In late April, landscape charity Friends of the Lake District opened its most northerly piece of land, Dam Mire Wood in Threlkeld near Keswick. A piece of land kindly gifted by Threlkeld resident Mike Hambrey. 

On a day blessed with spring sunshine, local photographer and filmmaker Terry Abraham and six young photography competition winners from neighbouring Threlkeld Primary School cut the ribbon on a new access bridge spanning Kilnhow beck and declared Dam Mire Wood open to the public. 

The opening was attended by residents, supporters of the charity and visitors alike, joining a day of celebration and activities, shared with local primary school children who spent the day at Dam Mire Wood. 

Jan Darrall, Friends of the Lake District Property Manager said: 

“It felt like a real vote of confidence to see so many people coming along to wish us well, show their support and to join in with the many activities we had organised. 

“The access work carried out to date, culminating in this grand opening event, supports one of the core aims of Friends of the Lake District to make the landscape accessible and enjoyed by all. I’m so pleased to say that on this wonderful day in Threlkeld, it truly was.” 

Threlkeld Primary School children were kept busy with pastel painting workshops, bug hunts, moth traps, poetry sessions, animal creations made from leaves and natural materials found at Dam Mire and a talk on the geology of the site. 

Grown-ups were well catered for too. Willow craftsperson Lorna Singleton taught people how to make traditional oak baskets whilst artist Emma Hunt coached people in the art of pastel painting. 

Local resident Tray Hughes helped people relax with free yoga sessions and Mike Hambrey hosted talks about the geology and geomorphology of the area.

A recital in Lakeland Dialect was delivered by local historian Donald Angus who also led a walk around the village of Threlkeld, sharing his knowledge and insights into its fascinating history. 

The charity will now be making the most of any opportunities to find out how people would like to see it use and develop the land. 

Jan Darrall said, 

“Managing land in the heart of a community means that we must make this very much a two way process so that it becomes a valued piece of land and a well-used resource for the community and the wider public. 

“We’ve created an online survey to gather feedback on what we should do with the land and we’d really like to hear people’s ideas. We’ve also created a photography competition collecting images of Dam Mire and the far reaching views from the wood. We’d love people to complete the online survey and to submit their photos via our website. Managing land really is a team effort.” 

You can complete the charity’s online survey and enter the photography competition via its website at: