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Path erosion in the Lake District
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Environmental Impact on the mountain landscape

Most upland paths will have a visual impact on the landscape, whether there for traditional access for stalking, or for the simple pleasure of walking in an appealing mountain environment.

The paths that exist today are predominantly there for outdoor recreation, through the rise in popularity of hill walking, concentrated on particular mountains.

Increasing and excessive use has resulted in wear and serious erosion, with some very large and obtrusive scars causing unacceptable visual impact.

This has lead to the need to build or repair paths in a way that minimises the impact of use and erosion, and restores sites to an acceptable and durable state. Only when this is done can access be sustained and environmental benefits seen.

  Path repair work in Snowdonia National Park

We believe that large scale challenge events especially during inclement weather can have a damaging impact on our mountain paths. Therefore, we try to minimise this effect and also reduce the impact on local residents, by strictly controlling the number of participants per event.

At Mountain Adventures our small group policy is specifically designed to minimise impact on the rural infrastructure - roads, footpaths & communities directly affected by our operations.

We put the environment and safety first and operate a strict policy on group size for our events providing professional support with a 1:8 instructor ratio per team.

This approach combined with high quality professional support and first class equipment consistently yields high success rates in all of our challenges.

  Lifting in repair materials by helicopter

Mountain Challenge events, especially the increasingly popular National 3 Peak Challenge will always impact on the local community during anti-social hours.

However, with careful route palnning and sensible programme schedules this impact and the disturbance on the local community can be greatly reduced.

Scheduling of start times especially at Wasdale Head is important and to avoid late night disturbance we aim to finish on the descent of Scafell Pike by 11.00pm.

We wish to develop a sustainable business with minimal impact on the local community and landscape and we limit numbers to  a manageable level on our most popular events.

Although many companies organize mass charity fundraisers with literally hundreds of entrants; we believe, in addition to the environmental impact, that this can lead to a compromise in safety standards due to ineffective group management.

  Eroded mountain footpath

For further information on the outdoor environment and impact of path erosion and increased traffic on our mountains please visit the following websites:

Fix the Fells

Lake District National Park Authority

Snowdonia National Park

John Muir Trust

For a local viewpoint on the effect of high volume traffic on the Lakeland Fells and the impact on local communities during anti-social hours please click on the link below:

Three Peaks Challenge - a Local's view by Guy Newbold

We don't want people to be put off the outdoors and feel that freedom to roam the outdoors is our right as UK citizens.

However, we do believe that individuals and organizations need to act responsibly and try to help preserve the environment as a resource for future generations.

  Footpath erosion caused by high volume traffic
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