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!)
Promoting mountain safety, protecting the landscape, and enhancing the outdoors experience in mountaineering challenge events.
You are being invited to take part in a study on your perceptions and experiences of the 3 Peaks Challenge. This study is being conducted by Dr Antonia Ivaldi and Professor Mark Whitehead from Aberystwyth University, in collaboration with the Snowdonia National Park Authority. Before you decide, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully and ask me if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Thank you for reading this.
What is the purpose of the project?
This pilot qualitative study aims to examine a range of perspectives, knowledge, experiences, and values aligned to the 3 Peaks for walkers and stakeholders alike. Outdoors challenge events, such as 3 Peaks, produce a complex interplay of promoting knowledge of mountain safety practices, good decision making and planning, and awareness of how to protect the landscape, whilst increasing tourism to the national parks that can result in a lasting engagement with the outdoors, that has additional recognized benefits for health and wellbeing. This is important, given the research that documents the value of outdoors engagement on an individual’s health, well-being and enjoyment. With the overall aim of gaining additional empirical support to complement existing guidelines and advice, this study aims to explore walkers’ and stakeholders’ perceptions and experiences of the event, in particular, walkers’ reasons for engagement, decision making strategies, and overall experience for enjoyment, health and wellbeing.
Do I have to take part?
You have been asked to take part as you are a walker who has taken part in the 3 Peaks in the last year. Taking part in this research is entirely voluntary, and if you do not wish to take part please say so. If you decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep (and be asked to sign a consent form). If you later change your mind and no longer wish to take part, you can withdraw from the study at any time, and without penalty, until January 16th 2018, after which the data will written up for dissemination. As a small gesture of gratitude for your participation, the project team would like to offer you a £10 e-voucher for Cotswold Outdoor.
What will happen to me if I take part?
You will be asked to take part in one individual interview lasting approximately 45 mins. This will take place at a time that is convenient to you and via Skype. You will be asked questions on what are your perceptions and experiences of the 3 Peaks Challenge as a walker, why you wanted to take part, your decision making and preparation strategies, and its role for enjoyment, health and well-being, for example. If there is a question that you do not wish to answer, you are not obliged to do so and you are free to move onto the next question. Please note that, as the research is being conducted by a non-Welsh speaker, the interviews and further correspondence will take place in English.
What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?
There are no foreseeable risks associated with this study and it is hoped that you enjoy taking part. In the unlikely event that you find the interview emotive, or it raises health issues associated with walking, and you wish to talk through some of the issues raised with a trained adviser, you will be referred to the helpline SupportLine 01708 765200, or your GP, as appropriate.
Will my taking part in this project be kept confidential?
Only the research team (Dr Antonia Ivaldi, Professor Mark Whitehead, and an external transcription company who will sign a confidentially agreement) will have access to the data. All personal information relating to you (e.g., contact details) will be kept confidential and your consent form, which contains your name and signature, will be stored securely in a locked filing cabinet in the lead researcher’s office. Your interview will be fully anonymized so that there is nothing in the interview that gives away your identity. Extracts of the interviews may be used in the reporting of the results and in future publications, but these will also be fully anonymized. The audio file of the interviews and subsequent transcript will be stored securely on a password protected computer.
What happens immediately after data collection?
You will have the opportunity to ask further questions regarding the study should you wish to do so.
Who has reviewed the project?
This project has been reviewed by the Department of Psychology’s Research Ethics Committee, Aberystwyth University. The research will be conducted in accordance with the British Psychological Society’s Ethical Code of Conduct.
Our Volunteer Warden team have been very busy for months now providing information to the public as well as collecting hundreds of litter bags from litter that’s been left on the paths. On Sunday we had quite a different day as we ventured to quieter parts of Yr Wyddfa to learn more about the geology of the area with expert Paul Gannon. A very interesting day that everyone enjoyed!
We’re very fortunate to have the help of many volunteers on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) that help with a variety of tasks.
With the number of walkers reduced significantly in recent weeks it’s vital to do as much repair and maintenance work as possible on the footpaths. A group of Tesco workers volunteered to help open up drains and ditches on the PyG track as well as work in our Wildlife Garden in Beddgelert. The following day we had Snowdonia Society volunteers help us do the same work on the Llanberis path.
We’re very grateful of their help as it’s vitally important work to do before the heavy rain and winter storms start!
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.
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:
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.
Hopefully the changes made will help with navigation in the future and make maps more accurate and readable.
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.