Thursday, December 28th 2017 at 5:31PM GMT
“If every person who has visited the Lake District, in a true nature-loving spirit would be ready … to sign an indignant protest against the scheme, surely there might be some hope.” This is not a quote from a modern-day objector to the plans for a zipwire attraction across a Cumbrian lake, it was a complaint lodged in 1877 by a member of the Thirlmere Defence Association.
Within two years this protest organisation had failed, and their loss was northern England’s gain: what had been a tiny lake was extended into a large reservoir supplying drinking water to Manchester, and the enlarged body of water is now considered to be one of the Lake District’s natural lakes when it’s anything but.
Now there’s another battle raging, with conservationists saying plans for two zipwires over Thirlmere would harm the “unspoilt nature” of the lake, a lake which is bordered by the busy A591 road.
Treetop Trek of Windermere (and thirsty Manchester) wants to create the Thirlmere Activity Hub, centred on a zipwire attraction, but also providing a short stretch of 3-metre-wide family-friendly protected cycleway beside the A591. This is part of a £800,000 plan by the developer to improve an 18-mile cycle route around Thirlmere.
Men Behaving Badly star Caroline Quentin is one of many people to have objected to the zipwire scheme. In her role as president of the Campaign for National Parks she said: “My fear is that [the zipwire scheme] will spoil the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful, important place. I am all for development that enhances our National Parks but my instinct is that we should say no to zip wires in Thirlmere.”