20th July 2006 Putting the stones back on Helvellyn

Mountain plants on the summit of Helvellyn have been protected in an operation which saw one of England's highest ever stone airlifts. The quarter of a million walkers who climb Helvellyn every year have eroded the summit leaving a large, ugly scar. A helicopter was used to lift about 100 tonnes of carefully selected stone from further down the fellside to cordon off the plants and help protect soil.

In a week of intensive airlifts, a massive 675 bags of stone were taken to repair badly worn paths and replace a bridge on the Red Tarn route up Helvellyn. It was hauled up in one piece from its abutments and new timber lowered for the new structure.

Other paths to get a helicopter aided face-lift include: Mirebeck between Glenridding and Striding Edge, a route attracting around 100,000 walkers a year; Dollywaggon Pike; Angle Tarn and Sty Head.

Restoration work has been funded by online appeal www.fixthefells.co.uk which has already raised over 360,000 in a 5m plea to pay for vital repairs. It is run by a partnership including the LDNPA, National Trust and English Nature.
See www.lake-district.gov.uk for more info.