Zip wire for the Lake District hits a snag
As a born-and-bred Cumbrian, I agree totally with Simon Jenkins (A zip wire is the last thing the
Lakes needs, 30 November). He highlights that the area is part of the national park and is entitled to protection from inappropriate planning and development. The Lake District planning authority is demonstrating a total lack of care.
The proponents of this ridiculous plan claim to want to attract more young people. The park has huge numbers of all ages enjoying the peace and beauty we can offer.
This is a national park, not a giant fairground. The new jobs created will be tiny in number. The park only recently achieved world heritage status after years of trying. This will put such status under threat. If passed, this plan will lead to other moneymaking developments such as the reemergence of plans for a Thirlmere zip wire, cable cars and out-of-town retail outlets. Mike Telford
It is hard to believe that Simon Jenkins has been to Honister Pass
recently, if ever. Honister Pass does not back on to either Pillar or Scafell. These hills and Cat Bells are more than three and a half miles away and obscured by the fells in between. It is only from Dale Head that the crag can be seen.
The pass is a far from tranquil spot. There is a busy car park and visitor centre, an active slate mine and every weekend there is an endless stream of motorbikes racing up and down. Unlike national parks in the US and elsewhere, British national parks are human landscapes and have to support a rural economy and population, otherwise they will just be the preserve of second-home owners from the home counties.
I am staying only a few miles from Honister this week. I can only suggest that Simon, as I did this morning, stands at the bottom of the proposed zip wire run and looks up. That side of Fleetwith Pike is a desolate wasteland of scree, mining waste and footpaths.
The impact of the new wire will be minimal. There is no “manifest natural beauty” to be affected. Honister’s chief economic asset has, for centuries, been the slate mine, not “its emptiness and tranquillity”. Yes it is a “ravine of exquisite ruggedness” but that is partly because of the aweinspiring work of the miners there.