Following decades of gradual deterioration, the big stone walled wind shelter on the summit of the Pennines' highest mountain has been resurrected.
The shelter has been re-built on its original lines, a cross-shaped structure that gives protection from wind coming from any direction. Anyone who's been up the near-3000-foot lump will know that Cross Fell attracts plenty of angry weather, including the infamous Helm, the only wind in the UK distinctive enough to have earned its own name.
The Pennine Way passes over the summit plateau, and next year's 50th anniversary of the route inspired the four-week rebuild project, which was a joint effort by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, the Pennine Way National Trail Partnership, Natural England and Cumbria County Council.
The restoration of the shelter, which was funded by a grant from Natural England, was the brainchild of Steve Westwood, manager of the Pennine Way Natural Trail.
Steve, who walks the Edale-Kirk Yetholm route at least once a year, said:
'There will be lots going on next year for the anniversary and because of the special occasion we’re expecting higher than normal numbers of walkers'.
'And, as all of us who know Cross Fell accept it can be the victim of less than favourable weather conditions, we thought it might be nice to have some comfort for visitors both new and old.'
Local craftsman Laurie Lambeth, who led the restoration, said:
'The Cross Shelter has been a very interesting, challenging and rewarding project. The shelter has always been an important local landmark, and so was a privilege to have the opportunity of restoring it back to its former glory. We undertake all kinds of stonework although the location, views and significance of this build have made it a memorable one.'
'It’s nice to think how many hundreds of walkers will benefit from the new shelter. Time and effort was put in to making the shelter aesthetically pleasing, although its main use is most definitely a practical one. For walkers who get caught out in the fast changing and unforgiving weather conditions, it could even be a life saver.'