South Norwood has launched an unlikely challenge for the title of the nation’s Lake District.
The South Norwood Tourist Board, set up by friends last year while in the pub, has sent a letter to Cumbrian authorities demanding they hand over the name.
They pointed out that the Lake District has only one official lake, Bassenthwaite Lake, while Norwood has two – one located in the South Norwood Lake and Grounds and the other in the South Norwood Country Park.
Ian Bone, an associate of the South Norwood Tourist Board, said: “It’s all very well claiming the title and getting millions of visitors every year, but in the end it’s a false claim – the place only has one lake.
“Our lakes are gorgeous and underused and we have written to the Cumbria authorities saying we have the right to also call ourselves the Lake District.
“It is just so beautiful around South Norwood, we really are London’s answer to the Lake District.”
The other bodies of water in the Lake District are technically classified as meres, waters and tarns.
Ian Stephens, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, labelled South Norwood’s bodies of water as mere ‘ponds’.
“I’m sure the ponds of South Norwood have their merits and it is flattering that they wish to emulate our natural environment, albeit in a modest way.
“However, I don’t recall South Norwood being immortalised by great poets like Wordsworth and W.H. Auden and I can’t believe that it will be a substitute for the magnificent natural environment to be found here in Cumbria.
“So citizens of Norwood, please get yourself to Euston Station and in under 3 hours you can treat yourself to a slice of the real Lake District.”
The South Norwood Tourist Board’s main purpose is to offer historic walks of the local area drawing attention to famous past residents such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Pickles the Dog, who found the stolen World Cup under a bush in 1966.