Friends of the Lake District has a long history of involvment with land management, beginning with buying our first farm in 1937 to protect it and to stem the decline in traditional Lakeland farming. All our farms were eventually given to the National Trust in the mid-1970s.
Today we own six areas of land, and manage three areas of woodland, all of which are open to the public with free access. We run regular volunteer conservation days on all our land.
Little Asby Common and Mazonwath (read more)
- is to the east of Orton and north of Newbiggin on Lune, see Howgill Fells map (Explorer OL19) Grid Reference 684092 for central location.
Size: 660 hectares
Landscape: Limestone upland and common land
Reason for purchase: To safeguard landscape of international importance
Download property leaflet (1.8Mb)
High Borrowdale (read more)
- is in the Borrowdale/Borrowbeck valley between the A6 and M6. Central grid ref on English Lakes SE map (OL7) 569031.
Size: 44 hectares
Landscape: River and valley side pasture with derelict farmhouse
Reason for purchase: Potential for landscape and access enhancement and the need for increased recognition of its importance
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The Helm (read more) Oxenholme, nr Kendal
The Helm is located 0.5 km south east of the village of Oxenholme and 4km south east of Kendal. Grid Reference SD 533890.
Size: 33.6 ha (82.97 acres)
Landscape: Prominent hill, with pasture land and some woodland
Reason for purchase: To improve public access and improve the landscape and nature conservation interest.
We own and manage three areas of woodlands (read more):
Hows Wood, Eskdale - a mixed woodland purchased in 1987 to revert to broadleaved woodland
Mike's Wood, Staveley - an area of land purchased in 1993 to create a new native woodland
Halfway House, Skelwith Bridge - a small area close to the A593
And we are managing three new Lake District native woodlands:
Greenbank Wood, Ambleside - A small 1.5 hectare woodland in Ambleside.
Sweden Wood, Ambleside - A developing new woodland (2.2 hectares) just off the Scandale path, Ambleside.
Gillside Wood, Grasmere - We are working to create a new seven hectare native upland woodland at Tongue Gill, near Grasmere (GR: 388 095).
The Helm, Oxenholme - We are creating new woodland at The Helm, Oxenholme, with 1500 trees to be planted by 2015.
In 1937 in an effort to stem the decline in traditional Lakeland farming and to protect the distinctive qualities of Lakeland farms we formed the Lake District Farm Estates Ltd. Over a period of nearly 40 years Lake District Farm Estates purchased 17 farms in areas felt to be vulnerable to development, including Rannerdale Farm, Buttermere, Skelwith Fold Farm, Langdale and Yew Tree Farm in Borrowdale.
Lake District Farm Estates made a timely contribution to the conservation movement filling a gap at a critical time during the 1930s and 1940s before the creation of the Lake District National Park and before the National Trust had sufficient funds to embark on large-scale farms purchases. All the farms were eventually gifted to the National Trust in the mid-1970s.
Since the 1970s we have assisted other organisations with land purchases, particularly where public access is improved. To celebrate our 50th anniversary in 1984 we bought Little Langdale Tarn and gifted it to the National Trust and in 2001 we gave £17,000 to help the National Park Authority buy Blea Brows on the shores of Coniston Water. Since the late 1980s we have again begun to purchase land when appropriate and where enhancement can be carried out. Today we own six areas of land, and manage three new areas of woodland.
General health and safety - please enjoy your time on our properties, but do be aware that there may be hazards such as uneven ground, tree roots, sink holes, derelict buildings, stock may be present, and take care when crossing any roads or rivers on or near the properties. Also be aware of ticks, and the chance of soil and air borne organisms, so please wash your hands when you can. Thank you.