No Zip Lines in Glenridding

Say no-to zipwire in Glenridding

Say no to proposed zipwire in Glenridding




Results of the community vote on 12th December to the following question

“Are you in favour of the proposed zip wire installations in the Glenridding Valley?”

In Favour 13
Against 324
Abstention 1
Unqualified 46

Total Votes 384

As a result of this vote Tree Top Trek Issued the Following Statement:

‘Whilst I obviously regret not having been able to develop the concept into a proposal, the local community has made their views very clear and I will stand by our commitment not to pursue this any further in Glen Ridding.  I am grateful for having had the opportunity to debate what was always going to be a contentious topic and in doing so have at least demonstrated that the zip wire concept is valid and broadly acceptable in the right location.  I would like to thank the community again for their time. It is to their complete credit that they have been so unified in their response.’  

Thank you all.

Just Say No to the Proposed Zip Wires in Glenridding

My posts here are normally celebrating the natural beauty and tranquillity of the Lake District, and of the Ullswater and Helvellyn area in particular – so I apologise in advance for using this platform for a bit of soap boxing. However it is precisely because I love the Lake District as it is, and want to protect it for the benefit of all, that I am about to rant on against the ludicrous proposals being mooted to install four, 100 mph, 1 mile long zip lines in Glenridding by Helvellyn and Ullswater.



The Story so far…

The Lake District National Park (LDNP) has issued a planning advice statement to a company who are considering developing a new ‘attraction’ in Glenridding – at least 4 parallel, mile long, zip lines, with operating speeds of up to 100 mph, running from somewhere on Greenside mine, down the valley to the fields above Glenridding. On Monday 29th September I attended, along with 100 or so other residents from the Dale, a meeting at Glenridding Village Hall at which the company involved shared a platform alongside representatives of the National Park to answer questions from people about the proposals. In a nutshell they both said that no formal application for planning had been made but that Glenridding was being considered by the company “along with other options in the Lake District”. The company involved already runs a much smaller scale zip wire attraction in Windermere, coincidentally at the Lake District National Park visitor centre at Brockhole, and its business partner runs similar attractions in Wales. At the end of the meeting we were left no clearer as to when and if an application would be made, and on what basis a decision would be made as to whether to proceed by the company.

Four Reasons Why the Lake District National Park can NEVER say yes to a Zip Wire in Glenridding

So for what it’s worth here’s my message to the National Park and to the company as to why the answer they are looking for is simple and quick to make:

  • Agreeing to it would be contrary to everything that the Lake District National Park Authority should stand for in terms of its founding objectives
  •  Zip Lines in the Ullswater and Helvellyn Area would be utterly out of keeping with the natural beauty, peace and tranquillity of the dale
  •  They would have a negative impact on the local economy by driving away people who already come here and stay here and spend here precisely because of its current “unspoilt” nature
  •  The National Park Authority has a clear conflict of interest given the considerable financial gain it would receive from installation of the “attraction”
Beautiful & Peaceful - please keep it that way

Beautiful & Peaceful – please keep it that way

Let me try and give a little more detail to each of these reasons

  1. This type of installation is contrary to the LDNP’s own objectives

The objective of the Park Authority according to its own website is “to conserve and enhance its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and to help people understand and enjoy its special qualities.  National Parks are protected under legislation and the planning system to ensure conservation and enhancement of their special qualities not just for the present, but also for future generations of residents and visitors”. Not sure how 4 parallel mile long zip wires on metal pylons installed on a scheduled ancient monument in an area of outstanding natural beauty quite fits in with that then. There is even the “Sandford Principle” – Section 62 of the Environment Act 1995, which makes clear that if National Park purposes are in conflict then conservation must have priority.

  1. Ullswater and Helvellyn is an inappropriate place for such an “attraction”

People come to the Ullswater and Helvellyn area to enjoy the many varied activities already on offer, and to enjoy the unspoilt natural beauty, peace and tranquillity of the place. Whether it’s walking, mountain biking, fell running, climbing, canyoning, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming or just relaxing and enjoying the views there are already an abundance of visitors, young and old who come here to have fun and enjoy themselves, without the need for additional gimmicks. There are already places where people can go for this sort of activity in the National Park, such as Whinlatter, Grizedale, and of course Brockhole. As for the mine itself, it is a scheduled ancient monument, and an SSSI and as such highly inappropriate for any sort of development. The mine also houses several hostels which are used by hundreds of children a year, many from areas of social deprivation, and for whom the whole benefit of coming to the area is to get an appreciation of nature – not likely if all they can see is the opportunity to zip down a mile long funfair ride. Sadly of course these sort of children wouldn’t be able to afford the zip line anyway – not the “grey pound” target market don’t you know…

  1. The new attraction is likely to have a negative economic impact on the local economy

One of the key perceived benefits of the new “attraction” is the likely economic benefits in terms of new jobs and increased visitors. However, as with all claims of obvious prosperity for all, it is worth looking at the real economic impact. As stated above many of the people who currently come to the area, and stay in the Hotels, B&Bs and cottages come because of its peace, tranquillity and natural beauty – the “unspoilt” nature of what you might call the “real” Lake District. It is highly likely that many of these people will not want to return if their peace and tranquillity is marred by the high noise levels generated by the zip lines, and their views are ruined by large metal pylons. In addition most of the revenue generated will actually go straight to the company running the attraction and the National Park themselves, but more on that shortly…

In all likelihood all that will happen is that current day trippers will be put off coming as they won’t be able to park and so the people that eat and drink in the cafes and spend money in the local shops will disappear. Meanwhile the people who stay for 2-3 days in B&Bs and Hotels and for week long stays in the local holiday cottages will simply go elsewhere, meaning there will be no one eating out in the local pubs and restaurants in the evening, or spending money during the day in the local shops – threatening existing local jobs.

As for the new jobs, by the company’s own admission, most of the jobs it has generated in Brockhole are seasonal low paid jobs. No one disagrees that we need more jobs for young local people in the Dale, but we need more skilled fulltime jobs which will allow them to thrive and support their own families. So basically unless you’re the “attraction” operator, the LDNP, or after a part time, seasonal, low paid job, then this will have no benefit to local people, and indeed is more likely to reduce their revenues and job prospects.

4. The LDNP has a clear conflict of interest in the whole thing

As the landowner of the site where the “attraction” is proposed, and many of the facilities to be used by visitors to it, there is a clear conflict of interest between LDNP’s primary role as the “protector” of the National Park through its planning committee and the commercial benefit it would directly receive as a landowner as a result of a positive planning decision. So how would the LDNP Authority benefit financially? Here’s 5 ways for a start.

    1. The proposal is for the visitors to the “attraction” park to in the LDNP car park in Glenridding – up to £8 a go currently
    2. “Riders” as they’re apparently called would then use the LDNP Tourist Information Centre in Glenridding to purchase their tickets, for which service again the LDNP would presumably be paid
    3. “Riders” would then be bussed up to Greenside Mine, potentially on a “land train” along a bridlepath, most of which is owned by, you’ve guessed it, the LDNP
    4. When arriving at the start of the “attraction”, “Riders” would be kitted out in a new visitor centre, which may well be the existing LDNP hostel at the site
    5. After no doubt having a coffee and cake in the new cafe which is likely to be built in the LDNP owned building, the “Riders” will then get into 4x4s to drive up the fell to then mount the steel pylon to start their ride, which of course is built on LDNP land and for which the company operating the “attraction” will be paying a premium rent.

So the positive for the Lake District National Park Authority is that they get money from the entire life-cycle – parking, ticket purchase, transport to the start, and of course the zip lines themselves. No conflict of interest there then….

Just so there is no doubt exactly where the LDNP stands on this issue – since I first published this blog I have been told that the Chief Executive of the LDNP himself made a phone call earlier in the year to the owner of one of the properties which would be most affected by the proposal to try and “sell” the idea to him. He failed in that endeavour but at least he’s now let the rest of us know how impartial the LDNP are likely to be if it ever comes to a planning vote. For those interested in the Planning Advice Statement this can be accessed here.

There are a host of other issues associated with the proposal – not least of which is that access to the mine is via a single track bridleway used regularly by walkers and bikers, who would struggle to keep using it when the “landtrain” is zipping up and down every 10 minutes or so. Not to mention other practical issues like parking, sewage issues, etc etc etc. The point is that given the four points above these other important considerations should not even need to be discussed. The very idea of scheme should be dropped – now and forever.

Red Deer often seen above Greenside - but for hom much longer?

Red Deer often seen above Greenside – but for how much longer?

So Who Is Behind this Mad Plan?

I have deliberately not named the company responsible for the proposed scheme. There are enough clues out there if anyone wants to find out. As it goes I have nothing against them personally – I know what it’s like to build a business in the Lake District and I’m all in favour of local businesses looking to bring in jobs to the area – just make sure they’re the right jobs in the right area. To be honest I feel sorry for them as they’ll be wasting an awful lot of time, money and effort coming up with a proposal in the first place when the Lake District National Park authority should have told them from the off that it as a non-starter. So come on LDNP – as both the landowner and custodian of the National park – do the decent, sensible and obvious thing and tell the company that they’re wasting their time and they should direct their talents and efforts elsewhere. Now.

So what next?

Well as above we, the residents of the Dale, are simply waiting for the company to decide whether to submit a formal planning application or not, and for the National Park to then “do its thing”. There are other sites far more appropriate, not least of which is the fabulous Honister Site.

In the meantime please feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Also keep an eye out via my helvellyn twitter for #noziphere. WE NOW HAVE AN ONLINE PETITION – PLEASE VISIT

Our original poll is below.

Taken above Greenside earlier this year. Not sure we'd see this with zip lines in place

Taken above Greenside earlier this year. Not sure we’d see this with zip lines in place

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68 Responses to No Zip Lines in Glenridding

  1. Reblogged this on Special Offers on Ullswater Cottages and commented:
    Please help us to kill off this idea before it has even started! #noziphere

  2. Laurie Driscoll says:

    No, don’t do it!!!!! Continue to support hiking , walking, fishing etc

  3. helvellyn says:

    Some comments from yesterday – thanks for the feedback…

    Janet S

    this scheme cannot be allowed to go ahead. The impact on such a tranquil landscape would be devastating. We are at a loss to understand how a body such as the Lake District National Parks Authority can entertain such a crackpot idea which would totally destroy a beautiful location when surely they have a responsibility to protect the natural landscape.

    Barbara K

    Beautifully written and totally well-reasoned. I have been near the base of a zip line and they are awful eyesores and the noise level is daunting. It would be, for me, reason to avoid Glenridding. How to make sure it doesn’t happen! I have no local voice, but will sign petitions and write letters and anything else I can do. I’ll keep watch for opportunities to help.

    Chris P

    My favourite part of the country, let alone the Lake District. It would be a horrible mistake for this to happen, and it shouldn’t even be considered in the first place.

  4. Chris says:

    Good response Rob. I went to the meeting as an ambivalent fence sitter about the project, and came away convinced that the whole project would be a dreadful mistake for Glenriddiding. I also got the impression from the developers that it had not got beyond the back of a fag packet in how well that they had thought it out, given that so many local factors had just not occurred to them, but also that the LDNPs interest was unhealthy, given several potential conflicts of interests if it ever went further. We have to realise that whatever they say, public opinion will count for nothing if it came to a planning application. The Ambleside Sainsburys planning application is evidence of this. I also think that we are being naïve if we are seduced by the idea of the 45 full time jobs for locals. If Go Ape, a long established similar sort of business is anything to go by, they employ part time staff for the summer on minimum wage. These guys will be no different. The largest local employer at present is probably the Inn on the Lake, and they have to fill their vacancies by brining in staff from elsewhere, and buying property locally to house them. So, much as I would love to see lots of long term well paid jobs for locals in the valley, this project will not provide them.

    • helvellyn says:

      Thanks Chris – couldn’t agree more. Worst of all of course this is no sort attraction for Morgan and Scruffy who would find wandering up the bridlepath most unpleasant with the traffic and wouldn’t even be allowed onto the thing when they got there….

  5. helvellyn says:

    More comments from the poll yesterday. A bit of a debate which is always nice to see. Just to add my thoughts to Jim’s comment – perhaps if you’d actually read the blog (a stretch I know as it’s more than 130 characters long) you’d have realised that

    a) the “attraction” is actually aimed at the older generation anyway as they’ll be the only ones with enough money to afford it – the “grey pound” to quote the company involved and

    b) the biggest losers are likely to be the hundreds of youngsters who currently use the site and will be edged out by this development.

    Still thanks for giving us your thoughts and I’m looking forward to one day truly joining the ranks of “old farts” when I get to stop working for a living….

    So comments from yesterday as below…


    Zip wires are great fun and a great attraction but only in the right location. Young and old can enjoy zip wire attractions within 20 minutes of Glenridding already either at Brockholes Visitor Centre or Whinlatter Forest. Surely wanting to leave the main route up to Helvellyn traffic and noise free doesn’t make you an old fart. The area already has plenty to offer both young people – just come and see for yourself any weekend you like!


    Zip wire should go ahead. Something for the younger generation to enjoy. The lake district should be enjoyed by all, not just you old farts.

  6. martin jenkinson says:

    I think a few yrs ago a zip wire at honister slate mine was refused….maybe because LDNP wouldn’t have made any money from it !!!

  7. Terry says:

    Really hope this happens. Can’t wait to have a go!

  8. John Gay says:

    The park authority have a clear conflict of interest here; they would stand to gain handsomely with the financial arrangement they would set up with the zip wire firm. I think therefore that there is a strong case for the Secretary of State to call in the application should the firm decide to submit one.

    • helvellyn says:

      Hi John – thanks for the comment. I quite agree with you! My main concern there would be that the Secretary of State might be the same one responsible for funding the LDNP and putting pressure on them to become more self-funding and therefore may well be in favour of a plan that will make them money. But maybe I’m just being paranoid and cynical – after all I am officially an “old fart” with a black hairy dog….

  9. helvellyn says:

    Another comment from yesterday on the poll. Thanks for the comment Steve – much appreciated and a well made set of points….


    Firstly an excellent written article Second to the old farts comment while it is true that the lake district is there to be enjoyed by all, you will find that there are enough Visitor activity centres around for all who want this sort of “Entertainment” We chose Ullswater as our preffered spot because it is what it is now, it can get busy and suspect supports the existing businness there as it now stands Taking the disturbance of the wire and it’s assosciated noise to one side, because it is a given that this will be excessive for the area, the wire will do nothing for the present hotel/guest house/holiday accomodation. A Zip wire attraction, is just that, an attraction, something people go for a couple of hours then move on to the next excitement because that is the style of holiday they wish, they do not nescessarily stay in the area. So to make the venture viable they would need a vast number of visitors a day, who turn up for a couple of hours then move on. In other words a massive increase in traffic which will undoubtedly be coming up Kirkstone from the Kendal -Ambleside routes into the lakes To be brutal an ill thought out idea that will totally ruin the area visually and take away the tranquility of a beautifuly relaxing part of the world A definite no,plans should never be submitted or even considered and I will sign every petition to that effect

  10. helvellyn says:

    Poll comments from today. Firstly Ann

    The Cumbria visitor survey is carried out every 3 years by cumbria tourism. It is the only available source of information, providing objective and robust analysis of the profile and characteristics of cumbria’s visitors. It is an invaluable source of information for businesses in the tourism industry. The ability to understand the visitor market and the implications of recent trends is imperritive when maintaining and growing market share. The 2012 survey is the most recent. Here are some of the key findings: “Cumbria continues to attract a higher proportion of visitors from the older age group with 70% aged 45+ and 37% 60yrs and older.” When asked about their motivation for visiting cumbria “69% choose to visit cumbria because of the physical scenery and landscape, 54% for the atmospheric characteristics of the area, ie that it is peaceful, relaxing, beautiful etc. 44% visit because they have been before – the loyal repeat market” So here we have empirical evidence that the vast majority of visitors are indeed the from the older age group (the so called grey pound) but that their motivations to visit the area are contrary to that suggested by the target market of the zip wire company. I wonder where they have got their figures from for their business plan?? The survey also states that staying visitors ie those who stay in the area as oppossed to day visitors are far more valuable to cumbria’s visitor economy. So it is imperative that a place like Glenridding looks after its existing loyal staying visitors who are already attracted by its peaceful beauty and unspoilt scenery.

    Couldn’t agree more!

  11. helvellyn says:

    And secondly from Paul

    I’m open to development ideas. We need to remember that the current environment is a result years of human intervention; mining, farming and deforestation principally. If a zip wire were combined with a reforestation/re-wilding project then I could be persuaded.

    Note to Paul – I’m also open to development ideas and not against this kind of thing in the right place (did someone say Honister??!!). Thing to remember about this location is it’s not in a “wild” area. Real people live in houses all along the proposed route and the start point is currently home to various hostels used by charities to provide children with a “taste of the countryside”. So not the right place for this. As for reforestation I also agree. Sadly in this location the LDNP and local farmer cut down a large area of woodland on the site just last year – home no doubt to red squirrels and any number of nesting birds. But heck – I guess it would have got in the way of the mile long zip lines and nothing should stand in the way of that now should it….

  12. Sarah dunse says:

    Are you local? If not then don’t you think it should be up to us locals? Does it affect you in any way? We should have the right to decide without people coming in ad tainting the decision

    • helvellyn says:

      Hi Sarah

      Yes and Yes to both of those questions. I’m local and have a local business that will be directly affected in an adverse way by this. And yes I agree “we” should be allowed to decide but not just in isolation – we live in a “national” park which is maintained for the good of the nation as a whole….

      • Sarah dunse says:

        I haven’t decided either way yet. I can see good and bad points. It could bring a lot of extra business to the village. Some of the local businesses have to close over winter as there is no one around. So they have to make sufficient funds to keep them going through the winter, out of summer time profits. Families coming to the zip wire, could stop off at local cafes, use the local shops, buy petrol from the garage etc. so it could mean a big plus for our economy. It would create jobs. My issue against it is the traffic increase which would go up the one and only road through the village, passed my house. So I can see both plus and negative points. I think before it was brought here, a lot would need to be taken into consideration and I understand that tourists who visit regularly are entitled to a say a they also contribute to the economy. I don’t think it is fair however, to write a one sided piece, encouraging people to vote no. Essentially it is the locals who will have to deal with it the most. We don’t want the national park to be hurt in any way either. But people do need to also consider what it is like for local residents trying to earn a living or keep businesses afloat. Thanks

      • helvellyn says:

        Thanks Sarah for your comments which are well made. I make no apologies for writing a “one sided piece” here though. We’re all entitled to our opinions and this is mine, on my own personal blog. There’s nothing to stop anyone else doing the same and presenting the opposite view – that’s the beauty of free speech and the internet. Thanks again.

  13. Kaitlyn says:

    You share interesting things here. I think that your blog can go viral
    easily, but you must give it initial boost and i know how
    to do it, just search in google (with quotes) for – “mundillo traffic increase”

  14. Steve Sykes says:

    l went to the meeting, heard both sides of the story, and must say that Rob has nailed it perfectly! l have fallen off the fence but thankfully an “old fart and his black hairy dog” were there for me to land on.
    The Lakes have everything to offer everyone – Glenridding has its own unique character that attracts those that seek peace, tranquility and unbelievable beauty in all seasons. Four zip wires taking 16 people every half an hour (remember the infrastructure needed to get them up there too) might just be in total contrast with the character of South Ullswater, guess we can only hope that the LDNP see it this way too.

    My optimistic naivety comforts me with the thought that the company in question assured us on the 29th that they would not even consider taking on this project on this site without the local community’s support.

    My eldest son on listening to S and l discussing Robs article asks – Will the mountain like it if we do this? Can’t answer that one son, but if we did this now, l reckon there won’t be much naturalness left for your childrens children to see.
    Guess if l were the mountain l wouldn’t be overly enamoured with the idea.

    • helvellyn says:

      Thanks Steve. They’ll be much debate all over, and especially in the village. I just hope we don’t all fall out over it, as many of the arguments in terms of jobs, visitors, revenue up or down can be argued equally convincingly either way. The real issue is the one you mention in terms of the character of the location – and ultimately that is what the LDNP is there to protect on behalf of all of us now and in the future. Otherwise the mountain might get angry – and none of us want that to happen…

  15. helvellyn says:

    And one final comment for the night from the poll from


    no!!!!! Glenridding does not need this , its beautiful natural, peaceful landscape its just perfect. people come to glenridding for the beauty, its tranquility, and to climb the mountains, to sail on the lake. if you want excitement go somewhere else!!! Do not spoil Glenridding!!! LEAVE IT ALONE!!!

  16. John Gay says:

    I agree with an earlier comment that locals need to have their say but not sure that the views of locals are tainted by views from our visitors. I think their opinions add to the debate and they come to this National Park from cities and other urban environments to reconnect with this very special natural environment. We benefit from their presence and maybe some of their points provide a wider perspective on the issue.

    We have visitors coming here from all over the UK and abroad for the peace and tranquillity this environment offers. Our environment draws people to our community and their visits provide our businesses with a well established customer base. In my humble opinion this zip wire will adversely affect the very reason why so many come to visit our area bringing essential income to our businesses. This development will deter our traditional customer base and it is unlikely that people coming for a thrill of a zip wire ride are going to stay to take up accommodation (B&Bs, hotels, camp sites, YHA) with the associated benefit to pubs and shops.

    Also please consider that we already have installations like this at Whinlatter, Grizedale and Brockhole and furthermore the park is a very small area: it extends to just over 32 miles (51km) from east to west and nearly 40 miles (64km) from north to south. There are plenty of theme parks around the UK but only one Lake District National Park. How much more of this very small and special natural landscape are we going to take away with the onward march of the built environment?

    The points made by the Lake District National Park in their Advice Statement to the zip wire firm are very relevant and I provide an extract in inverted commas as follows:

    “There are a number of significant material considerations which would need to be fully considered and investigated before any planning application was submitted. Issues are likely to include: Landscape and character of the area; Access, traffic and safeguarding the rights of way network; the Scheduled Ancient Monument; Contamination and pollution; ground conditions; residential amenity; Ecological impacts (particularly impacts upon the SAC
    and SSSI); and economic considerations. Based on the limited information provided so far, it is not possible to offer detailed advice on a number of these matters. Even at this early stage, some of these issues give cause for concern.
    In our view, significant issues are likely to include:
    • The principle of the development in planning policy terms
    • The impact of development upon the landscape and character of the area
    • Access, traffic, travel and safeguarding the rights of way network
    • The impact of development upon the Scheduled Ancient Monument
    • The impact of development upon contaminated land
    • The impact of development upon ground stability and conditions
    • The impact of development upon the residential amenity of nearby dwellings (e.g. as a result of noise)
    • Ecological impacts (particularly impacts upon the SAC and the SSSI)
    • The economic benefits of development”

    If you wish to read the Advice Statement it can be found on the Patterdale Parish Council web site

    For all the reasons above this is one development too far for me but happily we live in a democratic country and due process will take its course. I made my input at the open meeting held in the village hall on 29th September when approximately 90 people attended. The Advice Statement was discussed and there was a Q&A session with the zip wire firm and the LDNPA staff in attendance. The Advice Statement provided much food for thought and was a useful framework for the discussion. A summary of the points made at that meeting can be found at

    I see the Parish Council have this subject as an agenda item for their meeting on Monday 13th October

    With regard to my initial point concerning whether inputs to this discussion are from locals or visitors I have lived in Glenridding for 29 years. Our community means a lot to me and I have tried to contribute in many ways. For example I was deputy leader and training officer to the local rescue team for many years, the first training officer for Glenridding 1st Responders and taught IT on the initial courses at the Community Development Centre. That doesn’t make my contribution any more worthy than anyone else but it is an indication of my commitment to this dale. I hope that whatever the outcome we all are happy with the process by which the decision is made. My earlier comment that a planning application on this subject should be called in by the Secretary of State rather than dealt with by the LDNPA is I believe worthy of serious consideration.
    John Gay

  17. Ann Devenish says:

    “The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body.”
    ― Alfred Wainwright, The Western Fells

    In other words get your boots on and get out there in the hills. Experience and love the fells for what they are not what someone else wants to turn them into for their own gain.

  18. Matterdale Andy says:

    You’re probably aware already, but I think there is a precedent for ‘no’ arising from an application made by Honister Slate Mine for similar up Fleetwith Pike I think and so maybe the reasons for refusal may be worth reading?

    • helvellyn says:

      Hi Andy

      Thanks for this. We’re very aware of the Honister proposal. The main objection was on the grounds of disturbing the “peace and tranquility” of the landscape. In reality Honister is a far better site for this sort of thing as there is far less residential and other business activity that would be disturbed. The key difference though seems to be the fact that the National Park wouldn’t have made any money out of Honister as it doesn’t own any of the land or facilities there 😉

  19. helvellyn says:

    And another comment from the poll from Fay – which I wholeheartedly agree with!

    I am from the ’20s’ age bracket and totaly disagree, not with zipwires, mountian biking, trill seeking and general fun, but with this location. The company planning this & the LDNP must be mad to think that this activity and this location match. There are plenty of other suitable places, why this one? It doesn’t make any sense and should not go ahead!

  20. And the noise! I doubt the people using it wouldn’t shout and scream….

    • helvellyn says:

      Indeed. And with 4 lines running in parallel you be sure they’ll be an awful lot of shouting and screaming. Pity anyone getting taking their marriage vows in the outdoor pavilion at the Inn on the Lake – it’ll bring a whole new meaning to “speak now or forever hold your peace…..”

  21. helvellyn says:

    Thanks to Charlie S we now have an official online petition against the zip wire for those that are interested. Please sign up at

  22. PAUL ADG says:


    • helvellyn says:

      Luckily we’re all entitled to our opinions! Thanks for calling us “do gooders” anyway – much appreciated. As for making Glenridding “alive” again – it’s pretty alive anyway to those of us who live there. If you mean it’ll bring in more visitors – read the blog – it will but no more than the new steamer pier. We need visitors when the weathers rubbish – we need a new “wet weather” attraction and this ain’t it. It’ll stop when the wind blows and the rains coming down just like everything else!

  23. John Gay says:

    Paul ADG thinks Glenridding is not alive and of course he is entitled to his view. I live here and have done so for 29 years. I find Glenridding alive, thriving and there are opportunities for adventures in the great outdoors in this locality without the need for a zip wire. Just look at the trail running event today as an example. The car park is full and runners and their supporters are spending in the shops and pubs. Apart from activities on the fells we have all sorts of different events throughout the dale all year round; indeed the Glenridding village hall and the King George V playing fields are very popular venues.

    Visitors don’t stick to seasons anymore, winter can be just as busy as summer. Think what it was like in 2001 during the Foot & Mouth crisis when people were not allowed onto the fells. You would be right then Paul ADG, this dale was like a ghost town with pubs, shops, B&Bs, hotels and campsites empty. When the restrictions were eased outdoor enthusiasts flocked back and the whole area was thriving again. They came because of the natural beauty, peace and tranquillity and adventure to be had in the Lakes. And not a zip wire in sight!

    As for the zip wire landing in someone’s back garden the proposed end point is at approximate grid reference NY 377 171. This is in the local farmer’s field and to the best of my knowledge no where near the back garden of any councillor. It is certainly adjacent to houses particularly The Rakes and I dread to think what life will be like along that bridleway if this installation passes planning.

    I don’t see myself as a nimby, just someone who is genuinely concerned that this is the wrong installation for this location. We already have installations like this at Whinlatter, Grizedale and Brockhole and one just outside the National Park south of Kendal. Furthermore the park is a very small area: it extends to just over 32 miles (51km) from east to west and nearly 40 miles (64km) from north to south. There are plenty of theme parks around the UK but only one Lake District National Park.

    We need to consider the serious issues the park authority has raised including:
    • The principle of the development in planning policy terms
    • The impact of development upon the landscape and character of the area
    • Access, traffic, travel and safeguarding the rights of way network
    • The impact of development upon the Scheduled Ancient Monument
    • The impact of development upon ground stability and conditions
    • The impact of development upon the residential amenity of nearby dwellings (e.g. as a result of noise)
    • Ecological impacts (particularly impacts upon the SAC and the SSSI)

    For more details on the issues raised please see the Advice Statement (pdf file) issued by the LDNPA to the zip wire company. This can be found at

  24. Bill Bee says:

    This proposal is sponsored by Richard Leafe
    Insider info has revealed that RL commissioned an under the desk report through the staff (whilst many staff were under threat of redundancy and applying for new posts). They were aided by a planner. The report was absolutely against the proposal.
    However RLeafe stated confidentially that the company would be managed by his current girlfriend
    i have this on good authority from an employee
    Sending this protest to RL will not achieve anything

  25. John Gay says:

    Further to the rather disturbing information from Bill Bee above I see from UK climbing forum a post from an ex employee of Mike Turner of Tree Top Treks which reads as follows:
    “I witnessed blatant disregard for the Working Time Directive with staff doing up to 12 hour days without a scheduled break. This lead to staff desperate for the toilet and food at times while responsible for peoples safety. He got away with this by only offering Zero-Hour contracts, which meant if anyone raised a grievance (protocol in this situation) then they would simply get no more shifts.

    Mike Turner also decided the part of employment law about paying staff for training did not apply to him. Several staff reported this and he was found to have been operating outside the law by Her Majesties Minimum Wage inspectors and ordered to pay his staff their rightfully earned money.

    Of course – when Mike puts his idea to the planning board he is going to say that it will be good for the local economy (meaning the Turner Dynasty) and will neglect to mention discounted pay without rights or job security.”

    • Chris says:

      So just the sort of jobs Glenridding needs then. And Turner had the gall to stand up at the last meeting and talk about the 45 full time jobs that had been created in his last zip wire operation. Given that there are already a number of these types of marginal jobs around that locals evidently have the good sense not to do (zero hour contracts on minimum wage), we are being utterly naïve, if we think that this zip wire is going to bring some decent well paid jobs to the dale. They will be seasonal, part time, extremely variable, and by the sound of things, Turner will get his pound of flesh out of his unfortunate employees.

  26. John Gay says:

    I agree completely with Chris; I think it is important that we spread the word as to the reality of employment with this firm. The message I copied from an ex employee of Tree Top Treks taken via the UK climbing forum and posted here on 3rd November 4.26pm says it all.

  27. Paul Oates says:

    I am a grey (well white really) visitor who spent a few days on the campsite at Glenridding two weeks ago (paid the farmer, used the local shops and the steamer).One of the things I commented on was the fact that Glenridding was very little commercialised compared with 30 years ago (unlike say Ambleside). I walked in all the area affected by the proposed zip wire. I would not do this if a zip wire was in place. Even in winter the surroundings would still be ruined by the installations. I go to the Lakes to be away from such things. I am horrified.

    • helvellyn says:

      Dear Paul

      Many thanks for the comment – much appreciated. It is exactly this sort of totally understandable reaction from exisiting and very welcome visitors that we need. We are really worried that this proposal will harm our local economy by driving away the many thousands of visitors who come and stay in the village precisely because it is NOT Ambleside, Windermere or Keswick. They are all great places but you know what you’re getting and if it’s what you want then go there. If you want something else come here! It would be great if perhaps you could pass on your comments to the owners of the campsite you stayed in as they have the power to stop this thing right now – the zip lines will end in their fields and without their support it is a non-starter. Perhaps if they realised their existing business at the campsite would be adversely affected they might think twice about agreeing to it! Thanks again.

  28. John Gay says:

    We have a photo session people against the Glenridding zip wire for the press. By Helvellyn YH grid ref NY 366174 this Thurs 11.30 a.m. Please attend. Thanks.

  29. says:

    This is getting silly now.No plans have been submitted, yet locals are running to newspapers claiming that people are going to sell up and residents are falling out with each other. Who is behind all the are making us residents look like bloody fools. I would like to add the people behind all this crap are second home owners or holiday home owners who did not care about the village.Local kids cant afford to live in glenridding because of holiday home owners.I also hope that the companies who are against it refuse to serve any zip wire tourist. Lets wait and see if the plans are submitted before you make fools of us all.

    • helvellyn says:

      Thanks for joining the discussion. The answer to the “who is behind the hype” is of course Tree Top Trek and the National Park. They are the ones pushing this idea. Let’s hope sense prevails after the meeting on the 3rd December and we can all get back to making a living, raising our families and enjoying our surroundings….

  30. John Gay says: has an interesting point suggesting we wait until a planning application goes in. Please consider that this proposal raises many serious concerns such as
    • Landscape and character of the area
    • Access, traffic, travel and safeguarding the rights of way network
    • Affect on the residential amenity of nearby dwellings (e.g. noise)
    • Contaminated land and pollution
    • Impact on the Scheduled Ancient Monument
    • Impact upon ground stability and conditions
    • Ecological impacts (particularly impacts upon the SAC and SSSI)

    There has never been a proposal or planning application involving so many issues in the 29 years I have lived in the dale. By the way I live here full time. There will not be time for us to address all these issues if we have not discussed them beforehand. The public have 21 days and the council 28 days to respond after an application has been registered. That is not sufficient if we were to start from scratch without having aired all the issues beforehand.

    Richard Leafe the Head of the National Park is in favour of the Glenridding zip wire proposal despite the fact that the Planning Department have come out heavily against it and he has become personally involved. The property department of the National Park has already given the zip wire company permission to proceed in principle with a planning application for the financial benefits that will accrue to the authority. I am vigorously supporting the position made by the planning department in their Advice Statement which is standing up for the very principles for which the authority was brought into existence. Their Advice Statement makes it clear that the proposal in the open countryside is unacceptable as a matter of policy principle. Yet Richard Leafe is still supporting it. Don’t you find that worrying?

    We therefore have a conflict of interest and for justice to be done and seen to be done the application should be called in by the Secretary of State. We would not have time after the application is registered to undertake all the criteria required to make a case to government to have it called in if we are not prepared beforehand. Some Brockhole residents spoke at our second open meeting on the 10th November regarding an application in relation to the Brockhole visitor centre. The planning application in question arrived on their doorsteps on Christmas Eve. So you can imagine how difficult it was to get people together over the Christmas holidays. By the time that happened there was very little time to gather information and make a case.

    I don’t know if you attended the first two open meetings but there was no hype, just constructive discussion based on the Planning Department’s Advice Statement. The web site is just presenting those facts and thus promoting discussion which surely has to be a good thing. So if a planning application is registered we will be prepared and can make our response, for or against, as we will have debated the facts and been able to take an informed view.

    I look forward to Richard Leafe and Mike Turner of the zip wire company making their points at the third open meeting on 3rd December. This will help me and I hope our community take that informed view that is essential if we are not to find ourselves against the wire with only 21 or 28 days to respond.

  31. Steve says:

    I’ve been coming to the lakes, often Glenridding, every year for the past 50 years. I found this “proposal” while surfing for events during my weeks stay first week in December. I cannot believe its even being considered. Yes I now bring the “grey Pound” to the lakes but at 56 I am no old dodderer. I like zip wires, I go to places that need them to create any kind of interest, but I come to Glenridding for the peace; beautiful scenery and wildlife. This year I have booked a second lakes holiday out of season for the first time ever, instead of a usual week in Turkey. My wife and I; my two sons and their families; my brothers and wives all agree they will stop coming if zip wires ruin the peace. It’s a no brainer isn’t it?

    • helvellyn says:

      Well said Steve. You’re right – it’s a no brainer. Let’s just hope the Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Richard Leafe agrees when he comes to meet the village on Wednesday night.

  32. Adam Thom says:

    RL did indeed start this initiative and went to ttt where he had interests in a certain lady there. Ttt did not come up with this idea but have been encouraged from the beginning by RL who proposed the site.If these are the underhand tactics being used how can we be sure RL is not planning to make a personal profit from this? He already is apparently rarely seen at ldnpa and has took on extra work for the environment agency earning 18k a year one day a week neglecting his ldnpa duties. The man is power, money and women mad and until he’s left the organisation we should not rest. An enquiry into his leadership is required. PS this is the tip of the iceberg plenty more crazy ideas coming to Windermere and Keswick!!

  33. concered res says:

    we need to keep tis fight clean. comments made by gossips and personal attacks will not do us any good. adam I think you should be very carefull what you are saying

    • helvellyn says:

      Many thanks for the comment. I hope that everyone is trying to keep this as “clean” as possible and argue the case based on facts and common sense. We’ll see on Wednesday night whether both sides are playing by the same rules – let’s hope so!

      • A says:

        Please remove personal attack post. Thanks

      • helvellyn says:

        Hi – not sure which post you’re referring to. There are several where statements have been made on both sides which some might consider a “personal attack”. However the benefit of free speech is that all comments as long as they are not offensive should be considered appropriate. I’m hopeful it’ll all be cleared up on Wednesday night and we’ll all be able to get on with our lives….

  34. Just wanted to wish local residents good luck in getting their voices heard tomorrow night. I was introduced to the Lakes – specifically Glenridding – by Graeme C and his late parents about 35 years, and have loved it ever since. I hope that TTT honour their pledge of listening to the locals.

    • helvellyn says:

      Many thanks Richard – we will do our best and knowing most of us getting heard won’t be a problem! Getting the people listening to act on our concerns on the other hand may be more difficult!! Suffice to say GC for one will be in fine and full voice!

  35. treetoptrek says:

    Dear resident
    Whatever your vote and the overall outcome of the forthcoming poll I would like to personally thank you for your time and at least considering the idea of a zip wire, once again I apologise if the process in doing so has caused any inconvenience or bad feeling. If you are in any doubt over the suitability of zip wires in the National park then I would like to personally invite you to Brockhole to experience what we have already offered 100,000 Lake District visitors to date. I have scheduled an open session on Wednesday 10th December from 1pm – 4pm for this purpose; please let us know beforehand if you are able to attend. If work or family commitments make this impossible please let me know and we will do our best to accommodate you elsewhere. 01539446186 or
    Yours sincerely
    Mike Turner

    • helvellyn says:

      Hi Mike

      Many thanks for this. I would like to thank you for honouring your pledge to stand by the outcome of our community vote. You have acted with integrity throughout this process and it is obvious you have a passion for your work and your product. As you know I have nothing personally against zip wires, even in the LDNP, but for me Glenridding is simply the wrong location. All the best. Rob.

  36. Ann Devenish says:

    I have enjoyed fell running / walking for many years. Apart from spending on decent running and walking gear, my chosen daily ‘adventure’ is free. I can go out where and when I want. I don’t make any impact on the environment apart from the odd foot print. I don’t cause any pollution by having to be transported to a start point and I don’t need any permanent structure to start and end my run / walk from. I create no anti social noise i.e. screaming and do not have to rely on noisy equipment. I also do not need planning permission!
    The effect on my own health and wellbeing is immeasurable. It is well documented and researched that the physiological benefits from cardiovascular exercise is immense. Psychologically the sense of wellbeing is also well documented and long lasting. Endorphins (happy hormones) are released during exercise and continue circulating long after, this is why the medical profession now recommend exercise to help combat depression. The same can be said for most other outdoor pursuits which are undertaken in the lakes every day all year round, by countless people, young and old and this has been the case for many years.
    I think by this stage we are all a bit tired of saying this but Zip wires are first and foremost a commercial operation. The company in question obviously want to make money, that has to be their main priority. Yes Zip wires may well be viewed as an adventure to some but as far as I am concerned, if you have to pay for and rely on someone else for a quick, expensive adrenaline rush which has no health benefits for the recipients but does line the pockets of the zip wire company then you have to ask yourself who is gaining most?
    We have been accused of being NIMBY’S and killjoys. I would argue the opposite. No one is preventing anyone from participating in the many adventures already to be had around Glenridding / Ullswater, in fact it is positively encouraged. But when you have an activity being promoted which will adversely affect personal lives, livelihoods, way of life and other peoples enjoyment of the great out doors then it is WRONG. This is why zip wires in other countries and other counties have been placed well away from areas of habitation and with sufficient infrastructure to support them. Zipworld at Bethesda is a good example. NO OTHER adventurous activity which currently takes place in and around the Glenridding / Ullswater area impacts in such an adverse way.
    The national park Authority should be encouraging and promoting activities which have no adverse or permanent impact on the open fell side.
    We have a major issue in this country with chronic illness resulting from obesity and inactivity. The drain on the health service both now and in the future is truly scary. I urge the National Park Authority to play its part in encouraging the type of activity / adventure which promotes the use of the lungs and legs we were born with in order to optimise health and well being and not to encourage an activity which relies on no effort from the participants other than to step off an ugly, permanent man made platform.

  37. treetoptrek says:

    Dear Residents,
    Weather forecast is not looking its best for tomorrow!. As we have already posted we were planning open sessions tomorrow for you to visit us ( Wednesday the 10th December), but like everything, weather rules and is very likely that the wind will be too strong for us to operate. Please get in touch If you were thinking of coming and we will be more than happy to rearrange a date for you. Thank you

  38. John Gay says:

    With regard to the invitation from Treetop Trek to experience the zip wire experience at Brockhole when is the penny going to drop with this company? We are not against zip wires per se but zip wires in the open countryside of Lakeland valleys. The LDNPA planning department has made it absolutely clear to the company in their Advice Statement that the proposal is unacceptable as a matter of policy principle. And what is the policy principle? Quite simply it relates to sustainable tourism. The planning department understands that Treetop Trek’s proposal would damage the spectacular scenery, character and landscape of the valley. The Advice Statement from the LDNPA planning department sent to the company makes it clear that the protection of the landscape is what tourism ultimately trades upon. Our businesses know that which is why they have come out against this proposal

    Let me quote you from the LDNP Partnership Plan 2015 – 2020 consultation document. When discussing “A world class visitor experience” a paragraph on p76 reads “Visitors themselves increasingly expect to see their presence isn’t causing harm to the environment or to the local community … if visitors themselves are seeing the impacts of tourism, this can detract from their overall experience and they are less likely to return”.

    So that’s what sustainable tourism is about. When is the penny going to drop Treetop Trek?

  39. richard says:

    I think that’s it is up to residents of the valley to make their own minds up.The vote is going ahead this week and we shall wait the outcome. insults gossip and bullying tactics by the anti zip wire needs to stop.let the residents decide !

    • helvellyn says:

      Thank you Richard. Not sure anyone is using insults or bullying tactics and as for a bit of gossip no-one should be bothered by that. Smoke and fire and sticks and stones spring to mind. Anyway, as you rightly say the residents (or in fact the community) need to decide and by Saturday night we’ll know how they all feel.

  40. jack says:

    what is becoming clear is that the anti zip wire bunch in this village is playing dirty.people in vilaage are living in fear. did neil from the petrol station write his comments himself? is the votes being cast at the post office fair or are hands slipping into the box and seeing what people have voted? are comments for the zip wire being allowed on here? no no no the campaign in support of the zip wire is growing stronger everyday. locals will not be pushed about from outsides moving into the village. any resident who own 4 homes in the village don’t care about the village do u care about local kids not being able to buy homes in the vale thanks to outsiders moving in and buying all the homes for money that’s all. its wrong people are being mad aware of the dirty tricks you are all playing. let the village be the village it belongs to locals not greedy outsiders with nothing better to do than complain.

    • helvellyn says:

      Thanks Jack. Everyone’s opinion counts and nobodys comments on this blog have been blocked so everyone’s had a chance to make their points – whatever they are. And I couldn’t agree more that the village belongs to the locals so let’s see what they all decide at the weekend!

  41. Ray Griffiths says:

    Sad that I can not vote as I live outside the parish. However having strong links with the dale over the last 40 years, I hope that TreetopTricks stand by their promise and respect the views they have heard at the meetings even if the vote is close. I have every faith that the dalsfolk will vote NO! But my faith in “politicians and businessmen” is limited and If there is a close result the outcome may be a dramatic football style appeal to the referee for a further variation

    • helvellyn says:

      Hi Ray. Many thanks for the comment. It may well be closer than some expect – we’ll see. Whatever the result I’m sure both sides will stand by it and each other afterwards…..

  42. David WALMSLEY says:

    We come to Glenridding usually three times a year to walk the views, spending days doing lakeshore, fell and higher walks over and over again. It’s the peace, beauty and precious time away from our own noisy environment that draws us over to you in all seasons and any weather. The intimacy of Glenridding Beck valley has an additional special charm through its industrial heritage (something the Authority rightly promotes) and continuing farming activity (which I assume it does support). The easy walking terrain, scale and intimacy easy helps visitors of all ages connect with the Lake District. One zipwire, let alone four, will adversely affect the character of the valley. If the National Park wishes to destroy the special character of an area within the Park that it was set up to protect and to manage development sensitively, it could not have chosen a better scheme to support.

    (I’d add that we are a long way off becoming ‘grey-pounders’ and could never be second home owners. We have no ‘interest’ in this issue other than protecting the special qualities and experiences this valley contributes to the unique environment of the Lake District.)

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