Fix the Fells have been repairing the Lake District's paths for 20 years
2nd January 2022
Fix the Fells is marking 20 years of repairing, building and protecting the Lake District’s most walked paths – and says its work is needed more than ever.
It has been a busy time on the fells, perhaps the busiest ever. The grounding of foreign travel coupled with fresh appreciation for the outdoors and recognition of its health benefits has sent walkers onto the footpaths in vast numbers.
Following in their footsteps, literally, are the rangers and volunteers of Fix the Fells, an army of route restorers who repair and protect the paths for the future. For the impact of millions of feet, be they walkers or runners, and mountain bike wheels, can be considerable, and occasionally catastrophic. The Fix the Fells team perform a regular and continuous programme of restoration with the aim of arresting erosion before the damage becomes irreparable and ensuring the paths continue to be passable for locals and returning visitors.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Fix the Fells organisation, a partnership between the National Trust, Lake District National Park, Natural England, Lake District Foundation and Friends of the Lake District. Nearly £10 million has been spent since 2001 on repairing damage to hundreds of paths and erosion to mountain areas. The partnership fixes and maintains 350 routes covering over 400 miles of paths across the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the early days the Lake District National Park led some voluntary parties. The National Trust put together its first team of rangers to tackle the issue in 1985; the first path they worked on was Helm Crag, above Grasmere. Since then, of course, the number of path users has grown exponentially.
More about Fix the Fells.
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