AN HISTORIC Cumbrian phenomenon has inspired the name for a new stylish inn.

Former Michelin-starred chef Kevin Tickle and his wife Nicola collected the keys to the historic 17th-century inn in Newton-in-Cartmel in early August.

They've since been hard at work getting it ready for the builders to move in, so they can begin an extensive programme of refurbishment including the installation of a modern kitchen, service area, and upgrades to the bar, restaurant area, and the six guest bedrooms.

Alongside working with architects and kitchen designers, the couple have also been working with Kendal web design agency Scratch Creative to develop a new identity.

They wanted a name they could relate to, that meant something to them and linked the inn to the varied landscape that surrounds it.

In the Lakes and Dales there is a phenomenon not encountered elsewhere in England: ‘Hefted’ sheep. This is a term that refers to sheep who through successive generations of ewes have learnt to live on their own part of the fell without boundaries.

They are only brought down to pasture at gathering times, then instinctively return to their own patch of grazing ground on the fell.

This northern farming term resonated with both Kevin and Nicola, who both grew up, were schooled, worked, and now live close by with their own children.

You might say they like their parents and grandparents before them are firmly ‘Hefted’ to the Cumbrian landscape.

And so the they came up with the name for their new venture – Heft.

Kevin has also been refining his menus, which will be revealed in the coming months, and the bar will serve a range of quality beers from local breweries across the north of England.

The couple said: "As many people know, we’ve been looking for somewhere for a while and when the inn became available in Newton-in-Cartmel it felt right.

"We wanted to make it ours and create an identity for the inn that meant something specifically to us and in turn would come to mean something to the people who visit and stay with us.

"We chose to use the farming term ‘Heft’ because it refers to a place that keeps being returned to time and time again by successive generations. That’s exactly what we want to see happen here, we are in this for the long haul and want to be able to pass a legacy on to our two children.

"Hopefully, people will understand what we are trying to achieve here and will approve of the name we’ve chosen and why we’ve chosen it.’’