Cumbria Crack

Wild Boar Fell summit shelter and trig pillar rebuilt

Upper Eden Rotary Club, Richard Staley Stonework and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority work together on high level project.
Wild Boar Summit after restoration

At 2323 feet above sea level Wild Boar Fell offers an imposing presence overlooking the Upper Eden valley.

Rising by the Mallerstang valley above the infant River Eden some 6 miles south of Kirkby Stephen and with easy access it is popular with hill walkers and runners.

Superb panoramic views reward those who seek its summit.

Now a part of the Westmorland Dales extension of the Yorkshire Dales national park, its exposed plateau is open to all the weather can throw at it.

Wild Boar Summit before restoration

For decades now the circular stone summit shelter has been little more than a rubble of fallen masonry and more recently the trig pillar it encloses had become a wreck.

An offer volunteered by local Ravenstonedale stone-waller, Richard Staley to rebuild the shelter was taken up by members of Upper Eden Rotary Club in Kirkby Stephen who undertook to rebuild the trig pillar and coordinate the project.

Choosing the best of days earlier this summer, Richard, enlisting the assistance of his father Bernard, himself a skilled stone-waller, completed their part of the enterprise… an outstanding piece of work.

Bernard at 80, and farming at Bullgill, Wharton at the foot of Wild Boar until his retirement, had not previously ascended it.

“Working at height” subsequently took on a new meaning for retired builder and Rotary Club member Ray Thornton who put his skills to work on rebuilding the pillar.

Accompanied by fellow Rotarians Carl Hallam, Arthur Littlefair and mountain rescue volunteer Peter Cattermole, the “lack of oxygen” was no bar to the steady flow of conversation as they laboured to keep him going.

The crack was good and the pillar was completed within the day

National Park Ranger Calum Stott’s capable logistic support with his quad bike and trailer, transporting materials and kit to the top, made the whole thing possible.

Project coordinator Arthur Littlefair commented that the “whole thing was a model of cooperation between everyone involved, producing something of value giving pleasure to all those that make their way to the top of this splendid mountain”.

Julie Martin, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Member Champion for Cultural Heritage, said: “Wild Boar Fell is a wonderful walking experience, which I have enjoyed with my family. The National Park Authority has struck up a fine partnership with the Rotary Club and it’s great that this historical feature of the fell has been restored. The trig pillar is a reminder that such constructions were used for mapping, while the wall which surrounds it will give shelter to people walking.”

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