Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours, in Windermere

Residents of a road in Windermere are proving what it really means to be neighbourly, while protecting their local environment.

The voluntary efforts of people living on Victoria Road North have taken community action to new heights, from woodland management to the planting of a communal orchard.

They are being supported by green campaigners Windermere Reflections as part of their Windermere Footprint project. But the residents themselves have led the way.

“We wanted to see how our community could work together to live more sustainably and increase neighbourliness,” said Barry Butler, one of the residents.

Following a survey to find out what local people wanted to do, the group began in style with a new year party hosted by one of the residents. Since then they have been improving their area, and helping to clean up the environment.

The group won support from South Lakes District Council to fund a woodland management plan for School Knott Community Woodland, and organised woodland management and woodcrafts events for local people.

Windermere and Bowness Civic Society agreed to ‘adopt’ the woodland group to help support its work, and community orchard was planted with the help of the Wood Education Programme and the Windermere Food Group. One resident is making bird and bat boxes for the woodland area.

All the residents received a Windermere Reflections Property Pack with tips on cutting carbon and pollution. And they have booked a training session with a wildflower expert and a bird expert in order to understand how to attract more wildlife to the woodland, with support from Windermere Reflections.

“We have done several community litter picks to remove the disintegrating plastic rabbit guards from the trees.  One person has spent a lot of time doing this and has collected 35 bags of guards,” said Barry.

“People have been interested in different elements of the project, but it’s the idea of helping to look after and make improvements in the woodland which has been the most popular part.  Being involved has certainly got some people talking and having fun when they didn’t know each other before.”

Windermere Reflections’ programme manager Liz Davey said: “These people are truly local heroes. They have sought advice and support, and then got on with it themselves, improving their own environment. We could all learn a great deal from their example, and we are thrilled with what they have achieved.”



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