Help us to repair Coniston Old Man

Fix The Fells | Latest News | Help us to repair Coniston Old Man

The route from Goat's Water to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston snakes around this most serene of lakes and under the spectacular, brooding cliff of Dow Crag. It is one of the most popular routes in the Lake District National Park and a Fix the Fells project to restore the path has been shortlisted for an award from EOCA. 

Thousands of people - from schoolchildren and challenge eventers to walkers from around the world - seek the grandeur of this most quintessential of Lakeland views and tread its stony steps every year. But this desire to experience such a beautiful place comes with a price – that of the impact of millions of footsteps on the fragile terrain.

A project by Fix the Fells to stabilise the path has been put forward by Nurture Lakeland and George Fisher for a prestigious international award from European Outdoor Conservation Agency. The project was shortlised and is now through to a public vote and if successful, could receive a prize of £28,000 to complete the much needed repair work. The public vote will be open from 8th March - 22nd March 2016 - follow us on facebook or twitter be alerted when the voting is open and please share with your friends, family and colleagues.

This project will reduce erosion scarring and protect vulnerable vegetation and landscapes on the Old Man. Sediment from erosion is causing problems in water bodies downstream and rare vegetation and rock features are at risk of being damaged when walkers stray from the path.

The erosion of the Old Man of Coniston path is not just dangerous for walkers and damaging to the beauty of the landscape but it also causes significant damage to the surrounding freshwater and terrestrial habitats and species as well as the spectacular geology of the area. Instead of staying on the difficult and dangerous eroded path, people instead walk on the vegetation on either side. This has led to unsightly stretches of bare soil developing where vegetation once grew: vegetation which includes rare mountain plant species such as parsley fern and woolly hair moss.

The skilful and meticulous work of our rangers and volunteers will restore and improve the path, thereby encouraging the public to stick to it. Nature will then do the rest:  the vegetation alongside the paths will recover naturally over time, rare mountain plants will recolonise the bare ground and thrive, fragile soils will be stabilised, the acidity of streams and tarns will return to normal, the geology of the area will be protected and the landscape of our beloved Old Man will be enhanced by the removal of unsightly scars.  

The public vote will be open from 8th March - 22nd March 2016 - follow us on facebook or twitter be alerted when the voting is open and please share with your friends, family and colleagues. Thank you!

 

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