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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Action group looking to take over Cumbrian lake

A newly-formed group which is working to spruce up Copeland hopes to take over the running of a popular lake.

Lee Butterworth photo
Lee Butterworth

The man behind Copeland Action Group (CAG), Lee Butterworth, has been in talks with the county council about transferring ownership of Longlands Lake to the group.

The council is urging community groups interested in the challenge of owning the local beauty spot, which sits between Egremont and Cleator, to come forward.

Since setting up CAG four weeks ago, Lee and his scores of volunteers, have been going around Copeland cleaning up streets, parks and play areas.

Lee, who owns Xtreme Fitness at Lillyhall, said he hopes to take on the lake and is already planning ways to improve it and working with the council to secure a transfer. Lee, who lives at Woodend, said: “Longlands Lake is just at the bottom of my garden. I look at it every day and take my dogs around there every morning and evening.”

He plans to tidy up the picnic area and add a wooden swing and seesaw. He would also look into the possibility of a nature fitness trail, but added if he were to do this it would all be made from wood and blend in with the environment. He is also meeting with a local angling club and Knoxwood Wildlife Rescue Trust to see if they can offer any support.

Expressing an interest in taking over the site, is just the first step. Mr Butterworth has to now produce a mini business plan. The council said that the process from an initial expression of interest in Longlands Lake to transfer usually takes about 12 months.

Since launching CAG on Facebook with an aim of bringing improvements to the area, Lee said he was “chuffed to bits” with the response. The group has been inundated with offers of support and help from volunteers and businesses.

“When I walk through town, people stop me and say what a great job we’re doing,” he said. “When I first started it, I thought I would be going to each area and meeting one or two people to help, but at least 30 different people turn up in each area – it’s great.”

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