The formerly heavily-eroded path up the southwest spur of Yewbarrow has been restored by staff and volunteers from the Fix the Fells project.
With the help of a £7000 environmental grant from conservation charity Friends of the Lake District, the sides of the path have been stabilised by 'sensitive landscaping' and drainage, and parts of the path have been stone pitched to provide a good walking surface. This should allow a chance for the surrounding scree to re-vegetate, say the Friends. It is hoped the new path will halt erosion problems on this part of the popular Wasdale fell.
Judith Moore, Friends of the Lake District’s policy officer said:
‘We cannot sit back and watch erosion scars on the Lakeland fells get worse and worse. The Fix the Fells path work is of the highest quality using local materials and skilled people. Repairing the very prominent Yewbarrow path is a major plus for both walkers and the landscape.’
Tanya Oliver, Programme Manager for the Fix the Fells Programme, added:
‘The Friends grant helped us pay for the expensive helicopter lifting of the stone for the path works. We have received fantastic feedback from people using the newly restored Yewbarrow path. With so much more work to do on the Lake District paths I’d encourage everyone of enjoys the fells support Fix the Fells’
The Fix the Fells Programme is a partnership of the National Trust, Lake District National Park, Friends of the Lake District, Natural England, Cumbria County Council and Nurture Lakeland. Its aim is to repair and maintain upland paths to protect them for future generations.
Over 200 paths have been repaired in the last 10 years with the help of Heritage Lottery funding and grants from Friends of the Lake District and other organisations, and while some of the new trails could be described as over-manicured (suburban, even) there's no denying the need to halt the ongoing erosion of heavily used Lakeland paths - nor the hard work that goes into it all. Over the next decade the programme aims to repair another 120 paths, in addition to maintaining those already done.