The Lake District was once teeming with life, undisturbed by that most invasive of species - human beings. The valleys in particular were densely forested and marshy, which is evident at High Street, where Roman conquerors chose to build their road going over the fell rather than through the bog of the valley below.

Over thousands of years, the woodland was cut down and the larger wildlife was hunted to near or complete extinction. Lynx were hunted to extinction by 700AD. Bears died out in the 9th Century. Wolves lasted until the 14th Century, and beavers could still be found in Great Britain up until the 1500s.

No one has seriously suggested reintroducing large apex predators such as brown bears to the Lakes, but we could soon see the return of the beaver, as the Government recently gave permission for a trial reintroduction in the Eden Valley, and is currently considering a similar request for a trial in the south Lakes.

A balance must be struck, however. Plans to reintroduce Lynx elsewhere in the UK have often attracted fierce criticism from the farming community, and anything that could potentially harm the agricultural traditions of the Lake District, which stretch back thousands of years, must be weighed up against the benefits.

The Lakes is a playground to some, but a livelihood for others.