Route: Latrigg

Area: Northern Lake District

Date of walk: 4th August 2018

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 6.4 miles

Ascent: 1,200 feet

Weather: Cloudy with a few sunny spells

I normally try to avoid crowds when planning the place and time for a walk, but today I broke that habit and joined a crowd, or rather a rally. The Lake District National Park Authority, already much criticised for its support for the doomed zip wire project in Thirlmere, has again risked the wrath of local residents and lovers of the Lake District landscape by including in the Local Plan review a proposal for a gondola-style cable car up to the Whinlatter Visitor Centre. In order to voice concern about this absurd proposal Friends of the Lake District had organised a rally on Latrigg and I wanted to show my support

The meeting place was at Spooney Green Lane, the usual starting point for an ascent of Latrigg. I arrived early and set off ahead of the rally in order to enjoy the views without too many other folk in the way. I parked in one of the roadside spaces near Spooney Green Lane and joined the Cumbria Way to cross the bridge over the A66. The wide track then took me through Latrigg Wood onto open fellside, and from here I followed the zigzag path to the summit of Latrigg. The views from this fell are out of all proportion to its modest stature, and are quite breathtaking – some of the best in the district

Having savoured these for a while I retraced my steps for a short distance and then branched off to the Gale Road car park where the rally had gathered. Speeches were made by Douglas Chalmers, the CEO of Friends of the Lake District, followed by film maker Terry Abraham and finally Lord Clark of Windermere. Each of them spoke eloquently and passionately about the issues at stake. After hearing representations from some local residents the meeting broke up and it was time to carry on with the walk. I followed a path which descends gently beside the northern slopes of Latrigg, with some wonderful views ahead of me all the while. When I reached the toe of the fell I started the return journey through Brundholme Wood, most of which is along a narrow metalled track and is very easy going

As I made my way back to the start, admiring the views of the surrounding fells, I tried to comprehend what motive there could be for installing a cable car in the midst of such a landscape, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I could think of none, apart from the pursuit of money regardless of all other consequences. It is mystifying, and rather worrying, that the National Park Authority is in support of such a scheme

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