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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)
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 29 Next page >>
Summit Summary
Carran South Top: An uninspiring summit
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 14 hours ago.
The shortest approach to Carran S top is from Bealick. Starting from Gougane Barra forest park W070 653 C. Follow trail to it's high point then head North to Bealick then follow a fence to Carran ...

  
Forum: General
No Green Card Required!
liz50 19 hours ago.
With the likely postponement of Brexit until June at the earliest a Green Card will not be required to attend the Mountainviews members and friends meetup walk in the Mournes on Saturday 6th April...

  
Summit Summary
Carran: Several approachs
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 14 hours ago.
There is no direct approach to Carran. The options include taking in all 4 Carran summits from the west parking near a farmyard at the end of a yellow road W039 689 and follow a track from W043 68...

Summit Comment
An Cheathrú Lair: Highest Point is the West Quarter.89m ?
ucampbell 18 hours ago.
The way marked trail maps provided on the Island lead you to the Cliffs. However I wanted to reach the highest point and this was easily done in the time allowed before getting the afternoon ferry...

  
Summit Comment
Lackagh Mountain: Lackagh or Boleybrack?
TommyV a day ago.
My approach to Lackagh mountain also known as Boleybrack was from the West side of the mountain. There is a road leading to G90078 31002 where there is a road leading into a forest with unauthoriz...

  
Track
An Starraicin
Fergalo 22 hours ago.
An Starraicin overlooking lockadun starting at the Lockadun start point Cloghane walk, Len: 9.0km, Climb: 533m, Area: An Starraic?n, Central Dingle (Ireland) An...

Summit Comment
Carrane Hill: Navy Seals only for this approach
TommyV a day ago.
I decided to try Carrane Hill from the East side as it looked on my map as if there was a forest track going most of the way up and indeed there is. It's possible to park at a forestry gate at G86...

  
Summit Comment
Curlew Mountains: The Blair Witch Project
TommyV a day ago.
It's hard to believe this has been visited by 19 members. paddyhillsbaggers description is about right. The first stage is a stumble over stumps and felled trees before entering the forest. I had ...

  
Summit Comment
Croaghmuckros: A great reward for a leisurely stroll
bertandally 2 days ago.
We parked up at the entrance to the comms mast access road at G6186975866 as we thought the access road was the best option for us as we had our 6 year old with us and regardless the recent weathe...

Track
Brandon point to Sas Creek to Araglen
Fergalo a day ago.
Brandon point to Sas Creek to Araglen returning to Brandon point be Teer bog road walk, Len: 16.2km, Climb: 554m, Area: Faill an tS?is, Brandon Group (Ireland) F...

  
Summit Comment
Carronadavderg: Very unremarkable.
TommyV 2 days ago.
Not much to add to the comments here except that there appears to be some maintenance work being carried out on the access road so there is a mound of gravel at the access gate so parking is a bit...

  
Summit Comment
Carricktriss Gorse: Looking for a trig in the trees.
TommyV 2 days ago.
Followed the directions provided by wicklore and jackhil. Happy to report that there is no sign of the rottweiler but the house does have a beware of the dog sign. Just to mention it's possible to...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 29 Next page >>