Protecting the Peaks Together

All posts by: Steve Jolley

Scafell Pike Great Gift Project

Scafell Pike Great Gift Project 2018

During the spring and summer of 2018 the National Trust West Lakes Ranger team  and Volunteers will be working on Scafell Pike as part of the great gift project.

The land above the 2000ft contour was presented to the National Trust by Lord Leconfield, “in perpetual memory of the men of the Lake District who fell for God and King, for freedom peace and right in the Great War 1914 – 1918.”

The Summit Cairn:

Why does it need re-building?

An estimated 250,000 people visit the summit of Scafell Pike annually, in recent years there have been a number of ‘rushes’ i.e. collapses where the retaining side walls have collapsed. These have been fixed by the Ranger team, but there is a need for some more substantial through stones in the structure in order to make it more stable to support the amount of visitors climbing it each year.

 

We will also be repairing erosion on the footpaths that were part of the great gift.

The reason for the erosion repair is the sheer volume of people spreading out across the boulder fields on the steep approaches to the summit. This has resulted in scarring some 10m wide in places which has, in turn, damaged the extremely valuable montane vegetation. Species affected include the nationally rare wooly hair moss along with dwarf willow and other remnant arctic plants.

The team will work mostly with local materials with the aim of narrowing the paths down and defining them across the scar. This will hopefully provide a more sustainable route (although not maintenance free) and allow the path edges to slowly re-vegetate. The photo shows a finished example of repair using these techniques on Broad Crag.

The team is planning to spend approximately 200 days working on both the cairn re-build and the erosion repair. So if you’re passing give us a wave (or a biscuit!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Season begins!

This week, our upland Ranger team have taken delivery of 75 tonnes of rock onto Scafell Pike.

Gathered from the surrounding fell sides, it will be used to repair erosion on the ever popular Brown Tongue route to the summit.

Great Gable Airlift


The team are planning to do 200 days of work on this route at a cost of around £42,000; this is only the start of the repair works and the plan is to carry on at this level for at least the next 5 years. So……………..

WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP!

 

 

 

 

 

Consider donating as part of your challenge, It costs about £150 to repair 1 metre of pitching and there’s a lot of mountain to fix.

Volunteer your groups time, join the Rangers and help put something back. Now this is a proper challenge.

Follow our guidelines, if it ain’t eroded, it don’t need fixing – avoid shortcutting and keep to the pitched paths not on the grass to the side.

 

While you’re out and about on Scafell Pike you might notice these signs:

Path alignment sign

They’re part of a path re-alignment project across Wasdale. DON’T PANIC, the paths aren’t moving, we’re just adjusting the maps so that the line on your map will actually correspond with the path on the ground unlike this map of Hollowstones on Scafell Pike.

Hollowstones

Hopefully the changes made will help with navigation in the future and make maps more accurate and readable.

The signs will be removed in early May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Saturday scorcher on Scafell Pike…

 

Cracking on, on Brown Tongue
Cracking on, on Brown Tongue

What a day! A thirty-four-strong team of staff and volunteers set to work on Scafell Pike on Saturday on the hottest day of the year so far. Laying siege on the mountain with spades, brushes, litter pickers and black sacks, the team summited the Pike on every major route from Wasdale, Borrowdale and Eskdale; clearing drains, sweeping paths, picking up litter and generally enjoying the grand day out. So, what was the day all about the? Well, unfortunately our narrow paths leading to the summit of England’s highest mountain are no longer able to cope with the demands of challenge events and visitors on them.

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