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!)