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It is blatently clear that the quality of landscape and grandeur of scenery of the Lake District was the major factor in bringing about a system of statutory protection and recognition of this north western corner of England.
The Lake District National Park was created under the provisions of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and came into being on the 15 August 1951. The present National Park Authority was set up under the Environment Act 1995 and took over the running of the Park in April 1997.
Covering 880 square miles, the Lake District National Park is the largest, most spectacular and most visited of Britain's 11 National Parks.
The evolution of National Parks dates back to the classical poets - Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey, and later Ruskin - all of whom devoted considerable energy to literary descriptions of, in particular, the Lake District. Wordsworth, who lived in Grasmere, has been credited with originating the concept. He referred to the Lake District as a "sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy".
The boundary of the Lake District National Park, which encloses one third of the County of Cumbria and extends from Caldbeck in the north to Lindale in the south, from Ravenglass in the west to Shap in the east, has not changed since 1951. It was recommended to Government in the Hobhouse Report of 1946.
National Park events have a universal appeal to anyone who loves the Lakes and the countryside. The Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole, with its lakeshore gardens and adventure playground, is a good place to start. It is as popular with Cumbrian families as it is with visitors from all over the world and many of the events start from here or take place from the centre. Access via public transport is easy too you can arrive by boat or bus.
There’s something for everyone in the events programme. Children will love to experience and discover the natural world, working creatively with natural minerals or challenging themselves on lake or fell under the guidance of well qualified event leaders. Cumbrian grandparents need never be short of ideas when the grandchildren visit, or when there are friends and relatives to entertain.
Retirement is the ideal time for developing new interests, and events also encourages local people to enjoy more time holidaying at home, exploring native Lake District history and culture.
For those who want a challenge Classic Walks, in the company of an experienced leader, on the high fells are ideal for visitors or locals. Alternatively fell walkers can learn to map read on a day’s course or join a voluntary wardens’ guided walk. It’s a real eye-opener and you might even be tempted to become a voluntary warden yourself.