Evidence for human (homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthal) occupation of Britain goes back to c.700,000 years ago.
The presence in Britain of homo sapiens can be detected at around 27,000-26,000BC (at Paviland Cave, South Wales).
The landscape of Cumbria became covered by deciduous woodland, and hazel, birch and pine were predominant.
From around 5000 BC, alder became widespread, due to the increased rainfall, with oak and elm decreasing.
Its territory and constituent parts however have a long history under various other administrative and historic units of governance.Cumbria is an upland, coastal and rural area, with a history of invasions, migration and settlement, as well as battles and skirmishes between the English and the Scots.Cumbria was created as a county in 1974 from territory of the historic counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancashire North of the Sands and a small part of Yorkshire, but the human history of the area is ancient.At that time the upland central region of the county was heavily forested, so humans probably kept to the coastal areas, and around estuaries in particular: "sheltered locations around estuaries, lagoons or marine inlets" Evidence for the Early Mesolithic period in Cumbria is largely confined to finds in caves.In the 1990s, human bones were found in Kents Bank Cavern (in the north Morecambe Bay area) which were in 2013 dated to the early Mesolithic, making the find "the most northerly early Mesolithic human remains in the British Isles".