From my home in Ulverston, I visited Kendal on Thursday, parking my car on the Abbott Hall car park.

As I paid for three hours parking, I was approached by a lady, clearly in distress, asking me to think twice before parking here, as she had had 2 tyres slashed on her car!

My initial emotion was to feel sorry for her misfortune, then anger that this could happen in my current home county (a proud Lancastrian by birth) followed by embarrassment that she had visited our area, and been a victim of this senseless and malicious act.

I noticed in her car, a parking permit for a local hotel, declaring her a visitor, was this the reason she was targeted? She told me her landlady said this wasn't an isolated incident.

Working in the catering and hospitality industry myself, with a small business employing six, and supplementing my income with a job at a local tourist attraction, I am acutely aware that at this particular time, businesses need all the visitors we can get just to survive the year, never mind any further ahead, and that sadly, some won't make it.

Whilst I can understand, and share, the fear and frustration around how people perceive, and are dealing with Covid - indeed it seems sometimes that visitors 'on holiday' feel they can take a break from these restrictions too - without this, often challenging, boost to our local economy, our county would, and could still be, a very different place to live and work.

Can we do better than despicable acts to 'welcome' visitors, or is this unprecedented time in all our histories set to define us?

Sue Jones

Arrad Foot, Ulverston