The Northern Fells Group took over from the Northern Fells Rural Project, one of HRH The Prince of Wales’s three ‘Rural Revival Projects’ (launched in 1999) in November 2002, following the publication of two reports:
- Under the Stones – Northern Fells Rural Project review and conclusions, 2002
- Foot and Mouth in the Northern Fells– Effects of the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak in the Northern Fells area (by University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Centre for Rural Economy)
A Board of Trustees was set up with the responsibility of overseeing and managing the development of the project, made up of representatives of the 7 local parishes and other elected and co-opted individuals. The committee meets no less than four times a year and has in place a Treasurer, Chairperson and vice Chairperson. Trustees are elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.
The Community Minibus service was set up in 1999, followed by the Lend a Hand project, Youth activities and Benefits Awareness service. Social activities such as luncheon groups, keep fit, coffee drop-ins and tea dances followed.
The Village Agents project was launched in June 2010 with funding from the Rural Development Agency for England (Fells and Dales RDPE) and after a successful pilot scheme is now funded by The Big Lottery. The Men in Sheds Group was piloted in 2013 funded by Cumbria Community Foundation and now provides 2 sessions a week.
The Services all depend on a willing band of volunteers, who drive the minibus, provide Land a Hand support and also help at drop-ins, luncheon groups and other events the Group is involved in.