I’m Jack Ellerby, from North York Moors now based in Kendal. I’ve worked for 3 National Parks, Exmoor, Lake District and North York Moors. I’ve been involved in planning and land management work, and for the previous 13 years worked for Friends of the Lake District on their campaigns, managing projects, looking after woodlands, and working with volunteers.
I’m now developing my own landscaping business. The Lake District fells inspire me to live here, and I'm happiest in the outdoors, walking, fishing, bird watching or working on the hill. It’s in our most basic instinct to get up high so you can see your predators coming after you!! Climbing a mountain gives you a fitness level for life's challenges, and good exercise, good company and good food are a perfect day out.
I think I was a woodland creature in a former life, as I feel very at home in our native woodlands. They keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. I love it when there is a carpet of Bluebells in the spring and you get that overpowering scent. It’s similar on a moorland, sitting in the heather…
Cumbria has so much diversity we really are spoilt for choice here, and the combination of lakes and fells, molded by glacial activity, and of course, the hand of man in a unique way. My favourite valley is Borrowdale with the interplay of Oak woodlands, mountains and Derwentwater, Conservation is all about understanding and recognising the special features of our inheritance and making use of them in the present (and future) society and economy to maximise their value and condition.
The WHS designation will generate conflicting pressures and demands. What I'd like is for tourism and land management to be much better integrated to be mutually supportive to conserve the World Heritage Site values. So more farm tourism, more tourism activities and experiences connected with land management, farming, forestry and so on.
For example, FLD's 'Fell Care Days' get people from all backgrounds, places, ages working together to help conserve each valley. Visitors love this and it could be part of their holiday experience.
I'd like to see a good proportion of tourism/service sector business rates to be kept in Cumbria to support land management conservation, so there is a direct link between the two biggest rural industries.
Jack Ellerby, now based in Kendal has worked for 3 National Parks, Exmoor, Lake District and North York Moors and is developing his own landscaping business.