The Lake District's most popular and distinctive winter weather service – Helvellyn's daily snow and ice patrol - has been 'rescued' thanks to a combination of pro-active marketing, sponsorship and - says the National Park - good financial house-keeping.
Early next month two Fell Top Assessors will resume their daily stint up the Lake District's third highest mountain, which sees them take turns to climb the 950 metre peak every day – including Christmas and New Year - to record weather and ground conditions reports from 3 December through to Easter.
Earlier this year there was a serious risk that the service might have to close, as the Lake District National Park Authority like all Government-funded bodies, grappled with serious and substantial budget cuts.
But thanks to a new-look website, accompanied by local sponsorship, the Fell Top weather service is now fully funded and the two assessors – Jon Bennett from Ambleside and Jason Taylor from Penrith – are still in work.
For a week at a time Bennett and Taylor take it in turns to check wind speeds and snow conditions underfoot and record the details on the National Park's Weatherline website.
'We are all so pleased that this vital winter service is up and running again. The website looks fantastic and I'm sure the sponsors will be delighted with the results they achieve in associating themselves with the popular online facility' said Park Management Team Leader Chris Tomlin.
'Jon and Jason are our 'eyes and ears' on the mountains. We know that thousands of our visitors and local residents will now be able to enjoy their winter mountain experiences safe in the knowledge that the vital information the fell top assessors collect helps provide a much fuller and more complete picture of what's happening up on the high Lake District mountains.'
As well as the online service the reports are available by telephone on 0844 846 2444