County Show


October 2016

Cartmel continues to shine like ‘a thimble full of diamonds’

The residents and business owners in a medieval South Lakeland village are celebrating. The vibrant Cartmel community have never been complacent when it comes to making the village look attractive, in every changing season, and all their hard work has paid off with yet another successful year in the highly coveted Cumbria in Bloom competition. Once again, Cartmel has been awarded 'Gold' along with the Strikes Houghton Hall Trophy as best village in Cumbria, the South Lakeland Trophy as best entry in the district, the Sellafield Licence Company as tidiest large village and two “'n Your Neighbourhood' awards.

Unsworth’s Yard received a 'Tourism and Commercial Premises' silver gilt award and the Cavendish Arms, Kings Arms and Royal Oak were all awarded silver.

If you haven’t been to Cartmel for a while, it’s a beautiful village to visit in the autumn when the trees are turning russet and gold and sheep can be seen lazily grazing in the Priory graveyard.

Constructed on the plot of the Unsworth family’s former motor services and garage business in 2010, Unsworth’s Yard provides a lovely sun-trap with its terrace of traditional Lakeland slate and colourful hanging baskets. Here you can sit and relax with a glass of wine provided by the well-stocked Hot Wines. The owner, David Unsworth, likes nothing better than to share his infectious passion for the comprehensive range of different wines, gins, whiskeys, vodkas and rums that grace the shelves of this shop. If you’re more of a real ale enthusiast, you can meet David’s brother Peter Unsworth and his brewing partner Mark Grunnill at Unsworth Yard Brewery and sample some of their craft beers, which have only been in production in relatively modest quantities since 2012.

Also in the courtyard are the offices of John Coward Architects, who designed the compact complex of shops and offices. Local cheese-maker Martin Gott was quick off the mark to invest in a unit for a cheese shop, whilst the walls were still going up! His vision was to have the best-kept cheeses in the North of England and he incorporated a state-of-the-art walk-in refrigerated shrine to fromage into the design. Martin has gone back to concentrate on making his own cheeses at nearby Holker Farm, but the shop is in the safe hands of his partner’s father Ian Robinson and a new business partner, Fran Horne. Cartmel Cheeses keeps some of the finest craft cheeses being produced in Britain, with around 60 varieties to sample. Some are seasonal like Martin Gott’s delicious St James and Swallet cheeses made from ewes milk.

Pick up locally baked bread, pies and cakes next door and you have the makings of a great picnic.

The village first became seriously planted on the food lover’s map when Simon Rogan started winning awards for his two Michelin stars restaurant L’Enclume, which has won the Best Restaurant in Britain by the Good Food Guide for three years running.

For people on a more modest budget, his Rogan's Bistro by the babbling River Eea is also a popular eatery attracting locals and visitors alike.

Cartmel is constantly changing, evolving and raising the bar when it comes to offering quality service and produce and many businesses are family-run. Richard English has been landlord of the 465-year-old Cavendish Arms coaching inn for 15 years and his wife Donna runs the elegant Perfect English gift and antiques shop in the heart of the village.

Simon Johns recently returned from America to work in his family’s business Cartmel Village Shop, which his parents Jean and Howard Johns established over 26 years ago. They now produce a million-plus Cartmel Sticky Toffee Puddings a year and exporting as far afield as Dubai and South Korea. It's another astonishing local success, employing 30 local people.

William and Andrew Walmsley have owned the The Larch Tree gift shop for over twenty years, each year finding new projects to improve and restore the building to its original fourteenth century condition. Exposed wooden beams and old-fashioned toys, paintings, gifts and clothing make this shop very individual.

Simon Rogan, who has just been crowned Chef of the year by the AA, has another new venture. He is soon to open a new shop in the Priory Gatehouse selling aprons, chef’s jackets, kitchenware, chutney, jams and other Rogan-branded products. Dating back to around 1330, the Grade II* listed gatehouse is owned by the National Trust, which is leasing it to Mr Rogan's company Umbel Restaurant Group.

Everything in this compact little village is within easy walking distance and the community work hard to keep the streets litter free. No visit would be complete without popping into the 12th Century Cartmel Priory Church where all visitors are warmly welcomed and there are some stunning carvings of animals to be found on the old oak miserychords.

If you want a new way to explore the woodland in the fall, you’ll discover the HQ of Lakeland Segway beside surely one of the poshest public conveniences in the Lakes, constructed in local slate and stone from quarries on the Holker Estate. The husband and wife duo, Wayne and Ann Riches, own Lakeland Segway which won the Cumbria Tourism Visitor Experience of the Year 2016 award. They provide speedy tours all year round through the Cartmel parkland and Holker woods, and they also offer electric bike hire, archery and new high-tech treasure hunts.

There are only nine race meetings a year at the quaint Cartmel Racecourse, but on Bank Holidays it can draws crowds of 20,000, making it a significant contributor to the local economy and it’s one of Britain's favourite National Hunt venue after Aintree and Cheltenham.

With so much packed into such a small place with a population of around 1,500 people, it’s hardly surprising that Chris Evans affectionately described Cartmel to his Radio 2 Breakfast Show listeners as ‘A thimble full of diamonds’.

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The Directors of Cartmel’s Black Horses Friesians were celebrating following the Friesian Horse Association of Great Britain & Ireland’s (FHAGBI) annual Inspections and Gradings, held at Myerscough International Arena on August 26.

Tracey and Rynardt Venter’s adorable filly foal, Ciska (born 8 May 2016) was awarded a highly coveted 1st Premie, which is only given to approximately five per cent of the Friesian foal population. She was also crowned the Champion Foal. Ciska’s mother, Anja, was awarded Overall Breed Champion.  Anja is currently graded as Crown, which is the second highest accolade a Friesian mare can get. 

“We were delighted with the gradings and it was even more exciting as Anja was Champion Foal herself in 2008 and this is her second title of Overall Breed Champion after she won it back in 2011,” said Tracey, who is the current president of the FHAGBI and was one of the festival organisers.  “It was also very special to win awards in FHAGBI's 21st year and at the biggest Friesian Festival we have ever hosted.”

The Friesian Festival took place over four days of the August Bank Holiday weekend (25 – 28 August 2016) and involved a gathering of around 40 Friesian horses and their owners, trainers and enthusiasts wo travelled from all over England to attend. “It was a logistical challenge, but the stable facilities at Myerscough are superb,” said Tracey. “And we had the added excitement of welcoming four Friesian stallions that had travelled especially from Holland to be the stars of the event and who stole many hearts in the Grand finale with their superb synchronized displays of passage and piaffe to music.”

The event was primarily staged for the members of the FHAGBI to attend the annual Inspections and Gradings. It also gave members a rare opportunity to bring their horses and make friends and join in a whole host of fun educational activities and clinics including Quadrille training with Pamela Rigby MBE, mounted games, riding lessons with Jean van Deventer, Jolanda Schreuder and Harmina Holwerda, and carriage driving lessons with the Dutch expert Sybren Minkema.

“There was such great camaraderie with everyone helping each other out and it was such a privilege to welcome stallions from Holland to our county,” said Tracey. “So many people were willing to give up their time to make the festival work like Cribbs from London and Barry Hook, the world renowned trainer of carriage driving, who had never done a clinic in his life but he did it all for the love of Friesians.”

In this celebration of the grace, majesty and versatility of the Friesian horse, the organisers want to dispel the myth, once and for all, that Friesians are only useful as carriage horses.

“This intelligent breed like to be stimulated and they have a great willingness to want to work, whether they are being ridden, driven or trained in dressage,” Tracey continued. “Two of the FHAGBI’s main aims is to raise the profile of the Friesian as a versatile modern sports horse and to promote the importance and rarity of the Friesian breed and people really enjoyed the mix of informative clinics and hands-on activities.”

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March 2016

Clean for the Queen

As part of Cartmel In Bloom’s “Clean For The Queen” celebrations of Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday, eighteen pupils from Cartmel Primary School, along with school staff and members of Cartmel in Bloom carried out a litter-pick in the Clogger Beck field and at Town End as part of an environmental analysis.  Everyone enjoyed working in the fine weather and several bags of rubbish were removed.  Rachel Battersby, their head teacher, said that the children of Cartmel CE Primary had a great time out learning more about the village, and the importance of caring for its environment.  Activities continued at the weekend with village residents tidying up their local areas and meeting up afterwards in the Cavendish Arms pub for a complimentary coffee.

  Clean for the Queen  

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Howbarrow Organic Farm offers two luxury properties. The cottage, nestling in the farm yard, and the loft which acccupies the second floor of a grade two listed farmhouse. Both have a  4 star rating, organic cotton sheets and wood burning stoves. Seasonal produce is available to visitors. With panoramic views, delightfull places to picnic and hideaway, the farm overlooks the Cartmel valley and Lakeland fells.

Howbarrow cottage and loft properties have been awarded Gold standard 2015 by Gold award is descibed as Inspirational and Outstanding. 1 of only 6 self catering properties in Cumbria to now hold this Gold standard.

The properties were assessed on a rigorous set of 'green' criteria: "the highest standards of sustainability are being achieved with a strong and broad ethos and excellent examples throughout. The latest technologies have been employed from LED lighting to efficeint zero carbon biomass boilers and renewable energy from solar array and wind turbine. The farm now generates more electricity than it uses."

The indoor hot tub and 'endless'  swimming pool at Howbarrow Organic Farm is now up and available for guests staying in 2016. Visit for more idea of what an 'endless pool' is. This is a unique facility in the Cartmel valley. There are lots of hot tubs in larger properties, but not in properties aimed at  couples and certainly not with swimming pools!

The pool and hottub is heated by the farm's biomass boiler and is fully compliant with their green business gold award. It is also getting lots of interest from the growing number of visitors to the area who come for triathlons and open water swimmers, looking for a place to stay and train as well.

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At the 2015 Cumbria In Bloom awards in Dalton, Cartmel was again successful in receiving many awards as listed below:

Winner of the South Lakeland Trophy Best in Borough

Winner with Gold of the Strikes Houghton Hall Trophy Best Village

Winner (joint with Kirkoswald) of the SLC Trophy for Tidy Village

Winner (joint with Howton) of Village Best Sustainable Development

Local businesses Unsworths Yard and Royal Oak won Gold in the Cumbria Tourism section and two It's Your Neighbourhood projects (Townend Meadow and the Cartmel Village Hall border) were
classified as Outstanding by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Chair,  David Crabtree said: 'My thanks to all those who have helped to make this a very successful year for Cartmel in the 'Cumbria in Bloom' competition. I am very proud that we have again achieved a GOLD award and are again the Best Village in Cumbria. To become the tidiest village in Cumbria for the fourth successive year is testimony to the continuing hard work of all our volunteers.   Whilst awards are very special to us the real excitement is in seeing the enhancement to our village for the benefit of all.' 
These awards come at a year where Cartmel will see a few more thousand visitors than other years, 2015 being the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta,  the main proponent of which was William Marshal, founder of the Cartmel Priory.   The Magna Carta celebrations will be over a period of 5 days from the 25th to the 29th September with a range of concerts, flower pageant in the Priory Church, son et lumiere, battle re-enactments on Fairfield Paddock and much more!

Contacts: Tel: 07876 245 563
For information on Cartmel In Bloom activities visit: and

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Magna Carta - Celebrating 800 years of history in 2015

Friday 25 - Tuesday 29 September 2015

Visitors to Cartmel experienced five wonderful days of celebration and medieval festivities in and around Cartmel Priory to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta.

  Cartmel Priory Magna Carta  
  Cartmel Priory Magna Carta  

25th to 29th September 2015

Cartmel is feverishly preparing for what may be the most important celebration in the life of the village this century.   A number of events are to take place in the village between 25th and 29th September, focussed mainly on the Priory and its vicinity with thousands of visitors expected.

Everyone in the small community has been involved one way or another and residents will actively participate during the celebrations, assisting visitors with directions within the village, the Priory itself and the nearby Fairfield Paddock where many of the medieval re-enactments will be taking place.

Cartmel Village Society has commissioned the filming of the weekend's activities.
Cartmel In Bloom is responsible for various features and activities such as the 9 new planters in the entrance of the Priory Church, planted in William Marshal colours; family shields created by the pupils of the Primary School which are on show in Unsworth's yard: and will undertake major litter picking campaigns over the period. 

The Cartmel In Bloom Group will also have their own marquee in Fairfield Paddock where home grown herbs, beeswax candles, thyme honey and Yorkshire lavender bags will be for sale. Proceeds will support Cartmel In Bloom activities together with a donation to the Priory Church.

Medieval face painting and costumes (which will be donated to the Primary School after the festivities) will create family photo opportunities at the Group's marquee.

Everything so far promises for a memorable few days in Cartmel and the community is looking forward to welcoming visitors and ensuring that everyone enters into the spirit of Medieval life!

Contacts: Tel: 07876 245 563
For information on the Magna Carta celebrations, visit:


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Once again Cartmel has achieved major successes in this year’s Cumbria In Bloom competition and was awarded prizes in many categories at the ceremony in Carlisle.  The trophies included Best Small Tidy Village, Best Sustainable Development, Outstanding Contribution to Cumbria In Bloom (Community Champion Award), Best in Borough (South Lakeland Trophy) Best Village with Gold (Houghton Hall Trophy) and Best Village Overall with Gold again (Kimberly Clark Trophy).

Three Cartmel Pubs (Royal Oak, Kings Arms and The Cavendish Arms) were joint runners up in the Special Category, with the Dalston War Memorial winning first prize.  There were also three awards for It's Your Neighbourhood projects with the River Eea Walkway and Wild Flower Scheme winning 'outstanding' while the Village Borders and the Townend Border won 'Thriving'.  Cartmel was also the winner of 'The Growing For Gold' award (marking 50 years of the RHS Britain In Bloom) for its scheme of the area around the Village Institute.

The judges commented that “The Cartmel In Bloom Group has achieved its vision to bring a greater sense of shared community pride in Cartmel.  The enthusiasm of the original core group has 'gone viral' now all sectors of the community are actively participating”.

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  Rynardt and Tracey Venter with Berber  

ABOVE: Rynardt and Tracey Venter with Berber, Kroon and overall Breed Champion 2014 (Photo: Sandy Kitching)

The team at Cartmel's Black Horses Friesian Stud had a lot to smile about as they came away with Best in Show and other titles at the Friesian Horse Association of Great Britain & Ireland's (FHAGBI) annual Inspections and Gradings on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Tracey Venter, who owns the Black Horse Friesian Stud at Cartmel, had put three horses forward for grading. "We are so delighted with the results," she said. "Doutzen, who has only been under saddle three months, was given entry to the Studbook with a 3rd Premie; Dibbrich was given 2nd Premie which also entitled her to the much sought after Ster status; and we couldn't believe it when Berber became Kroon and overall Breed Champion!"

Tracey explained that the Kroon predicate is the second highest title a mare can be given for displaying exceptional qualities in conformation, movement and potential for sport.
Alongside the inspections were the IBOP performance tests, which are very different to conventional dressage. The mount is not there to be judged on their riding ability, but to issue a series of commands to take the horse from walking through trot and into canter. These tests are specifically designed to gauge the potential of the Friesian horse and its suitability for use in dressage, show driving and working in harness.

"In the ridden IBOP test, our lovely horse, Anja, was awarded 77.5 points and not only was she given the title of being the first Kroon mare in the UK, but also the first to have been bred in the UK!" Tracey said smiling. "It has been wonderful to see our horses do so well, but it has also been a great two days of networking and sharing knowledge with all the enthusiastic Friesian owners and admirers and, ultimately, to celebrate the absolute beauty and capability of these mesmerizing equine subjects."

Tracey Venter was already looking at her diary as she started to prepare the horses for their journey back to Cartmel. "After a rest, the horses will go back to work next week," Tracey concluded. "Some will be driving carriages for weddings and we have bookings for our popular Friesian Experience days, where we take experienced riders out with us on a hack across the Cartmel fells."

  Rynardt and Tracey Venter with Berber  

ABOVE: Berber, Kroon and overall Breed Champion 2014 (Photo: Sandy Kitching)

Behind the scenes reportage photos of the event (taken by Cartmel's Sandy Kitching) are available for sale on the website:


Cartmel Village Society and Cartmel Priory CofE School have worked together to ensure that the use of a defibrillator, often referred to as an AED (automated external defibrillator), will be available to all the pupils and residents of Cartmel, and also to the visitors who attend the many events held in the village each year.

The School acquired the defibrillator as a result of a fundraising initiative by the Grange Community First Responders and Mayor of Grange to buy a number of defibrillators to donate to local organisations/businesses. The school then decided that there was no reason why it could not be housed so that anyone could use it out of hours should they need to. The benefits of using a defibrillator on someone having a cardiac arrest are two-fold: the electric shock delivered to the heart can shock it back into a normal rhythm or can re-start the heart by getting blood pumping around the body again.  In order to be able to use the machine, one needs to call the ambulance service for an access code which notifies them of the incident, instantly giving them more time to reach the patient.

Head Teacher, Dr Paul Williams, said: ‘Thanks to every organisation involved in getting this important equipment up and running; The Mayor of Grange, Grange Community First Responders, North West Ambulance Trust, Cumbria County Council Fire Service and Cartmel Village Society.  With the funding received from the Village Society, we were able to buy a box and fix on an outside wall where it can be accessed for the benefit of the local community’. 

According to a 2013 survey carried out by the Arrhythmia Alliance, the chance of survival when receiving a combination of CPR and defibrillator is 50%, compared with 9% where only CPR is administered.

John Batty, Treasurer of the Cartmel Village Society, said: ‘Young footballer Fabrice Muamba’s heart stopping incident made us all more aware of this not so uncommon occurrence.  Other than the young people playing sport at Cartmel Priory CofE School, Cartmel has cricket and football teams and there are also more than 60,000 visitors a year.  Cartmel Village Society was thrilled to be able to fund the box housing the defibrillator making it available to anyone who may need it’.

For more information on Cardiac Arrhythmia and defibrillators, visit the British Heart Foundation on
To donate to the Cumbria Council's '100 Defibrillators in 100 days' visit or call 01228 221008.  Donations can be made through the Cumberland Building Society.
If you wish to join or find out more on the work of the Cartmel Village Society, please email: or call 015395 38821.

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Cartmel in Bloom presented their vision to an enthusiastic audience in February 2014 at the Grandstand of the iconic Cartmel Racecourse.

David Crabtree Cartmel in Bloom Chair outlined his organisation’s ideas for enhancing the village through horticulture.  He emphasised the benefits of “pulling together” when discussing matters such as the reduction of street clutter, protecting the heritage of Cartmel and improving awareness of environmental and recycling issues.   David and the Group suggested that the establishment of a sustainable maintenance program and achieving wider community involvement would benefit everybody living, working and visiting Cartmel.

Cartmel businesses, representatives of the Parish, District and County Councils as well as residents and volunteers listened intently as a variety of suggestions were discussed and the Committee were delighted to answer questions following the talk.

David thanked Sarah Byrne, Garden Designer and Landscape Horticulturalist of Sarah Byrne Limited for her professional advice and expertise to help Cartmel in Bloom to develop their vision.
Sarah has also agreed to provide horticultural and design advice to businesses in Cartmel as part of her commitment to Cartmel In Bloom and is already working alongside Jonathan Garratt,  Manager of Cartmel Racecourse to locate their new show garden.

David Khan who owns local leisure parks announced that Hoseasons had identified The Lake District as their most requested area and Cartmel as their most successful destination.  Mr Khan said ”Hoseasons recognised that Cartmel presents an idyllic  rural attraction and that’s why people return again and again”.

Parish Councillor, Rod Wilson commented that “Cartmel in Bloom’s vision now needs to be shared with as many people as possible”.

Jonathan Garratt was happy to organise and host the event to the delight of the Cartmel In Bloom Group who appreciate the combination of the stylish and comfortable environment of the Grandstand with the added catering and presenting facilities, particularly the large TV screens which made the presentation easy to follow.  Jonathan Garratt commented “It was really good to see so many people coming together. I feel that the programme of activities promoted by Cartmel in Bloom will be truly life enhancing for the community.”

The Cheese was generously donated by Cartmel Cheeses, stalwart supporters of Cartmel In Bloom and the wine by WineTime of Greenlands Farm Village at Tewitfield.

Success in Cumbria and Britain in Bloom competitions can only add to Cartmel’s achievements and now they are going for gold!

Contacts: Tel: 015395 38821   Tel: 015395 36340

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The Cartmel Village Society held their AGM on 12th November 2013 in the Village Hall and a new committee has been elected.  After many years of service, Tiffany Hunt and Mike and Lynn Gibbons resigned and David Crabtree (Chairman) Barry Dean (Vice Chairman) and John Batty (Treasurer) were elected.   

 Apart from funding worthwhile projects, the Cartmel Village Society, in collaboration with the Parish Council, local authorities and other bodies, will continue to play an active role in village life and participate in projects such as the Cartmel Township Initiative and the Cartmel Conservation Plan.

 Should you wish to be kept updated of the Cartmel Village Society's actions, find out how you can get involved or request funding, please email David Crabtree ( or John Batty (    

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Cartmel are the tidiest village in Cumbria

At the recent ‘Cumbria in Bloom Awards Ceremony’ Cartmel won the trophy for the tidiest village together with the trophy for the Best Sustainable Development for the region.

To add to these awards they also gained a Silver Gilt and Runner - up in the Best Village category.  

In an awards ceremony held at Maryport on 6 September, Linda (Secretary) & David (Treasurer) Crabtree of the Cartmel In Bloom Group walked away smiling, laden with many awards which reflect the hard work of all those volunteers who have worked tirelessly in the last twelve months to keep Cartmel clean, green and beautiful.

In the The Young People's Award category, the pupils of the Cartmel Primary School were complimented for the design and construction of three mosaic panels adorning the Cartmel bus shelter and which in the judges’ opinion “created a bit of local history by accurately depicting aspects of rural life of the area

Both the Cartmel Primary and Priory Schools won awards in the Schools Gardening Competition.

The new Priory Church Garden, the Town End Meadow borders and the River Eea Walkway & Wildflower Scheme all won awards under the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ scheme.  

The judges commented “The Cartmel in Bloom Group, established in 2011 has rapidly expanded to reach all sectors of the community. The results speak for themselves, an immaculate village of which the community is obviously proud and the thousands of visitors very appreciative of the efforts. It is very difficult to single out the contribution of any particular sector or project as all combine to create an entry in the Cumbria in Bloom competition which establishes a benchmark to which to aspire”.

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NEW CARTMEL B&B at Greenbank Farm

Greenbank Farm are now offering B&B in a new annex to the beautiful late 16th/early 17th century farmhouse. Greenbank Farm stands in 70 acres of grazing land interspersed with small areas of ancient woodland. The property sits in a prominent elevated position boasting one of the best views of the beautiful Cartmel Valley and picturesque Cartmel village. Owners, Sandy & Sylvia Alexander offer two double B&B rooms: Farm View - The main bedroom, with en-suite bath and shower room, has its own entrance at the rear of the farmhouse and can be a double or twin depending on your requirements. Valley View - A double bedroom with en-suite shower room. The suite is accessed through the main house. Greenbank Farm is also home of the Black Horses.

Greenbank Farm B&B   Greenbank Farm B&B

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Cartmel a Silver winner at Britain In Bloom

Sandra and Philip Pascall, members of the Cartmel In Bloom Group, attended the awards ceremony with the Groups Treasurer David Crabtree at Cleethorpes last Saturday and were delighted to receive Cartmel’s award! 

This is in addition to the Tidiest Village award and the trophy for the Best Sustainable Development for the region already won in this year’s Cumbria In Bloom.

 The RHS judges had visited Cartmel on August 1 and very much enjoyed their tour of the village which concluded with a buffet reception at the Priory with speeches from the Cartmel In Bloom Campaign’s Patron, Lord Cavendish, and the Group’s chair, Tiffany Hunt as well as food donated by many Cartmel hospitality businesses including L’Enclume.

 Amongst their comments, the judges said about their visit:

 ‘Cartmel is a beautiful village in which to live and visit. The Bloom Group here are engaging in environmental and floral projects that make a real difference, brightening up and improving the place for all. They have started on the second phase of their journey in their Bloom campaign with strategic plans that they are beginning to realise by engaging their partners. Participation in the campaign is very strong and obvious demonstrating the commitment of those involved all the year through. We loved our ‘ribbiting’ visit to the school even if we were upstaged by a frog’.

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NW Good Food Guide Entries 2014: Rogan's Run

Simon Rogan & General Manager of The Midland, Mike Magrane

(Photo: Simon Rogan left, with General Manager of The Midland, Mike Magrane)

It's been Simon Rogan's Year when it comes to awards, and they just keep coming!
In the NW Good Food Guide Entries 2014, Rogan's The French has just won 'best new entry', L'Enclume beats Fat Duck to best in the country.
Simon Rogan’s restaurant The French, based at the Midland Hotel, has also been awarded the impressive accolade of Best New Entry in the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2014. 
The restaurant has gone straight into the guide’s Top 50 restaurant listing, making L’Enclume the best restaurant in the country according to the Good Food Guide 2014.

Read more at:

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Cartmel Show 7 Aug 2013
Cartmel Show 2013   Cartmel Show 2013
Cartmel Show 7 Aug 2013

For many more images of this year's Cartmel Show - Join Cartmel Medieval Village on Facebook

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NEW ARRIVAL IN THE VILLAGE - Sjouke the Friesian Foal

NEAR tragedy was averted by a fast acting vet at Cartmel’s Black Horses Friesian Stud when their MODEL Friesian mare, Femma L, gave birth to a female foal on Sunday July 7.

Femma and her new foal Sjouke

Owner, Tracey Venter, said: “We were concerned that Femma had suffered a difficult pregnancy so we called out the vet from Frame, Swift & Partners, and we are so thankful we did as it suddenly turned into a life-threatening situation.”

The vet, Jess Gillon, arrived just minutes after the foal was born and found himself dealing with a uterine prolapse.

“There was so much blood and it looked like the mare was slipping away from us, so Jess had to work fast to expertly separate the placenta from the uterus, before easing the organ back inside Femma,” Tracey explained. “He kept us calm throughout and worked with such great care and we cannot thank him enough for saving her life.”

The female foal was given a clean bill of health and named Sjouke fan de Groenbank.


“Femma has made a remarkable recovery and will be resting in the stable whilst she nurses Sjouke, but we have allowed them out briefly to stretch their legs in the sunshine,” said Tracey. “Although Femma’s natural breeding days are now over, we may consider an embryo transfer in the future, where the foal would be carried by a surrogate recipient mare, and this is something we have successfully done in the past.”

For information about carriage rides around Cartmel village in this beautiful summer weather go to the Black Horses website

Tracey Venter is the President of the Friesian Horse Society of Great Britain & Ireland, who have just launched a new website full of fascinating information about the Friesian breed:

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Simon Rogan

Simon Rogan scored doubles at the 30th Cateys 2013 awards, collecting two trophies at the hospitality industry’s most prestigious awards ceremony in July. Mr Rogan, chef-patron of L’Enclume in Cartmel, won the Chef Award, as well as Restaurateur of the Year – Independent.

The awards keep on coming with Mr Rogan rpicking up the Tourism Personality of the Year accolade at Cumbria Tourism’s AGM.

The man behind L’Enclume, Rogan and Co and Roganic was presented with the award, which recognises an individual’s service to tourism. Previous winners have included mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington and writer and journalist Hunter Davies.

Simon Bennett, chairman of the commercial members committee, said: “We wish to congratulate Simon Rogan on being presented with the Bernard Gooch Award for his outstanding contribution to the visitor economy of Cumbria and we look forward to hearing a little about his future plans for L’Enclume and further developing Cumbria’s food offer.’’

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Preparing for Britain in Bloom 2013 - Support Cartmel In Bloom

Part of our success in the forthcoming Britain In Bloom judging will be our performance in communicating the work with do with horticulture, community and environment.   

In addition to the website,  we now have a Facebook page the success of which will be seen by the judges partly in terms of how many people see it or are linked to it.

We would be grateful if, as part of your friendship and support towards us,  you could take a minute to see the page and ‘like’ it or even better become a friend or ask people you know who are related, visit or like Cartmel to do the same.


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The Cartmel in Bloom Group has joined forces with Simon Rogan of L’Enclume to create a dish in celebration of Edible Britain, which is this year’s theme for RHS’ Britain In Bloom Award.

The dish called ‘Spring Offerings’ showcases the very best seasonal vegetables, leaves, herbs and flowers grown at Simon’s Cartmel farm, bringing together different tastes, textures and temperatures. It will be served to diners at L’Enclume’s research and development kitchen – ‘Aulis’ – and at Simon’s newest restaurant – ‘The French’ at The Midland Hotel – in Manchester. 

Mr Rogan said: “The dish perfectly represents our food philosophy, drawing on the very best of our own seasonal produce. It’s a real celebration of stunning seasonal ingredients and captures the theme of Edible Britain perfectly.
“Our aim is to grow and forage the most amazing produce, we are working with a quality and variety that you simply cannot buy, to cook the best we must grow the best. Our farm here in Cartmel was built by chefs and is run by chefs, this unique approach gives us ultimate control of our product”

Cartmel Primary school are also getting involved with regular school trips to the farm and hands-on workshops in which pupils create their own grow projects to take back to their vegetable garden at the school.

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Yew Tree Barn - The Big Change

Yew Tree Barn at Low Newton has been busy revamping the displays upstairs to downstairs & vice versa!

They've been busy moving masses of stock and have painted, cleaned, titivated before moving everything around for a complete re-display of relocation.

Pamela and Clive Wilson are now delighted to able to greet people as they arrive, and it's easier to pop in for the smaller purchase and much better to browse in the spacious upstairs galleries. 

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284 questionnaires were completed. 64% of respondents were aged 51 or over. 69% had lived in the area for at least 11 years. Given the length of the questionnaire some people did not answer all questions.

Clearly there were high levels of satisfaction with living in this area. Time and again respondents commented on the quality of the countryside, its scenery and its peace and quiet. Equally they valued the nature of the community itself and the quality of village life including its relatively crime free nature.

The most frequently voiced hope for the future was that the area and the respondent’s village would stay very much the same. Where change was necessary, it should be for such things as improvements in parking and some small scale provision of affordable homes for local families. The local countryside should be preserved from intrusions such as significant wind farm development and the villages should not become more commercialised than they are. The community needed to remain vibrant with young families continuing to live here.

On the whole respondents appreciated how their village looked and how its buildings were cared for. However, one criticism was pavement clutter, including A boards. Open spaces within the villages were greatly valued - 91% respondents said such spaces were very or fairly important. The surrounding countryside was if anything even more important to people. Nobody ticked the not at all important option, either for open spaces within the villages or more widely.

As regards green issues, although major infrastructure projects were strongly opposed, interest was nevertheless expressed in local renewable energy development: 54% of respondents felt this was very or fairly important. There was quite a strong demand for improved recycling arrangements.

Respondents viewed road traffic (57%), parking (53%) and safety (39%) as serious concerns, which were very much intertwined. These issues particularly affected the centre of the villages but also, to an extent, the wider area. The volume and speed of traffic were a concern and a reduced speed limit, particularly within the villages, was the most supported of the presented options.

Car parking was a significant problem, especially in the centre of the villages, where pedestrians felt particularly vulnerable. It is a daily issue and it applies all year round. Indiscriminate parking was one of the main bugbears. A range of solutions was supported, the most popular being additional parking provision on the edge of the villages.

Housing was a burning issue. It was felt that any housing development should be small scale: 57% were in favour of just 1 to 3 houses, whereas just 9% would support developments of 10 or more. On the other hand, the great majority of respondents showed strong support for affordable housing, 75% regarding this as very or fairly important. 71% of respondents supported the principle of building for local occupancy, particularly for people connected with the parish.

The value of having local businesses was recognised and the importance of attracting visitors was understood. Local events were popular and well supported  (67%), ranging from small community based events to the larger scale shows, festivals and race meetings. The vast majority of people felt the number of events should not increase beyond the current level, concerns being expressed by some about noise and, more significantly, road congestion.

Local amenities and services were generally well thought of. However, the gritting of roads and particularly pavements was regarded as unsatisfactory by a majority of  respondents: 39% were satisfied against 45% dissatisfied with road gritting; and just 13% were satisfied against 54% dissatisfied with pavement gritting. A narrow majority thought road maintenance satisfactory. Many people were unhappy about dog fouling (32% satisfied with the situation compared with 40% dissatisfied).

Public transport – especially the bus service - was poorly rated to the extent that 18% of respondents said there was nothing which could induce them to use it more often. 70% regarded it as easier to use a car and 25% even thought it easier to walk or cycle than use public transport. Services running at times needed (for example, for getting to work) and with better connections would help.

Provision of faster broadband was supported by 75% of people, 46% seeing this as very important.

There is a general feeling that the needs of particular groups in our community are at least reasonably well cared for, though quite large numbers chose not to offer a judgement. 52% of people were satisfied with how older people are cared for compared with 6% dissatisfied. For families the breakdown was 39% as against 5%, for people with disabilities 26% as against 10% and for younger people 26% as against 17%. A variety of suggestions was offered for improving the picture, including the views of young people from the local primary schools and of a small number from Cartmel Priory School.

The full plan draws out a number of ways in which the responses of Allithwaite and Cartmel residents differed from each other. Obviously some of these differences will want to be reflected in the action plan to be drawn up in the New Year.

Community Plan group
December 2012

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Cartmel in Bloom’s herbal fusion

‘Cartmel in Bloom’ is living proof that the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) ‘Britain in Bloom’ campaign is much more than immaculate gardens and pretty floral displays.
Taking on board the theme ‘Edibles’, which the RHS is promoting in 2013, the Group have initiated and will continue to facilitate a scheme of close collaboration between the coveted, 2 Michelin star L’Enclume restaurant and the Cartmel Primary School involving learning and growing herbs by the pupils at Simon Rogan’s Cartmel farm.
Following meetings with Dan Cox, director of Aulis RD the research facility behind L'Enclume , thirty pupils were invited to visit the farm.  Initially, they learnt about the activities at the farm and the herbs & vegetables grown there. In the Spring they will be helped to grow their own herbs so that they may use them in their cooking classes.
Sarah Firth, Head teacher of Cartmel Primary explained:
“We have a well established school kitchen garden that has been developed over the past few years with support from both parents and members of the local community. Our staff and children are very keen to be involved in this project which we believe will continue to motivate our children to grow and eat their own herbs and even provide them for use in our school kitchen.

Dan Cox said:
“We will create a special area at the farm where the children can cultivate their own herbs in trays, each labelled with their own name.  At the right time, the herbs will be transferred to the school garden for the pupils to take full ownership.  Simon Rogan and all of us at L’Enclume love using herbs and it will be our pleasure to organise demos and short talks to the pupils about the benefits and value of herbs.  Who knows: One of these youngsters may one day be working with us!”
The intention is for the project to be incorporated in the school blog and a video to be made of the children at work.
David Crabtree, Treasurer of Cartmel in Bloom who facilitates this project said: We all feel very passionately about bringing different groups of the community together and this kind of project not only honours this year’s Britain in Bloom theme of herbs, but also has great educational value for the youngsters of Cartmel. 

Notes to the editor:  For immediate release
Contact Tiffany Hunt on 07786 112 048 or David Crabtree on 015395 34840

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NEWS 2012

October 2012

Cartmel village was winner of numerous 'Cumbria in Bloom' awards in 2011, and has just been awarded the Silver Gilt accolade in the 2012 Britain In Bloom awards.

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October 2012

CELEBRITY chef Simon Rogan has taken on a Cartmel pub to add to his expanding culinary empire.

The 44-year-old star of BBC’s Great British Menu will add the village’s Pig and Whistle pub to his double Michelin-starred L’Enclume and Rogan & Co restaurants.

He is set to relaunch the venue, owned by Robinsons Brewery, this weekend after refurbishment.

Mr Rogan said: “Having 30 years’ experience and two other hospitality businesses within the village means we have a good hold on things generally.

“We are aware of the trends, peaks and troughs that come within this industry and especially within this area. We also know the locals and have socialised with them at length during our time here in Cartmel.

“They want a presence and a personality in their pubs, and this is exactly what we will give them at the Pig and Whistle.

“The first thing our guests ask us when they check into our accommodation at L’Enclume is, ‘Where can we go for a good drink?’ In the past we have always recommended other people’s pubs, now we can recommend our own.”

The Pig and Whistle has been Mr Rogan’s local pub since he and partner Penny Tapsell moved to the village 10 years ago.

He added: “It’s one of four pubs in the village. It has lots of charm, it’s small and quaint and when it came up for grabs we felt we had to have it.

“And best of all, it’s just a stone’s throw away from our own front door.”

Mr Rogan, already has future plans for the venue, including new carpets, curtains and furniture, a new bar area, and a possible conservatory.

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July 2012

Cartmel’s first entry into Britain in Bloom competition was judged on 31 July 2012.

Two Britain in Bloom judges visited Cartmel to assess their entry in the Britain In Bloom competition.

While Cartmel has been a past multi-award winner in the Cumbria in Bloom competition, the village is competing nationally for the first time and is one of six villages hoping for the ‘Best Village’ trophy.

“The Cartmel In Bloom Group and a dedicated group of volunteers with support from members of the community of all ages have worked extremely hard over the past year to prepare for the judges’ visit” said Tiffany Hunt, Chair of Cartmel In Bloom Group. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed for sunshine on the judging day so that the Britain in Bloom judges will be impressed by Cartmel at its summer best.”

Lord Cavendish DL, Patron of Cartmel In Bloom, expressed his support saying: “I personally have always found over many years involvement with plants that it has brought me joy and peace of mind.  Horticulture bestows great benefits on those engage with it.  Cartmel enters this competition with all my warmest best wishes.”

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July 2012


The much anticipated Hales of Cartmel luxury confectioners opened its doors on Saturday May 26 to the delight of Cartmel locals and tourists alike.

Located in the foodie village of Cartmel, Hales of Cartmel can be found in Ye Priory Shoppe on Devonshire Square. Known for decades as the place to go for ice cream and sweets in Cartmel village, the shop has now been restored to its former glory.

After much hard-work and dedication, local Grange-over- Sands husband and wife team Bill and Karen Hale  have realised their dream to set up a family business and have created a high-end sweet and chocolate shop.

Bill Hale said:  “Returning Ye Priory Shoppe to a place where people can go to enjoy the finest Lakes ice cream, chocolates, sweets and confectionery fills us with immense pride.”

The left hand side of the of the shop stocks traditional sweets, coffee, ice cream, biscuits , and to the right, an exquisite haven of the finest loose and boxed chocolates, speciality cakes and confectionery from around the world.

Driven by their love of the finest quality chocolate, example brands include the exclusive Artisan du Chocolate, Charbonnel et Walker, Prestat  and their own ‘Hales of Cartmel’ range of hand-crafted chocolates. Bringing luxury products that can usually only be sourced in the fine food halls and shops of exclusive city centre stores to the picturesque village of Cartmel.

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June 2012

'L'Enclume's owner and head chef triumphed in a cooking programme after an exciting week of kitchen drama.

Simon Rogan, of Cartmel's L'Enclume, battled it out with Aiden Byrne and Johnnie Mountain in the North West heats of BBC2's Great British Menu. He faced a tough week of competition as the trio fought to get to the national finals and win the once-in-a-lifetime prize - to see part of their menu served at an Olympic banquet hosted by legendary rower Sir Steve Redgrave. One of the judges Oliver Peyton described Simonís grilled salad starter, with truffle custard, cheese foam and cobnut crisp, as a 'very, very, very sophisticated dish'.

The Cumbrian culinary maestro also received great comments for his other plates, with his lobster and sweet apple being described as a 'beautiful combination', and his suckling pig as 'delicious'. To complete the praise, Mr Peyton said the poached pear dessert, featuring South Lakeland rosehips, was 'just what we are looking for.'

Simon Rogan said: 'The ingredients were everything. I used the best of the best from Cumbria and I think this played a big part in my success.'

Whether or not he wins the nationals, conniseurs of fine food continue to flock to the Michelin Star rated L'Enclume, which also featured in Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's 2010 TV show, The Trip.

Simon Rogan  

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Britain in Bloom 2012

Cartmel was the winner of 5 awards in Cumbria In Bloom 2011 and is now one of six RHS Britain In Bloom Village finalists for 2012. See below for information and latest news, and have a look at the new Cartmel In Bloom website:

‘I am delighted to be a Patron of Cartmel In Bloom. Very many thanks to all those who have already supported us in making such a good start to our campaign’ – Eric Robson, author and broadcaster

RHS Britain in Bloom is one of Europe’s largest horticultural campaigns. More than 1,100 cities, towns and villages participate each year to show off their achievements in environmental responsibility, community participation and horticultural achievement. Further information on RHS and the Britain In Bloom campaign can be found on


April 2012
In line with its aim to involve as much of the village as possible in the village’s Britain-in-Bloom entry, the Cartmel In Bloom Group invited Dr Paul Williams, Headmaster of the Cartmel Priory Church of England School, to set the pupils a number of projects to help them to prepare for the competition.  Dr Williams willingly agreed and the Group wasdelighted to receive 10 website designs created by the Year 10 ICT classes.  The best three of these were selected and their designers received awards in a brief ceremony held at the school. 

The three short-listed entries were all developed by girls and the winning website design was submitted by Nicole Head, who was presented with her award by Tiffany Hunt, Chair of the Cartmel In Bloom Group.  It is intended that the Cartmel In Bloom website will go live over the weekend of  April 14th.

In addition to the website, the school is involved in a number of other eco projects as part of the Cartmel In Bloom campaign.  These include the creation of a wormery, bat boxes, a wild flower meadow in the school grounds and a wild flower survey of the area, which will be published in the Cartmel In Bloom website.

Priory and allotments


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Freelance writer, Sandy Kitching has written a 4 page article on her experiences with Cartmel's Black Horses. Magazines are FREE. Pick one up in the Village Shop or Cartmel Cheeses. Or you can look online on the Westmorland Gazette website.

Sandy Kitching and Jolanda from Black Horses


Freelance writer, Sandy Kitching has penned a 5 page article on Cartmel village. Magazines are FREE. Pick one up in the Village Shop or Cartmel Cheeses. Or you can look online on the Westmorland Gazette website. Photo Sandy Kitching.

Cartmel from the Priory tower

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Sept 2011


Green-fingered representatives from Cartmel's Village Society and Cartmel Allotment Association returned home with a car full of trophies after the Cumbria In Bloom Award ceremony on Monday night!

Strikes, Houghton Hall Trophy for Best Village: Cartmel

Lakeland Limited Trophy, Best in Commercial: Cavendish Arms, Cartmel

Continental Landscapes Trophy, Special Category: Cartmel Allotments Association

Friends of Lake District Trophy, Best Sustainable Development: Morland and Cartmel

Doreen Parsons Young Persons Trophy, Best Project by Youngsters: Cartmel Primary School

Alan Heath, Cumbria in Bloom chairman, said: “These awards really bring home what being part of a community is all about.
“The people who take part all say that entering the competition has brought their community together and helped them to develop community spirit.
“I would like to pay tribute to everyone who entered this year, all the winners and the committee members and judges who give so much time and energy and without whom this would not be possible.”

Congratulations go to everyone in the community who helped make our village one to be truly proud of.

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June 19

The Cartmel Trust was formed in 2007 to preserve the historical, architectural and natural heritage of the village and its surrounding area.  It has since merged with the Cartmel Amenities Trust and has been involved in establishing the children’s play park, the monthly Cartmel Food Market, and organising the popular annual Guy Fawkes bonfire and fireworks.  The trustees currently are Charles Godwin (chairman), Michael Rawsthorn, David Unsworth, Lesley Unsworth and Canon Robert Bailey, who are supported by several keen younger members of the community.  The trust would welcome any new volunteers and donations to help to further its work.

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June 07


Tracey at Rynardt Venter, who own the Black Horses at Greenbank Farm have completed a new website for their wedding and village carriage ride services.

Working with local designer, Sandy Kitching, from Early Bird Design Associates, they have achieved a website packed with information about the important Friesian breeding programme, the horses in their care and horses for sale.

NEW for 2001, Tracey and Rynardt are offering the opportunity for experienced riders to come and have a Frieisan Experience, hacking over the Cartmel Fells.

Described by one viewer as "a magnificent website for magnificent horses" the website is packed with stunning photographs and lots of information about the breed.

And... Femma has given birth to a long legged filly foal called Jolanda. See their website for pictures.

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Cartmel businesses featured in the June 2011 edition of The Lancashire Magazine. Photos below taken by Darren Andrews

Cartmel cheeses David and Kelly Unsworth
Liz Parkin from Bread Shed Simon Rogan from Lenclume

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Cartmel Sheepy Village Raises nearly £11,000 for Bay Search & Rescue

Following the Cartmel Sheepy Trail and the Grand Sheep Auction on Saturday 17 July, nearly £10,000 has been raised for BS&R, and the barometer is still rising. 14 sheep were auctioned for an average of £160 each, along with other numerous lots donated from local businesses. 2011 Calendars are on sale in the village for £5 with all proceeds going to the charity. Plans are underway for Cartmel Sheepy Village 2011 and information on how to get involved is on the official website:

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High Speed Broadband for the Cartmel Valley

Due to the distance from the exchange at Grange, many households and businesses in the Cartmel Valley have either no broadband or slow speed provision.  Anna Jones from Barber Green has been campaigning to see what can be done. Unfortunately, while BT has pledged to review the situation, it has no plans to do so before 2015.  Happily, there is a potential alternative. 

Kencomp Internet is a company that specialises in providing high speed internet via microwave radio transmitters, thus removing the need for phone lines altogether.  They have already implemented solutions for several communities in and around Kendal. They offer a range of packages for home and business with speeds of 10, 20 or 50 Mb per second.  (Many existing broadband services in the area are 1Mb /s or lower). They also guarantee contention (the maximum number connections competing for the same bandwidth at any time, so essentially a threshold for minimum performance) at 50 for home services and 20 for business packages. By contrast, BT no longer guarantee contention.

Kencomp’s standard household package is £24.99 per month (incl VAT) and standard business package is £35 per month (excl VAT).  There is also a one off equipment and installation cost of £350 which is reduced to half price - £175 - if you order before August 31st 2010. 

However, in order to provide a service at all, Kencomp must extend their radio wave network out to the Cartmel Valley.  They will bear all the expense of doing this but will only go ahead if at least 60 households place orders (obviously if the project does not go ahead any orders will be cancelled and no-one will be charged anything).
For many households in the Cartmel Valley this may be the only opportunity to get high speed broadband in the foreseeable future.  It also offers a very attractive upgrade in terms of speeds for households and businesses within Cartmel itself.

For more information, please contact Kencomp Internet on 01539 898 145 or visit their website at  Alternatively, download the enquiry form below and post it to: Kencomp Internet, Kerian House, 64 Stramongate, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4BD

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April 20 2011

From Lower Allithwaite Parish Community Plan Group

Your Community Needs You!

Over the next year or so a Community Plan is being put together. To make this happen an action group has been set up by your local Parish Council, Lower Allithwaite, bringing in a number of individuals representing different sections of the local community.

Across the country, parishes are being encouraged to draw up Community – or Parish – Plans. The intention is to clarify and set out local priorities so that spending decisions are better informed and outside bodies (like District and County Councils) can be better persuaded to help fulfil the community’s objectives.

In setting out our collective priorities for the future we are basically asking: What would people like to see changed for the better?  What do they most value which they definitely would not want changed?

We all know we live in a beautiful corner of England. We also know the kinds of threats which seem at times to crowd in on us here. Now is your chance to make a contribution to the Parish’s future, by having your say!  Only by hearing from as many people as possible will we be able to come up with a Plan that is really ‘owned’ by the community at large.

Over the next few months the Community Plan group will be making contact with various sections of the twin communities of Cartmel and Allithwaite in order to spread the message, and get as much feedback as possible. Other ways of getting feedback include suggestion boxes, consultation events and individual questionnaires.  We will also use various ways to keep you updated.

Once priorities have been agreed, the Plan will need to set out how these may be best achieved – step by step, with timescales and details of those expected to undertake the action. Again the hope is to involve as many people as possible in the process of drawing up the action plan.

Fortunately we are not starting with a completely blank sheet. A Parish Statement, a sort of simplified version of a Community Plan, was drawn up back in 2008-9 after canvassing local views. Then in February of this year an open morning/afternoon was organised in Allithwaite/Cartmel, which many people attended, mainly focusing on the SLDC planning proposals on land allocation for building development.  So there are already some useful ideas to build on.

The action group is anxious for you to share your thoughts with them right from the start. They would also appreciate volunteers who might lend a hand with the work entailed in the coming weeks. If you are interested in helping - or if you already have some views on what local priorities should be – then please contact one of the following:

Hazel Allen (; tel 36497).
David Huggett (; tel 36378)
Philip Pascall (; tel 36207)
Mary Wilson (; tel 36673)
John Evans (; tel 36457)
Dai Hunt (; tel 36448)
Tiffany Hunt (; tel 36302).
Barbara Copeland (; tel 33165

The group and the Parish Council both look forward to hearing from you and meeting as many of you as possible over the coming weeks and months.

David Huggett
Chairman, Lower Allithwaite Parish Council


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