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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Via Ferrata extension is given the green light

Supporters have welcomed the go-ahead for Honister Slate Mine’s latest high-level attraction.

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SOLUTION: Jan Wilkinson

Lake District planners last week approved an extension to the Via Ferrata route at the Borrowdale site.

Work on creating it is now under way, and it is expected to open next month.

The Via Ferrata uses a system of fixed steel ropes, rungs and other protection to allow non-climbers to experience the mountains.

The extension to it – known as the Via Ferrata Xtreme – will be operated alongside the existing route.

Cumbria Tourism and Keswick Tourism bosses welcomed the planning approval.

Eric Robson, Cumbria Tourism chairman, described the move as “very good news”.

Progress continues to be made at the slate mine despite the death of its former owner, Mark Weir, in a helicopter crash last year.

The expansion is being spearheaded by his partner Jan Wilkinson, who also hopes to realise Mr Weir’s plan of installing a zip wire at the mine.

The slate company said the planning approval was a “positive move” and they hoped to have the Via Ferrata extension up and running for early June.

They also credited the decision as being “fantastic” for the Lake District.

The company had run into trouble last year when it was fined nearly £30,000 for illegally fitting an extension to the attraction, which Natural England said had damaged a site of special scientific interest.

But the new route has been designed to avoid walkers having to step on vegetation, using high-level bridges, walkways and ladders.

Ms Wilkinson said: “I believe we have reached a solution to a difficult problem. We are all caretakers, passionate about the Lake District.”

Have your say

Good decision - good for visitors and good for the Lake District. For once the Lake District Authority has got it right and the 'friends' of the Lake District haven't managed to scupper it!

Posted by e on 11 May 2012 at 19:58

Well done jan and all at Honister Quarry.
The Lake District thrives BECAUSE of its people not in spite of them.

Posted by Ashley on 11 May 2012 at 08:52

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