ORANGE paint pellets whizzed through the air as a stretch of Lakeland woodland became a war zone for weekend warriors more than 30 years ago.

The venue for the war games was near Lakeside on the westshore of Windermere, two miles from the Victorian steamer pier.

An article in The Mail, on Tuesday, November 1 in 1988, noted: “Some 30 medical representatives, bussed in from their company’s annual conference at the Old England Hotel, are firing excitedly at each other from behind trees.

“It’s all a game, played with toy guns and paint pellets. But it’s one which has again sparked controversy about increasing pressures on the Lake District National Park.

“It is only the third war game to be played at Lakeside. Lakeland War Games only acquired the 15-acre site last year and plans to use it in rotation with three others, near Ulverston on the coast road, at Cunsey near Hawkshead and at Sedbergh.”

A variety of councils and preservation groups were keeping a watch on this new activity which was limited to 28 days per year.

Lakeland War Games partner Nick Barber said £80,000 had been invested in the business.

He drew the next group of participants together - with a blast on a horn - ready to start the 25-minute session.

The article noted: “The team scramble off through browning bracken and saplings, making for the opposing side’s base camp.

“The object of the game is to capture the other side’s flag and bring it back to your camp without being shot. Two Barrow companies have booked already for the Christmas period.”

Mr Barber said some companies used the games for management training - some as “a sort of stress relief for yuppies.”

The orange pellets which splattered on both people and trees were made of vegetable dye.

The article noted: “Mr Barber sees war games as just one more alternative activity for people who visit the Lake District and not as a get-rich-quick gimmick."