers a couple of years ago.
In a recently fenced off tree- planted area in one of these locations it was wonderful to see a family of Whinchats with three young just fledged this July.
Prior to this the area was just worthless sheep grazing fields.
Another obstacle to overcome is the self important,interfering Open Spaces Society who oppose any attempt to re wild anywhere around here.
They maintain we have a right to roam just about anywhere.Sure they will see some lovely scenery on their weekend hikes, but a complete absence of any wild life.I asked if Natural England could fence off some small sections of open access land because it is overrun with dog walkers allowing their dogs to run loose.This is having a knock on effect for breeding birds.
'No chance' I was told.The Open Spaces control freaks would oppose it.
But what do they care? The pleasures of Human Beings come first!