Sights, smells and sounds of our great county

David Beeby – 14th September 2019

One of the beauties of walking through Cumbria is the fact that you have the time to appreciate the sights, smells and sounds of our great county. We also have to time to stop and chat and learn.

Before setting off from Coniston, we had a lovely chat with a very knowledgable local outside the Black Bull (our overnight accommodation).

Amongst many interesting stories about Coniston, he mentioned a wonderful example of philanthropy from many years ago. Peter Blackburn bought the bed of Coniston lake and gave it to the bed of the lake trust, known as The Rawdon-Smith Trust, for the benefit of the communities around Coniston water. This established an income in perpetuity. What a wonderful legacy.

We visited the graveyards and saw the headstones of John Ruskin and Donald Campbell. Famous for very different reasons!

Interesting to note that Ruskin could have been buried in Westminster Abbey but chose to be buried in Coniston.

In the graveyards there is always the reminder of so many people who sacrificed their lives In the wars.

We were very pleased to support a number of community projects last year that commemorated the centenary of the end of the first world war and led to many young children being made aware of the ultimate sacrifice that was made by so many to secure the freedom we take for granted.

Last year, a grant of £1,500 from the Community Foundation enabled pupils from Broughton Primary School, near Cockermouth, to mount a memorial stone on the school wall, carrying the names of 17 former pupils who died in the war.

We walked though some magical woodland and entered the more iconic Lakeland landscape. Time for another swim in Tarn Hows.

Along the way we also admired the wonderful skills of our stone walls that we normally simply overlook.

This section of the walk takes into Skelwith Bridge so we made a slight diversion to the wonderful Chesters cafe.

We ended the day entering the magnificent Langdale Valley. Some lovely artwork done by the youngsters in the primary school.

At the Community Foundation, we are exploring opportunities to encourage entrepreneurialism in young people (Cumbria has a nationally low rating for this).

Young Enterprise in Cumbria has received more than £31,000 from the Foundation to give students the opportunity to set up and run their own company over the course of year. Each company is guided through the experience by a volunteer adviser from a local business. By taking part in the programme students develop skills, knowledge and experience, which are proven to have a long-term impact on their lives and careers.

Perhaps we could learn from the youngsters raising pocket money selling cakes baked by their grandmother!

You can sponsor David and the team here.