Lake District World Heritage Status.

The Lake District was awarded World Heritage Status on Sunday the 9th July. As the tension leading up to Unesco's decision was palpable we went out to explore one of the tributary valleys close to Sharrow Bay, walking along the Ullswater Way to Fusedale. Scoured by glaciers, the steep v-shaped valley is home to one farm, still grazed by descendants of the Herdwicks who helped shape this landscape over centuries. The path leads to the head of the valley past old mine workings, alongside a series of falls fringed with wild flowers and ferns, before looping round at the top to join the old Roman Road - High Street, which runs along the top of Ullswater's Eastern Fells, (accompanied by the singing of Skylarks). The ascent to Loadpot Hill throws a jumble of whale backed hills into the view, leading the eye to Helvellyn and Blencathra in a wide sweep along the horizon. Skirting along the top of the fells above Sharrow Bay past Bonscale Pike to Arthur's Pike. Raven Crag was living up to its name as this year's young were being introduced to the skills of mountain living - the first rule of which seems to be silently investigate anyone who may have a picnic. You can feel them thinking. The descent towards Barton Fells opens out a vast panorama, from the Pennines walling the Eden Valley on the right, up to the Scottish Mountains visible over the Solway Firth, and back round to the Lakes Mountains over Ullswater. The tops here are home to a notable stone circle, and a herd of wild Fell Ponies - plus an innovative agricultural project using bracken and Herdwick wool to produce an RHS award winning peat free compost. Head further enough East over the brow of the hills and you arrive at Uncle Monty's holiday home, of 'Withnail and I' fame. The final stretch turned back on itself, below the fells again to descend past the Wainwright Stone and back to home. As we've revealed, the news was good - The Lake District is one of the World's newest Heritage Sites. It felt right to pay tribute to the past that shaped the present by getting out into Ullswater's beautiful, unspoilt landscape. (We are biased, as the author of this piece has a Lakes heritage stretching back centuries, we helped make it look like this).