Robin Barratt fell in love with the lake district when he worked at Keswick School in the nineteen sixties. Later, whilst working at an outdoor centre at Howtown, Ullswater, he and some of his colleagues started an environmental study group to help people working in the outdoors to become more conscious of their own responsibility to the countryside.
During this time he was also a member of the Lake District National Park Authority. In 1994 he joined the Friends of the Lake District – he subsequently served as chairman of the Friends for six years and is now a vice-chairman
He has therefore been very much involved with environmental issues and issues relating to the impact of tourism on the lake district, including the introduction of speed limits on lakes and persuading the forestry commission to plant indigenous species of trees. He still lives in the Ullswater area, near Dockray.
"The skelly is a species of char and lives deep in the lake and in stormy times the oxygenated water on the surface caused by the wind moves down the lake and then oxygenates the deeper parts and I don’t think the skellies like that and they came to the surface and just laid on the shore, so you would see hundreds of them on the shore. What’s happened recently, looking for signs of otters, they’ve found a lot of skelly bones left behind by otters on strangely enough a promontory called Skelly Neb. So obviously if you’re going back far enough, that was a popular place for skellies."