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Imagine my delight.. by maclimber   (Show all posts)
A few months back,.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
The discussion on .. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
It is important to.. by mcrtchly   (Show all posts)
kernowclimber
2011-03-04 23:00:19
Cra-zily paved...
Cra’s recent point about the on-going path work in the Mournes ‘changing the complexion of the area forever’ is the crux of the issue. The problem as I see it, is one of perception. Our lives have become divorced from the countryside as we move into towns and cities to live. Most folk who visit the countryside from urban areas have a cherished vision of what it should be like, driven by the media. But dichotomies have arisen.

The concern for the care, and increased protection of, the countryside and upland areas in particular, stems from a perception of these areas encapsulated in quaint phrases such as ‘Wild Britain’ and ‘Unspoilt Ireland’. These environments are ‘the other’, the very antithesis of cities, the last bastions of ‘wilderness’. They must be protected. Large swathes of our countryside now fall under a raft of legislation.

On the other hand, there is mounting encouragement, and government funding for, schemes to introduce the countryside to a wider audience, for recreation, education and health benefits. Hill walking is seen as a pursuit that combines these to good effect. And herein lies the rub. More access means more footfall and that sometimes results in badly eroded pathways and ‘environmental degradation’.

For whose benefit is path ‘maintenance’ undertaken and on whose authority? Is it done to salve the guilty consciences of those who sally forth into the countryside, the very presence of their Vibram-soled boots inadvertently damaging the landscape they claim to cherish? Or is it policy driven, with the ultimate aim of making access easier for even more people? Watching a group of ill clad and shod Asians struggling up the path from Wasdale to England’s highest peak in atrocious weather last summer, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Wainwright lauded Scafell Pike for its roughness and ruggedness - attributes he felt were necessary for England’s highest mountain. That paved route, deceptively dangerous to the ill-equipped and inexperienced in foul weather, decimated those attributes. Wainwright would have turned in his grave if his ashes hadn’t been scattered on top of Haystacks.

Some maintained trails don’t improve safety and people are not sticking to them. Others, such as the wooden walkway of Wicklow’s Spink are far more environmentally sensitive and do their job well. Maintained pathways are not universally welcomed by hill walkers. Some are hard and unpleasant to walk on and they undermine the very sense of ‘remoteness’ that is the raison d’être for most folk taking to our hills.

In our increasingly cluttered islands, maybe we have to accept that some routes up the most popular mountains will have to be ‘sacrificed’ to allow access where there are other alternatives. But at the end of the day it’s foolish to think we can encourage more walkers to our mountains without them leaving a trace. And I’d sooner see a load of muddy footprints up a hillside than a crazy-paved pathway.
Just a follow on t.. by mcrtchly   (Show all posts)
I recently bought .. by Dessie1   (Show all posts)
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With regards to a .. by dhmiriam   (Show all posts)
I have been watchi.. by kernowclimber   (Show all posts)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 27 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Illanmaster: Watching Over.
sandman less than an hour ago.
This hill watches over Illanmaster Island and although its summit is nothing of note its cliffs are fantastic. As described previously this can be part of a coastal walk or for direct accent park ...

  
Track
Mweelrea Mt via Ben Lugmore
marzka an hour ago.
A very nice walk with amazing views and small bit of scrambling which can be avoided.Dificulty: Medium- ascending via... walk, Len: 13.4km, Climb: 1111m, Area: Ben Lugmore East Top, Mweelrea Mountain

  
Track
Bencorrbeg - Binn an Choire and Binn Dubh
marzka an hour ago.
Very nice walk with a bit of scrambling.And this GPS track involve that mentioned part of scrambling - but if you want... walk, Len: 10.4km, Climb: 944m, Area: Bencorrbeg, Twelve Bens (Ireland) Benco

Track
Teermoyle and Been Hill
marzka an hour ago.
Very nice walk with goregous views.Dificulty: Medium- a bit wet terrain, mostly grassy- some small part of walk on th... walk, Len: 13.2km, Climb: 843m, Area: Keamconneragh, Glenbeigh Horseshoe (Irel

  
Track
Mangerton via Stoompa and Horses Glen
marzka 2 hours ago.
Lovely walk with stunning views.Dificulty: Medim- wet terrain as crossing the Owgariff river- very steepy descending w... walk, Len: 13.6km, Climb: 673m, Area: Stoompa, Mangerton (Ireland) Stoompa, M

  
Track
Carrauntoohil via central guy and dawn via oshea-gully WINTER WALK
marzka 2 hours ago.
This is a winter climb, therefore the winter equipment is needed and extra time should be added while planning that r... walk, Len: 10.6km, Climb: 779m, Area: Carrauntoohil, MacGillycuddy's Reeks (Ir

Summit Comment
Corraduff Hill: Coastal Hill
sandman 12 hours ago.
Corraduff Hill as seen from the Benwee Loop Walk.

  
Summit Comment
Benwee NE Head: Coastal Hill
sandman 12 hours ago.
It is easy to reach the area i took the photo from just a slight detour off the Benwee Loop Walk F8220244947 it is the next bit that the problem arises. Definitely an Ian Miller summit.

  
Summit Comment
Doonvinalla W Top: Coastal Hill
sandman 12 hours ago.
The Stags of Broad Haven just one of the fantastic photo opportunities from this summit which is easily accessed from the Benwee Loop Walk the easy option from the pier at Portacloy F8395844259.

Summit Comment
Geevraun Point: Coastal Hill
sandman a day ago.
Located in an area of stunning coastlines this hill does not disappoint . A fantastic linear coastal walk exists from Beldberg Pier to Porturlin Pier well worth the effort but if you wish to visit...

  
Summit Comment
Doonvinalla E Top: Coastal Hill
sandman a day ago.
Easy access from the pier at Portacloy F8395844259 follow the Benwee Loop walk and branch off where appropriate . The photo shows views across towards Benwee Head in the background .

  
Track
Exploration of Wicklow Head from the north.
simon3 3 days ago.
As you will immediately see from the track this was an exploration of what is possible thoroughly exploring various d... walk, Len: 6.6km, Climb: 126m, Area: Brides Hill, Wicklow Coastal Hill (Irelan


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 27 Next page >>