With a day to go to the deadline for submitting views to the planning authority about the proposed Thirlmere Activity Hub, an attraction which would see 8 zip wires stretched across Thirlmere, many people involved in helping young people to experience the outdoors, as well as young people themselves, have expressed their concerns to us here at Friends of the Lake District.

Image: Young people doing DofE enjoying Thirlmere by Rod Ireland

Among those, Stuart Sykes, chairman of the Windmill Youth Group, a group based in Blackpool, said:

“Our Media and Youth project aims to get young people of their off their media appliances (and their posteriors) and out into the outdoors, to inspire young people to appreciate and respect the majesty of their natural environment, to preserve it, and to build up their health and strength both mentally and physically by encountering Mother Nature in the raw.

“Most of our young people live in an area with profound social and educational issues, one of the highest in the UK.

“If I wanted the excitement of a Zip Wire, I would take them to the Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a company ideally placed to provide all the thrills and spills anyone could imagine.

“Taking those young people to the beauty of Thirlmere, to a commercial scar upon its delicate ecosystems, would be an anathema to the whole aspect of making young people aware of their natural surroundings.”

Twenty-one year old Helen Jones said:

“As a young person who visits the Lake District frequently I’m mortified to hear about zip-wires being proposed as I'm sure I'm amongst the audience they have in mind for such activities. Young people don't want to see the Lake District destroyed, and certainly not in a move to encourage our tourism.”

Craig Geddes, of The Outdoors People, who leads outdoor education training courses, said:

“As a provider of adventures to young people, The Outdoors People expressly supports the preservation of the Lake District for the enjoyment of all. The adventure experiences that we take our students on create amazing memories that last a lifetime and rely on getting young people out of built up environments and into the stunning countryside that the UK has to offer.

“We do not want to see that impact lessened by a single company’s pursuit of profit above all else.

“This is an unwanted intrusion into the heart of the Lake District National Park and hope that the planning authority denies this application so that we can all have the privilege of this incredible resource for generations to come.”

Image: Young people doing DofE enjoying Thirlmere by Rod Ireland

The deadline for submitting views to the planning authority is Friday 12th January. Details as to how to do this, letter templates and instructions are available at this link