Water Desert

Water Desert

Lake Windermere… land of Beatrix Potter, Wordsworth… and now the land of ‘Vacancies’ signs in every window… the land of closing boatyards… suffering businesses and restaurants. Is this what the Water Authority and the Lake Park Authority wanted when they imposed the incredibly ill-thought speed limits on the the Lake? No. I don’t suppose for a minute that it is. I also don’t suppose either that they gave the result of their caving in to the clamouring voices and distorted opinions of the Fell-Walkers and Hikers, retired Colonels and especially the overseas residents that they consulted regarding this matter, a seconds thought.

What we now have is an economic wasteland along the shores of the lake. One that could be mitigated by a review of the imposed limitations, and that is something that the various authorities steadfastly refuse to do. Why? Because they know that their original decision-making was flawed and that they had allowed themselves to be unduly influenced by the vociferous minority interests who infest the area.

Half-empty Cruise Boat

Half-empty Cruise Boat

The government report for the lake usage suggests that the lake is partitioned so that water-skiers can use certain sections away from any housing and general use by swimmers and day-boaters. There would also be a section where speed rules would undergo a general relaxation that was well away from the ferry or other specific habitation. This ineffably sensible suggestion regarding the lake was totally ignored by the powers that be. Like John Ruskin,  harborer of the right to selfishly restrict the use of Coniston Water because he owned a house there, and being also the man of great influence who obstructed the  incursion of the railways into the Lake District by condemning them as “…animated and deliberate earthquakes, destructive of all wise social habits or possible natural beauty, carriages of damned souls on the edges of their own graves…”,  they condemn the right of enjoyment by the majority in the pursuit of similar ‘Holier than thou‘ minority pursuits. In a world so crowded as ours, we must respect the need for commercialism in order for our way of life to exist and to support us when we travel. In a life of ever-narrowing available niches we must look for and find beauty through the visible gaps in our activity, but in order for us to find the gaps, there must be activity. To stifle it is not only unwelcome but most undemocratic. The combined Lakeland Authorities refuse unflinchingly to enter a debate regarding the huge mistake they have made.

I think their silence speaks volumes.

I think we should respond with our feet until they recognise our silence.

Boats, beauty, and commercial activity are not mutually exclusive.

They just need managing.

Properly…

The loss of the boaters means the following;

Loss of revenue for every activity surrounding the lake

Vacancy signs at most of the B&B establishments, even at busy times

Restaurants and Public Houses suffering a recession due to the social engineering of the Rules of Use for the lake

Shops and Retail Outlets in crisis with ‘Sale’ notices and reductions in most shops

Businesses for sale

Boatyards and shore-side businesses financially poised above a rule-induced precipice

The demolition of certain shore-side properties in Bowness in order to create a new ‘Holiday Inn’ hotel in the vain hope that this will bring ‘Tourism’ to the area. I might suggest that you had ‘Tourism’ in a way that other parts of the country can only yearn for before you thoughtlessly and completely ruined it by adopting a blinkered approach to the public that you are intended to serve.

As an open letter to all the involved authorities, if this is what you truly intended for the lake and its environs, then I wish you all the luck in the world with your social engineering project but I extend my sympathy to the unheeded people and businesses in the nearby towns over whom you wield your Ruskin-like influence. These people’s voices are never heard, or if indeed they are, they are never listened to.

And now… you want to dig up the Golf Course to create a picnic area instead…

What part of Economic Reality do you refuse to subscribe to?