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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.
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 18 Next page >>
Summit Comment
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mcrtchly 2 days ago.
A snowy day gives a different perspective on the Poisoned Glen and Crockfadda. This photo was taken with a 500mm lens at a distance of 1.5km from the Scared Heart Church and 8km from the the Poiso...

  
Summit Comment
Tomies Mountain: Light on Tomies and Purple
davsheen 2 days ago.
Tomies and Purple in the Light from Muckross

  
Summit Comment
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We were lucky to see a white tailed eagle gliding gracefully over Eirk Lough before before coming to rest on a rock, which provided the opportunity to capture a pic of the rarely seen bird of prey...

Summit Comment
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The French writer Maupassant used to say he had lunch in the Eiffel Tower every day because it was the only place in Paris that he couldn't see the thing. A similar view might be taken of Foardal,...

  
Track
The Beara-Breifne Way Day 6
mlmoroneybb 6 days ago.
Thanks to all for making the weekends on the Beara-Breifne Way so special. We have completed 187Km in 7 Day?s walking walk, Len: 30.3km, Climb: 781m, Area: Paps/Derrynasaggart (Ireland)

  
Track
The Beara-Breifne Way Day5
mlmoroneybb 6 days ago.
Day 5 we set out for Ballyvourney where some of us put our cupla focail to good use. Along this trail we came across man walk, Len: 23.4km, Climb: 483m, Area: Shehy/Knockboy (Ireland)

Summit Summary
Foardal: Simple approach from NW
Collaborative entry Last edit by: Colin Murphy a week ago.
If you want to do this in isolation, the simplest route is from the car park at V882790, and then heading SE directly up the heathery slope for 1km. The summit itself is a broad heathery mound.

  
Forum: General
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BleckCra a week ago.
Simon. Himself is the well known to some, Bernard Hill. Less well known of course are hills to do with ants, except to some. Keep er lit though. At least some sort of discussion and of course only...

  
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The Beara-Breifne Way Day4
mlmoroneybb 6 days ago.
The Saturday trek started in the scenic village of Glengarriff. From here a short boat trip brought some of our members... walk, Len: 27.5km, Climb: 783m, Area: Shehy/Knockboy (Ireland) Foilastookeen

Forum: General
Enjoy your trip
BleckCra 5 days ago.
The first flurry of snow here in Armagh. A biting wind. Antenna whiskers taste the chill air and the prospect of picture postcard winter days. In no time at all, the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue will...

  
Track
The Beara-Breifne Way Day7
mlmoroneybb 6 days ago.
On Sunday, we were not attacked by the MacCarthys of Drishane Castle but started our walk on the O?Keefe Booning Castl walk, Len: 27.7km, Climb: 362m, Area: Paps/Derrynasaggart (Ireland)

  
Summit Summary
Derrygarriff: Fine summit, easily reached.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: Colin Murphy a week ago.
There are access issues around Moll's Gap, so suggest starting at car park at V882790 and proceeding up the heathery slopes to Foardal - about 1km to the SE, before walking the 1.5km to the SW to ...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 18 Next page >>