Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District has reacted to the current threats and concerns within the Lake District National Park by launching its ‘Save Our Lake District’ (SOLD) Campaign. In a statement issued today, its Chief Executive, Douglas Chalmers, explains why.
“The number of contentious situations when proposals for new developments within the Lake District National Park have been challenged appear to be increasing. Objections from local communities, threats of judicial reviews and claims that “nobody listens” are bad enough on an individual basis, but this is now an epidemic, and epidemics have to be stopped.
“Recreational vehicles on fell tracks, gondolas, inappropriate path surfaces and now Gentleman’s Yachts on Grasmere. Your National Park is under siege while the statutory protection for its fragile beauty is being ignored. This must stop.
“The national media are asking what and who are National Parks for, so we must act now to ensure the Lake District is managed in line with the principles and statutory purposes of National Parks and that we protect its natural beauty. Everyone now realises the importance of physical and mental health in our day to day lives, and this was recognised by our National Parks’ founders.
“The framework is already there. National Parks have their Statutory Purposes, but here in the Lake District we can see where these are not being recognised or respected.
“We want to see the National Park looked after, protected from damaging developments and encouraging those that conserve and enhance its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Parks should provide opportunities for free access and enjoyment, and a vital connection with nature for everyone regardless of race, ability or income.
“This is not a call for preservation. That would be destructive for our environment, businesses and communities. But it is a call to ensure that this jewel in the country’s crown is looked after properly – loved and not exploited – so that we and those who follow us can continue to enjoy it.
“As part of the campaign we will be taking part in and organising a number of events that shout loud and clear for the Park to be properly managed”.
More information about the ‘Save Our Lake District’ campaign and its aims can be found at www.saveourlakedistrict.org.uk