Not a theme park stunt
Last updated at 21:27, Thursday, 15 September 2011
Sir Chris Bonington, Caldbeck-based mountaineer, spoke to the planners in favour of the scheme:
“I am an individual who has lived in the Lake District National Park for 45 years and has a deep love and concern for the conservation of its beauty and very special character.
“I have a deep respect for the work of the many voluntary bodies that have opposed this application but in this particular instance I feel I must express disagreement.
“I believe that the proposed zip wire would have minimal visual or environmental impact.
“The wire itself would be below the skyline running parallel with Honister Crag which would mean it would be practically invisible from a distance. It is not on a remote fell.
“Rather, it is beside an industrial site that has been used as such for some 200 years.
“It is unlikely that the zip wire would attract a huge increase in traffic or numbers in the immediate vicinity of the slate mine which is already very busy anyway.
“I also question that it would affect the enjoyment of walkers setting out from the car park by the slate mine on the footpath leading towards Gable.
“There is already considerable traffic noise, the occasional low-flying jet and the activities of the mine.
“The existing Via Ferrata has given a lot of people great enjoyment of a sport that is in keeping with the spirit of adventure in the hills and of course is widely practised on the continent and enjoyed by many of my fellow climbers.
“People using the zip wire will be ascending the Via Ferrata route which is, of course, a former mine track way.
“The descent by the zip wire of course has nil environmental impact as the participant doesn’t touch ground until they arrive on the quarry site at the bottom.
“I suggest that the zip wire is merely an extension of the Via Ferrata, helping the Lake District’s economy by raising its profile with a younger generation and creating jobs without damaging the environment.
“It shouldn’t be feared as a thin end of a wedge.
“The national park is a living developing entity fulfilling a vital role in enabling people from all over the country and particularly our cities to enjoy its beauty and to experience a sense of wonder, relaxation and, in the case of some, adventure.
“The ski tow at Raise, the mountain bike tracks at Whinlatter are all man-made, created for athletic enjoyment.
“I believe the proposed zip wire is the same. It’s not a theme park stunt but rather a quick and challenging way of getting back down to the road head and one, incidentally, that I don’t think hordes will be queuing to do; I for one would be scared stiff.”
First published at 19:24, Thursday, 15 September 2011
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I am fed up of self appointed bodies deciding what is best fro everyone else. The agenda of the 'Friends' seems to be to preserve in aspic, a playground exclusively of their imagining. The Lake district, and honister in particular, has always been a dynamic and changing environment; and has certainly been the site of industry for hundreds (if not thousands) of years.I am an avid fell walker and love the experience of walking in the beauty of our County. I have also enjoyed the Honister via ferata on numerous occasions and feel it has enhanced, not detracted from, my sense of awe at the landscape. The zip wire would be a fantastic experience.Furthermore, if the 'Friends' aim is to avoid congestion and noise in the Lake District, why aren't they lobbying to have all the tea rooms closed, the car parks fenced off and hotels shut down? It strikes me that there is a definite air of snobbery about the 'Friends', with such 'vulgar' pursuits as zip wires frowned on as too proletarian in nature.
Are you suggesting that people visiting the zip wire would cause problems for those who already live/work in the Buttermere area? I donât think this would be a major problem as I would envisage most visitors would approach the zip wire from the Borrowdale end and I donât see the traffic being a big issue in any case. I am all for the zip wire and hope it eventually gets the go ahead.
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