Town & Coun­try

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

LAST month, af­ter a seven-year fight and de­spite heavy op­po­si­tion, plan­ning per­mis­sion was granted to Hon­is­ter Slate Mine for a 1km-long (two-thirds of a mile) zip wire to be in­stalled on a re­mote moun­tain pass be­tween Bor­row­dale and But­ter­mere in the Lake District (above). Some fear this sets a ‘danger­ous prece­dent’ for sim­i­lar projects all over the coun­try and, now, the CPRE is urg­ing the Gov­ern­ment to re­view the de­ci­sion.

‘Ac­tiv­i­ties that in­tro­duce such noise, speed and in­tru­sive devel­op­ment are at odds with the char­ac­ter and true value of the na­tional park,’ com­ments Tom Fyans, di­rec­tor of pol­icy at the CPRE. Also in op­po­si­tion are the Cum­bria Wildlife Trust, The Wain­wright So­ci­ety and the Open Spa­ces So­ci­ety.

‘Even if the pro­posal could be con­sid­ered to ful­fil the re­quire­ment for con­ser­va­tion and en­hance­ment of cul­tural her­itage, this can­not be at the ex­pense of the con­ser­va­tion and en­hance­ment of nat­u­ral beauty,’ com­ments a Friends of the Lake District spokesper­son.

How­ever, the for­mer vice-pres­i­dent of the Friends group, moun­taineer Sir Chris Bon­ing­ton, who re­signed over the op­po­si­tion to the scheme, is in favour, say­ing that ‘it will be be­low the sky­line and will en­cour­age the pub­lic to en­joy the beauty of the lakes’.

The Lake District Na­tional Park Author­ity’s devel­op­ment com­mit­tee has rea­soned that the land­scape is al­ready in­dus­tri­alised be­cause of the Hon­is­ter Slate Mine (the last work­ing slate mine in Eng­land) and that, as well as giv­ing up to 57 peo­ple a day a thrill, the Ae­rial Flight zip line will be used to carry slate down to work­shops from the moun­tain­side and pro­vide jobs. In any case, walk­ers ‘wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily be look­ing for tran­quil­lity in a mine’, adds com­mit­tee mem­ber Bill Jef­fer­son. Af­ter a let­ter from a Na­tional Por­trait Gallery cu­ra­tor was pub­lished in

COUN­TRY LIFE (Septem­ber 30, 2015), the own­ers of Mar­garet Gains­bor­ough, The Artist’s Daugh­ter, Play­ing a Cit­tern got in touch. The paint­ing’s where­abouts had been un­known for more than 130 years; it’s now in the ‘Gains­bor­ough’s Fam­ily Al­bum’ ex­hi­bi­tion (un­til Fe­bru­ary 3, 2019). Visit www.coun­trylife.co.uk

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