Staycation surge leaves Lake District crumbling: Holidaymakers flocking to beauty spot are causing huge damage to paths and hillsides, charity warns
- A huge increase in footfall has resulted in unprecedented damage to the area
- Charity Fix The Fells has spent £10m on repairing paths and erosion in the park
- The charity has added that climate change is also causing erosion in the area
Staycationers flocking to the Lake District have caused unprecedented damage to its paths and hillsides, a charity has warned.
A ‘huge increase in footfall’ has scarred the area beloved of Wordsworth and other Romantic poets, said Fix The Fells.
It has spent £10million on repairing paths and erosion in the Cumbrian national park since being set up 20 years ago.
Works include routes on England’s highest mountain, 3,208ft Scafell Pike, which is scaled by 250,000 hikers a year.
Staycationers flocking to the Lake District have caused damage to its paths and hillsides
Ranger Pete Entwistle said more holidaymakers were ‘a good thing because people get to see what they have in this country, they see what needs protecting.
‘But if this was to continue with the numbers we’re getting now, I can see us having an awful lot more work in the future.’
Fix The Fells’s Joanne Backshall said climate change is also causing erosion.
She said: ‘It was always wet but it is now even more so.
‘When we have a really heavy storm, that leads to a significant increase in the amount of water that goes down the paths and damages them.’
Fix The Fells relies on fundraising and grants and spends £500,000 in a typical year, with a yard of path costing £150 to create.
Richard Leafe, head of the Lake District National Park Authority, said: ‘Due to our changing climate and more erosion through intense rainfall, this vital maintenance work is needed on our high fells more than ever.’
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