We're working on new ways to provide our members, supporters and the public who cannot visit in person, a way to explore our land from home or phone. We are beginning to incorporate new innovative ways to engage and share information about its history, our ongoing management and the work underway to incorporate resilience to sustain and enhance it for the future.

We have just completed a ‘virtual tour’ of High Borrowdale which we are delighted to be able to share with you. This is the first of many as we begin work to roll them out across all of our land holdings in Cumbria. Take our aerial 360 degree tour and have a look around High Borrowdale, deep dive into key elements, such as the buildings, or hay meadow, find out about the work we have done on the land, hear from our volunteers and learn about some of the key features and challenges that we face in managing this piece of land. 

In conjunction with this piece of work, we’ll also be installing unobtrusive Near Field Communication (NFC) chips around our properties, enabling visitors to access our virtual tour content digitally via their phones. This will help us to minimise the use of information boards and signage, preserving the sense of tranquility and remoteness that our landscape provides. 

Click Here - For more information about land owned and managed by Friends of the Lake District, its history and location

Tour Highlights

Take the full tour to discover video interviews, photo galleries and 360 degree panoramas of High Borrowdale. We've picked out a few of our favourites below to give you a taste of what there is to discover at High Borrowdale... 

An Introduction to High Borrowdale

It's history, our ownership, the threats that have been seen off and our work to put our policy into practice. Our long term vision for High Borrowdale when we purchased it in 2002 was to maintain, enhance and diversify the special qualities of the landscape, increase opportunities for the public to enjoy this property, and demonstrate that we are making a direct contribution to the Cumbrian landscape.

Restoring Upland Hay Meadows

We used two different techniques at High Borrowdale. The first in 2005 involved heavily grazing and multiple harrowing of the restoration field, spreading seed collected from nearby meadows, sieving it and then rolling it in. We had the help of a contractor and the total cost of 4h of restored meadow was £20,000, occurring over a three week period. Very little was known about hay meadow restoration and this was very much a trial to see what happened. It grew brilliantly!

Wall Restoration

The walls are High Borrowdale were in a poor state in 2002. Many had collapsed and for some the stone had rolled down the hill. We spent the first 18m with walling contractors rebuilding nearly every wall, totalling several kilometres. Since then our volunteers have helped us rebuild other walls and fix all the gaps that inevitably occur. Keeping the skills of dry stone walling going into the future is very important to Friends of the Lake District.


Volunteers are vital in helping us to manage our land. We asked some of our regular volunteers why they work with us and what it is about High Borrowdale that is special to them. 

The Farm Building

“High Borrowdale: once a farmhouse of distinction in a beautiful situation… now a derelict ruin in a beautiful situation”.  Alfred Wainwright

Tree Planting

Over 20,000 native trees (oak, rowan, holly, alder, willow, hazel, hawthorn, etc) have been planted in the allotment (fellside) and along the riverbanks since 2004. This was done to:

  • Help stabilise the soils and river bank
  • Enhance the landscape
  • Provide new habitats for wildlife
  • Help slow the flow of water
  • Provide wildlife corridors with the woodland further down the valley