THE Lake District National Park could be extended into parts of Furness under new plans.

Friends of the Lake District has submitted a request to extend the southern boundary of the national park to bosses at Natural England.

It incorporates the area between Silecroft and Grange and the Furness and Cartmel peninsulas, stopping at the north of Ulverston.

The size of the national park would be increased by around six per cent under the proposals.

Residents in Ulverston, Broughton, Lowick, Grange and Millom are due to consulted with on the plans at a number of events over the summer.

David Savage, chairman of the Southern Boundary Partnership said: “National Park designation will help to ensure that our spectacular landscape is properly valued and managed appropriately, but it will also deliver a means to positively influence the health of our communities and create an environment that enhances visitor spending and attract new businesses which can help our communities to thrive, but also enhance residents’ quality of life."

Background research was undertaken by Friends’ policy officer Dr Jan Darrall and Frank Lee, an external consultant who was involved in similar work which helped establish the Lakes to Dales parks’ extensions in 2016.

Douglas Chalmers, chief executive of Friends of the Lake District, said: “Our research outcomes have vindicated the views of the communities and parish councils in this area.

"These communities know they live and work in a landscape of spectacular quality.

"Our independent assessment provides the evidence confirming that this landscape is of the quality affording, and deserving of, national park status.”

The final decision on any extension will rest with Natural England and the Government's environment secretary but is estimated to take a considerable length of time.

The Southern Boundary Partnership has organised a number of "Community Conversation" events this summer allowing residents to view and discuss the plans submitted.