22 Acres of Private Woodland in Matterdale
Enjoy the privacy of Lucy’s 22 Acre Wood in Matterdale. It is just a 5 minute walk from the cottage, with its tranquil barn, a labyrinth and a BBQ area. Our stone horseshoe seat built high up in the woodland area has spectacular views over the Ullswater fells, the Aira Beck and waterfalls, woodland paths.
Walking quietly through Lucy’s wood might reward you with glimpses of the local roe deer residents, red squirrels, and teeming bird life. Numerous well placed benches allow pause for thought, and for you to take in the views over High Street and the Helvellyn range. We have recently added a Chimenea at the stone seat – an excellent heat source for night time star gazers. Take a wild swim in the deep pool in the Aira Beck, or spend an evening stargazing beside the chiminea.
History of Lucy’s Wood
When Lucy Farncombe died in 1996, age 17, she asked her parents to plant a woodland in her memory. All these years later, visitors explore a maze of paths through maturing deciduous trees, are surprised by quirky carvings and thought-provoking inscriptions, and enjoy the all-pervasive chuckle of water, catching glimpses of wildlife and being enchanted by birdsong. It is a place to treasure, not just because of its association with Lucy, but because of the value it has added to the landscape. Otters and roe deer pass through the plant-rich habitat. Snipe, woodcock, great crested newts, toads and dragonflies have all found their niche here.
Although Lucy’s Wood will always be associated with the death of Richard & Gina’s daughter, it is not a melancholy place. Indeed, the converse is true. The contrast with the wet fellside on which it was created could not be happier. It has taken on a momentum and life of its own. The woodland is a jewel set in history. Lucy’s Wood lies within a cultural landscape. It is overlooked by terraces high on the nearby Matterdale fellside where potatoes were grown during the last war. Tt has an intimate history of its own. Different successions of plants and animals have moved in over time.
Richard and Gina’s Journey
Penetrating Richard Farncombe’s history is a bit like exploring Lucy’s Wood. It is full of surprises. From his early working origins in a glass factory in the West Midlands, Richard became a director of an innovative outdoor equipment company, Survival Aids, in Morland. Eight years later he and wife Gina established Lakeland Romany Caravans, enabling visitors to take holidays in the slow-lane. The Romany caravans were built by Richard, painted by Gina and drawn by horses. Their holiday business even featured on ‘Blind Date’, hosted by Cilla Black. Richard and Gina’s career paths changed with the death of Lucy.
Richard trained to be an orthopaedic remedial masseur and Gina has become a professional artist. He rarely sits still for long. Whilst he gave up full time employment, he still practices one day per week. Richard has filled the new-found space with a mix of paragliding, which gives a different perspective on the landscape, and bereavement counselling. Richard derives considerable pleasure from being a volunteer for Cruse Bereavement Care, a national charity that offers support, advice and information to young people and adults when someone dies. I concluded that although Lucy’s Wood was inspired by Lucy, it has a much broader purpose. It is a harmonious place, where tranquillity and wildlife flourish side by side. As such, it is a model that Richard would love to see applied to the wider world in which we live.
Lucy’s Wood: Tread lightly, take memories and leave goodwill.
You will find Lucy’s Wood on the 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey at grid reference NY 3832 2180, alongside the headwaters of Aira Beck.