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Mending mountain trails UK

I picked up a copy “Trail” magazine while in Heathrow last week in an effort to better educate myself about hiking etc back in Blighty.

One article that caught my eye that UK based activators might well know about but I thought worth sharing, relates to raising money for trail maintenance. Popularity is wrecking popular trails!

More at.http://mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk



Does anyone else share my amusement at the irony of people working at preventing erosion on mountains? Mountains are a monument to erosion!

Three years on from storm Desmond in the Lake District and it is still evident that one storm can do more damage to mountain sides than several generations of walkers!

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There is nothing new about maintaining mountain trails, there are many examples in the Lake District and Penines where roads have been maintained for at least 2000 years. Packhorse trails also exist from the middle ages consisting of slabs of local rock forming a simple pathway. During my activation of Stony Cove Pike yesterday I saw perhaps 20 “dumpy bags” of rough stones that had been air lifted to be used to maintain a very popular path over boggy ground.
Regarding erosion, one of the worst examples I have recently seen was the scar perhaps 100ft wide by 200ft high, west of Scale Force in Buttermere. Here water ingress from the horizontal path caused a burst of the fragile turf and a large eyesore necessitating a path deviation.

Maintenance is a necessary evil (and cost).


This is certainly true, David, maintenance is necessary - at least for our convenience. It won’t make much difference to the mountains, which will continue quietly eroding as they have always done. There are places where you can experience it for yourself - viewpoints on Arcuil and Foinaven where you can stand and listen to the continuous tinkle of falling scree, fresh debris runs from collapsing buttresses on Craig Builch y Moch, and so on. The mountains aren’t eternal!

…well it’s not popularity here that’s wrecking trails, it’s laziness. No one walks here any more. Local trails are now so badly dug up from troops of people driving their quads on them that they are literally impossible to use by foot. On the hill behind our house quads have created such erosion that enormous gullies have been gouged out. When I first moved here I did trail maintenance regularly at my own expense because it gave me joy to provide a nice walking path for others. But I have stopped doing that and am hoping the trails grow up as quickly as they can to block their access by quads. It’s sheer selfishness. People are wrecking the wild here…