In our Summer issue we described our latest campaign with Fix the Fells, the partnership programme run by the National Trust, Lake District National Park Authority, Natural England, Nurture Lakeland and Friends of the Lake District that repairs and maintains upland paths.
We decided to specifically raise funds for repair work on the path from Windy Gap to the summit of Green Gable. Here several erosion lines had spread out, as walkers veered from the main path. Work began last summer, and James Forrest from Fix The Fells sent us this report:
“We identified that the erosion scar was spreading year on year on Green Gable, and that recently a side route had opened up. By making the path clearer, this means walkers will be able to follow the path more easily and keep from trampling rare and notable species such as parsley fern, club mosses and woolly hair moss.
“The work, which took 16 man days in total, has involved making one clearer, sustainable path line, whilst using subtle landscaping with local materials to protect the fragile hillside, and the rare habitats found on Green Gable from erosion. We also re-vegetated the side path to minimise the number of boots that would follow it. In its simplest form, by providing a line that people will walk on the impact that the boots have is minimised, and the fragile landscape can continue its struggle against the elements. Left alone, path lines can grow wider and as the surface deteriorates and the edges trampled ugly erosion scars open up and the loose material spreads over the fragile vegetation, and the process continues. Eventually this material finds its way into watercourses, harming the water quality of the becks and lakes, and all the aquatic life found in them. Fix the Fells carry out projects like this all over the Lake District, and will be back every year to check on progress and carry out further work if necessary. Fix the Fells couldn’t do this without your support!”