With just over a week left to object to the Thirlmere zipwire plans, the Ramblers have added their voice to the chorus of condemnation
It’s one of the most controversial planning applications to have been made in the Lake District for years. The proposed Thirlmere Activity Hub will include eight zipwires along two routes crossing Thirlmere itself and the A591. The zipwires will be 1,200m long and will pass 130m above the water, making them the longest and highest in England.
Condemnation of the scheme has come from several quarters. A few days after the BMC published their objection on December 12, Terry Abraham resigned from his new role at the Lake District Foundation charity in protest, saying that “Thirlmere stands as a monument to actions of the past and should always act as a reminder to stand up for conservation when under threat no matter how large or small.”
Since then, there have been calls for the Ramblers, the UK’s biggest walkers’ rights organisation, to make their position clear on the zipwire plans.
Where are the @RamblersGB? No statement, no information, no action. Have they abandoned their objective to protect the countryside?
— Stephen Watson (@sjwato) December 28, 2017
On 2 January, Ramblers member Brian Foster asked the Ramblers GB Twitter account for an update:
@RamblersGB As a Ramblers member I’m disappointed at your apparent failure to respond. Has Central Office or the local Area made an input on this? We should be told. https://t.co/LfukidjlRI
— Brian Foster (@Benwickrambler) January 2, 2018
The Ramblers made a reply the following day:
We value our countryside and our volunteers work actively across the country to evaluate & respond to issues in their local areas. We fully support their work – as is the case with the objection to this proposal. A statement is available on our website: https://t.co/SvEQSk9uzQ
— The Ramblers (@RamblersGB) January 3, 2018
The Ramblers linked to an official statement available to download from their website. It’s great to see such an influential organisation making a stand for conservation in the Lakes.
The Ramblers’ statement
“As Ramblers, we value our countryside for its natural beauty, sense of peace and tranquility and wildlife, as well as its vital role in promoting wellbeing and sustainable economic growth. We believe that development should work harmoniously with the countryside and that our landscapes need to be developed sensitively, so that the communities living in them can benefit from the services and infrastructure they require in order to have a sustainable future.
“Thousands of our volunteers work actively across the country, applying their expert and local knowledge of their landscape, walking environment, community and economy to evaluate and respond to planning and landscape issues in their local areas and we fully support the work they do.
“In this instance, we are pleased to support the decision that the local Ramblers areas, together with some of our members in their personal capacity, have taken to object to the Zip Wire proposals, which they consider will adversely affect the landscape character, tranquillity and visual amenity of the area.”
How you can object
There is still time to object to the zipwire proposals. All objections must be made by 12 January 2018 by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best resource to educate yourself about the issues – and to find out how best to object – is this excellent page hosted by Friends of the Lake District.
Image: © Dave Head / Shutterstock