More and more of our Lakeland is being subject to what
is called 'Fixing the Fells.' Footpaths are being 'improved' through the
costly dropping of bags of rocks by fuel hungry helicopters. The Fix the
Fells organisation justifies its actions by stating: "The Fix the
Fells teams work to repair and maintain our upland paths with funding
from donations, partners and the Heritage Lottery Fund."
Quite what the impact is on the Climate Change issue of using helicopters
to take rocks up to an already rock strewn landscape is unknown. There
has been erosion of the mountains since the last Ice Age and the vast
scree slopes in many vallies show erosion is part of the very nature of
the Lakeland landscape.
A glimmer of hope for those who fear this 'gentrification of the fells'...the
National Park stated in 2012: "For the past five years the Fix the
Fells project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as
donations from supporters and partners. But the Heritage Lottery funding
ended in December 2011" But in 2017 the latest fad.....The Save
Scafell Pike project, submitted by conservation charity Nurture
Lakeland in partnership with Fix the Fells wants to improve paths
on Brown Tongue, Scafell.
Reaction from Friends of the Lake District: " Given the high
use of many fells , Friends of the Lake District does support the
work of Fix the Fells as we feel that it is very important to reduce
erosion in the fells. Erosion scars are not only unsightly, they reduce
the usability of routes and can have serious implications for nature
conservation. Whilst it would be preferable not to have to intervene
in the fells, given the level of use something has to be done to ensure
that routes can be enjoyed and soils and the wider landscape are protected.
I hope this has helped explain why work takes place. I accept that
not everyone likes the look of paths once repaired. Friends of the
Lake District feels that continuing erosion is the worst option and
even if repair work does not look how everyone would like, it is better
than doing nothing and watching the fells disintegrate under the pressure
of use they receive. "
Bags of rocks dropped by helicopter onto the felltops
A new 'road' that seems to have been dug by someone
on the slopes of Blencathra