The Lake District is a place which has always stirred up emotions and passions for visitors and residents alike. Romantic poets and artists like Wordsworth and Ruskin are the obvious public example but we each have our own emotional connection with our special part of the Lake District. The lakes, hills, views, villages, traditions and people all evoke something in all but a few visitors.
The protection of the Lake District for us all to to enjoy our special moments is vitally important and one of the reasons for the establishment of National Parks in 1951 to protect the landscape and sustain communities. Recently though it has all been kicking off with a call from Friends of the Lake District and others to reduce visitor numbers and new campaigns against development.
The preservation of the essence of what makes the Lake District a special place and attract 19 million visitors each year is an important role for Lake District National Park Authority and the people that live and work in the National Park. But there is a worrying trend developing where preservation (and following stagnation) is being placed ahead of any considered development even if it enhances sustainable transport and more diverse access to the landscape.
The recent proposal for zip wires at Thirlmere certainly stirred up emotions as one would expect however the trend of campaining against development because of the “type” of people it would attract is the thin end of a discriminatory wedge that is certainly not welcome in the Lake District.
Now is the time to give the Lake District National Park Authority positive feedback and support in keeping this wonderful place wonderful in whatever form that takes for many generations to come
Remember Wordsworth campaigned against the Kendal to Windermere railway line proposal in 1844 noting that it may attract the unwanted working classes.