UKC

Bolts in Longsleddale - Cleft Ghyll

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 CragRat11 11 Jan 2022

I was up there today scoping out some photographs I want to take and noticed that the gorge of Cleft Ghyll has been bolted and has fixed lines hanging off it. Forgive me if this has been discussed before. I've googled it and it seems a number of adventure companies sell canyoning experiences up there.

Does anyone know who bolted this? Is it appropriate to bolt this river gorge?

I was kinda gobsmacked, but maybe I've missed something given that I don't pay much attention to climbing stuff anymore. Almost re-kindled my interest in battery operated angle grinders...

 Jon Stewart 11 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

Who might it affect?

Post edited at 18:52
 CragRat11 11 Jan 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Not sure what you mean?

 CragRat11 11 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

Just to add to this - the angle grinder thing was a joke!!!!

 Jon Stewart 11 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

> Not sure what you mean?

Not sure how else I can say it. 

On crags, bolts obviously affect climbers. I like gill scrambling but haven't heard of Cleft Ghyll so presumably it doesn't make for a good scramble (quite a few Lakes gills have the odd bolt in them btw - it's never affected my scrambling experience).

Are the bolts unsightly? Staining? Visible from anywhere? 

Do they affect anyone?

 CragRat11 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Well they affected me when I went to take photos in a really beautiful place, particularely as there's in situ ropes left in the ghyll. But I'm very aware that I'm just one tiny part of the story.

They affect the people who use them (probably positively) if they've enjoyed their ghyll scrambling experience.

The main reason I feel uncomfortable about them being there is that they may also affect the decisions of people who have access to drills and bolts, and encourage them to go and bolt other ghyll/crags/features/whatever. So yeh, it can usher in a different mentality and have a big effect. I've seen the odd bolt here and there in the Lakes and I don't have much of a probelm with it, but this has numerous bolts and a double bolt and chain anchor at the top!

The ghyll is an incredible natural feature and that part would be impossible to ascend for anyone that isn't really capable and experienced. So it seems really weird to me that someone could go and bolt it to take beginners up when someone bolting Buckbarrow Crag (100metres away) for the same reason would spark world war 3.

Having not climbed for a number of years, and with my head on other things it's really striking how ugly and destructive a line of bolts in a place like that seems. There are certain ghylls in the lakes that are now basically sacrificial (Stickle Ghyll, Church Beck), but this is a delicate ecosystem that is unspoiled and shouldn't have groups of people trailing through it.

Of course bolting pieces of rock in the Lake District has an effect!

 

Post edited at 00:20
 felt 12 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

> The ghyll is an incredible natural feature and that part would be impossible to ascend for anyone that isn't really capable and experienced. So it seems really weird to me that someone could go and bolt it to take beginners up when someone bolting Buckbarrow Crag (100metres away) for the same reason would spark world war 3.

Isn't this your answer (from some adventure website)?

"Wren Gill in Longsleddale is the closest venue to Kendal and the M6 for Ghyll Scrambling/Gorge Walking and canyoning. The venue offers a good two kilometres of ghyll scrambling fun and if you fancy going downstream this venue has also been bolted for a Canyoning descent with over 5 abseil descents down waterfalls."

Must say I spend a lot of time with the kids swimming in the nice pools, and am always surprised/horrified (yes, the "stuck in traffic" paradox!) when the Decima Flottiglia MAS rock up. Driving up Gatesgarth in a landy might well be legal, but is it in the spirit of things? Who knows. It's a monetised minefield!

 Andy Hardy 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Who might it affect?

Ghylls must be one of the few places to have avoided the adverse effects of human footprints. So I would think the main victims will be the plants that live(d) there followed by birds that nest there etc.

Similar concerns to winter climbing on unfrozen turf I guess.

 Baron Weasel 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I'll take you for a descent if you want, it's ace!

The bolts don't affect anyone who's more than 20ft away, so move along - nothing to see here.

 whenry 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Based on that arguement one could bolt a couple of the less popular routes on Stanage...

 Rob Exile Ward 12 Jan 2022
In reply to felt:

'Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,'

 CragRat11 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Baron Weasel:

> I'll take you for a descent if you want, it's ace!

> The bolts don't affect anyone who's more than 20ft away, so move along - nothing to see here.

'Anyone', meaning any human. The animals, plants and ecosystem aren't included in your assesment then!

 

 Baron Weasel 12 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

> 'Anyone', meaning any human. The animals, plants and ecosystem aren't included in your assesment then!

>  

The entire UK is anthropogenic, we have no native forests, invasive species everywhere, no keystone predators and you're getting your knickers in a knot about a handful of bolts that very few ever see. Do you angle grind benches from the ground at popular viewpoints, turf over roads etc to enhance your field of view?

Climbing damages ecosystems too, if we didn't climb there would be lichens, trees and bushes all over our crags. You are not bothered about that are you?

For the very small impact a handful of bolts have in an obscure canyon a lot of people will have had an amazing opportunity to have an adventure, an experience that will almost certainly have a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

Nobody is talking about bolting gimmer or stanage so get off your high horse.

Was there just one fixed rope in the bottom pool which can be climbed so you can jump into the pool? 

 Cake 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Baron Weasel:

I've never heard of the place and i doubt I'll ever go, but if the party who placed the ropes were no longer nearby, they should have removed them. It sounds like a nice secluded place that needlessly had an eyesore.

In reply to CragRat11:

Never done Cleft Ghyll, but I've done many others (working as an outdoor instructor).  Given that ghyll scrambling and canyoneering are here to stay and have as much 'right' as climbing, bolts have some massive advantages:  they can help steer people away from sensitive areas and they are very safe.  Most rare plants are on the inaccessible (for sheep) sides of the ghylls where mineralisation has created unusual nutrients - good use of bolts should steer people away from these areas and into the river bed (cleaner solid rock, little/no vegetation and more fun!)).  In the past, people would have used all sorts of boulders, saplings and wot not to set up belays.  I know some crags where the erosion created by people walking to the belay points is waaaaaay worse than the sight of a bolt or two (which, lets face it, you can only see when up close and personnel).

I think as climbers we can sometimes concentrate too much on the small stuff (possibly because these helps us avoid discussing the big stuff).  The collective pollution created by getting to the ghyll causes more eco damage than a couple of bolts.

I recall a discussion on here a good while ago about footpath damage created by entering Launchy Ghyll (think it was about winter and crampons?) and plant damage.  I remember the slagging I got when I presented my opinion that Thirlmere was once two small lakes, that the whole valley had been flooded and then planted with loads of crappy trees and that worrying about a wee little footpath damage is a bit pointless.

In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Ghylls must be one of the few places to have avoided the adverse effects of human footprints. So I would think the main victims will be the plants that live(d) there followed by birds that nest there etc.

> Similar concerns to winter climbing on unfrozen turf I guess.

Sticking to the clean, water worn rock avoids the vast % of this.  Bolts help this.

In reply to CragRat11:

We can't expect to impose our own activity's ethics on all users of the countryside. Canyoning is a relatively new sport and I don't know whether it has yet evolved its own code of ethics, but a quick google shows that its governing body is aware of the need for ethics, and specifically where bolting is concerned.

Unless an activity like canyoning or abseiling directly affects climbing routes we have no right to make demands. Even where they do affect us, this has to be worked out by negotiation rather than conflict or we'll end up in a continual cycle of bolting and chopping which helps no one. We have no right to exclude other activities, even where climbers were there first. It's not as if our own behaviour is beyond criticism.  Our own code of ethics, especially on bolting, is far more concerned with the purity of the sport than with the impact on other users of the countryside.

Leaving fixed lines in place sounds like a no-no to me, but the same could be said about fixed ab stations, in situ threads, or quickdraws left on a sports project. 

Live and let live.

 Andy Hardy 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> Sticking to the clean, water worn rock avoids the vast % of this.  Bolts help this.

Well, yes-ish. Bolts will mean erosion is confined a bit, but without bolts there wouldn't be anywhere near as many descents (possibly no descents).

I'm not going to sharpen the pitchfork here because I drive a car, live in a house heated by dinosaur juice and climb on crags all over the place, but a few bolts will encourage / enable more erosion than no bolts just by making the ghyll more accessible

 CragRat11 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Baron Weasel:

> The entire UK is anthropogenic, we have no native forests, invasive species everywhere, no keystone predators and you're getting your knickers in a knot about a handful of bolts that very few ever see. Do you angle grind benches from the ground at popular viewpoints, turf over roads etc to enhance your field of view?

I didn't say I angle grinded anything. That was a joke!
If someone was planning to put a road through a really important ecosystem that needs to be carefully managed then yeh, of course I'd object. Given all the thigs you mention above I don't think it's a stretch to insist that some places are protected and not opened up to the public. I'm not 'getting my knickers in a twist'.

> Climbing damages ecosystems too, if we didn't climb there would be lichens, trees and bushes all over our crags. You are not bothered about that are you?

I don't really climb anymore. 80% of the work I do is for environmental organistions that are trying to protect the places from humans who feel they can exploit them for their own pleasure or financial gain. So yeh, I do have problem with that. I've met numerous climbers that think they are the most important part of the equation. Like you, seemingly.

In reply to CragRat11:

> If someone was planning to put a road through a really important ecosystem that needs to be carefully managed then yeh, of course I'd object.

Wouldn't that be the majority of roads in the country? The reason they aren't really important ecosystems is that the roads wiped them out already.

 CragRat11 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Alkis:

Yeh. That's how ghylls in remote valleys cease to be important ecosystems too....
Just because we have roads doesn't mean we should continue to damage the few sensitive places we have left.

 Iamgregp 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Howard J:

Exactly this.

It's amazing how quickly these threads can go from people using bolts in a different context to bolting Stanage.  

 Iamgregp 12 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

> I didn't say I angle grinded anything. That was a joke!

If you made as much a mess of grinding the bolts as you did of conjugating that verb the ghyll would look worse than when you started!

 CragRat11 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

Oh jesus...

In reply to Baron Weasel:

Yes, nothing much to see. A very small thing in itself, like thrown litter, but symptomatic of a much bigger malaise.

 PaulW 12 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

I think that once UK climbers decided amongst themselves when it was Ok to bolt some rock faces then they lost any moral authority whatsoever to question other groups of outdoor users choosing to bolt as well.

 LakesWinter 12 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulW:

It's not about moral authority, it's about encouraging increasing numbers of people into delicate and easily damaged habitats in ravines. A few gill scramblers is one thing and most gills can probably sustain that pressure as, apart from a very few very popular introductory gills, most gills get few ascents/year. If that minor and slight pressure is added to by a significant number of 'canyon' descents then these easily damaged and fragile environments will quickly and easily become seriously damaged. That for me is the concern, rather than anything else.

 mrphilipoldham 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Howard J:

You’ve missed out the biggest point and that is the landowner. ‘We’ as climbers may have no right to exclude other users, however they do. Was permission obtained to install the equipment? If not, then it has no right being there and risks (at a distance, admittedly) any relationship with climbers and other outdoor users on the basis that we’re all people accessing their land for recreation. If it was, then fair play.. carry on.

 PaulW 12 Jan 2022
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Perhaps, but the UKClimbing home page shows a photo of a decaying bolt hanger with the "good news" that there is now funding to replace with a shiny new one. Things like that encourage climbers to venture into areas where they would otherwise not and thus exert pressure on that environment.

I don't think it is up to climbers to arbitrarily decide what environmental damage is and is not acceptable.

 mrphilipoldham 12 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulW:

Completely agree. My ‘carry on’ at the end wasn’t meant as to represent the be all and end all of the conversation, rather the continuation of discussion on environmental aspects and so on.

 Jon Stewart 12 Jan 2022
In reply to John Stainforth:

> Yes, nothing much to see. A very small thing in itself, like thrown litter, but symptomatic of a much bigger malaise.

By "malaise " do you mean "things not being like when I was young"?

 thespecialone 12 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

not a problem in the alps !!!

 Allovesclimbin 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Sorry but you can’t just go placing bolts without prior discussion or consensus on natural mountain crags , gullies or gorge features. Just no. 

 Ramblin dave 12 Jan 2022
In reply to PaulW:

> I don't think it is up to climbers to arbitrarily decide what environmental damage is and is not acceptable.

I don't think it's up to climbers to arbitrarily decide what is and is not acceptable - we're certainly in no position to try to apply overly general principles like "no-one should ever put bolts in rock" or "flora and fauna should never be disturbed for any reason". But I think it's reasonable for us (or anyone else) to discuss what the impact is actually likely to be and whether we think it's justified.

 bouldery bits 12 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

Can I be the first to say:

This is a nuanced issue and I don't know. 

 John Ww 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Allovesclimbin:

Well that’s it then, discussion over… 🤷‍♂️ 

In reply to Allovesclimbin:

> Sorry but you can’t just go placing bolts without prior discussion or consensus on natural mountain crags , gullies or gorge features. Just no. 

How do you know there wasn't?  Climbers have no divine right to be consulted just because something is in a mountain or crag environment or somehow affects a piece of rock.

And why not?  Obviously, anyone "can" place bolts anywhere they like. There may be legal constraints, such as landowner's consent, formal environmental protection, and even planning permission, but those are for the relevant stakeholders to enforce, and they may not choose to.  Anything else is simply a question of ethics, and different games have different codes.  The position climbers have agreed between ourselves where is and is not suitable for bolting apply only to us and our game.  Other games have different rules, and we don't have a say in them any more than they have a say in ours.

Our own game is hardly environmentally pure. I would be very cautious about grassing up another recreational activity unless the damage it was causing was egregious.  Glass houses, and all that.

 mrphilipoldham 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Howard J:

They can't enforce what they don't know about. Just because they can't get to it, see it, or even know about it, it doesn't mean that it's fair game to go doing whatever you want to it. It is not on the landowner or other authority to enforce the protection of sensitive environments. Hence why our representative body, the BMC, has issued such publications as the 'White Guide' for winter climbing in such venues. It is entirely our responsibility to act properly, morally, environmentally and legally.

Post edited at 23:09
 CragRat11 12 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

Interesting discussion all in all. I still don't think it's ok to bolt that particular place.

Very difficult to undo what's been done now though, in a constructive way. Which is convenient for those who bolted it and intend to sell it as an experience...

In reply to Jon Stewart:

No, the debate around litter in the great outdoors, and metal in crags (pegs rather than bolts), was not so different in those days - although there was less of this jetsam, probably because there were less people. OK, maybe, on average, people using the outdoors did respect nature somewhat more in those days. But I not really sure about that, because I only have the instrument of my Mark 1 eyeball to inform me. (I am deliberately using an archaic expression there!)

 CragRat11 13 Jan 2022
In reply to CragRat11:

I had a chat with someone who would know about any bolting that would happen in the area and he said thay are far from new (stainless steel so they looked fresh to me). They have been there for perhaps 15 years!

Like it or lump it those bolts are there to stay I guess.
 

 TheGeneralist 13 Jan 2022
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> You’ve missed out the biggest point and that is the landowner. ‘We’ as climbers may have no right to exclude other users, however they do. Was permission obtained to install the equipment? 

Given that the trip leader trogs down track each time in his land rover full of wetsuits, helmets etc I'd be amazed if the farmer wasn't on board ( not literally)

As a side point, I cycled past a big group of pissed up scousers  ambling along longsleddale clutching bottles of Amstel in Mach last year. I thought it was a bit weird and wondered where they were heading.

All was clear when I drew level with the gorge under discussion to find a stressed looking chap laying out wetsuits and helmets on the ground next to his Land Rover.

Eek, rather him than me. Must have been seriously stressful taking a largish group of somewhat inebriated blokes down a perishing cold gorge in March

Post edited at 10:45
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> Hence why our representative body, the BMC, has issued such publications as the 'White Guide' for winter climbing in such venues.

With respect, I think you're missing my point. The BMC is our representative body, and climbers have a responsibility to follow its guidance on climbing (although this can only be enforced through peer pressure).  Canyoning has its own governing body, and canyoners (canyoneers?) will look to them for guidance, not the BMC.  We can't expect them necessarily to share our views on what is ethical behaviour, and we certainly can't demand that they follow our code of practice on bolting, especially as this is largely intended to protect aspects of the sport rather than environmental concerns.

In this particular example I think there are three ethical issues, which really need to be considered separately:

The first is the question of bolting.  Canyoning is a different sport with different requirements and must decide for itself whether it needs a code of ethics around bolting and what that should be. This doesn't appear to be a climbing venue, so there is no conflict with climbers' interests.  It is not for climbers to say whether or how it should be bolted, any more than it is for canyoners to dictate how we bolt climbing routes.

Second is the leaving of fixed lines. We don't know the purpose of these or whether they are temporary.  Again, whether these are appropriate in a sporting context is a matter for canyoners, not climbers.  The visual intrusion is another matter, although the same criticism could be made about climbers' tat and chalk marks.

Third there is the question of whether this is a suitable location for canyoning, on environmental grounds.  This is an area where climbers and walkers may have a wider interest, and I think there may have been situations (not necessarily involving canyoning) where the BMC has intervened to express a view. However unless this is a particularly sensitive area with formal environmental protection, I think climbers should be cautious about criticising other recreational activities on these grounds.  Canyoning by its very nature has potential to damage habitat and disturb wildlife, but the same can be said of climbing (and any human activity) and there are some who would like to see climbing banned completely.  

 Allovesclimbin 13 Jan 2022
In reply to Howard J:

I think the landowners work with BMC regional committees who work with those who use the national parks for recreation. This creates a cycle of discussion and feedback. Placing bolts in a natural gill without this discussion has implications widely affecting the environment. 
Those who sport climb do so knowing what they are clipping has been discussed and agreed. There is huge pressure on the parks and obviously everyone wants to minimise impact. Recent outdoor events have painted way markers on rocks and so on . These were eventually removed . So I don’t think you can paint climbers with the same brush. 

In reply to TheGeneralist:

> As a side point, I cycled past a big group of pissed up scousers  ambling along longsleddale clutching bottles of Amstel in Mach last year. I thought it was a bit weird…

Agreed. Becks is the beer of choice for Lake District canyoners.

 ianstevens 15:08 Thu
In reply to CragRat11:

> Well they affected me when I went to take photos in a really beautiful place, particularely as there's in situ ropes left in the ghyll. But I'm very aware that I'm just one tiny part of the story.

The entirety of the Lakes is a human destroyed ecological dustbin. A bolt and a rope in a relatively hidden river channel  pales in comparison IMO.

In reply to ianstevens:

> The entirety of the Lakes is a human destroyed ecological dustbin. A bolt and a rope in a relatively hidden river channel  pales in comparison IMO.

The hidden river channels are the last refuges. Agriculture, sheep, walkers, climbers tend not to go there.
You are looking at it from the Anthropological perspective, hidden from humans, not from the flora and fauna that live there, but now humans are seeking these places out. Possibly best if left undisturbed.

In reply to Allovesclimbin:

> I think the landowners work with BMC regional committees who work with those who use the national parks for recreation. This creates a cycle of discussion and feedback. Placing bolts in a natural gill without this discussion has implications widely affecting the environment. 

I don't disagree with any of that. However these discussions with the BMC presumably concern climbing and walking.  Placing bolts for climbing clearly comes under the BMC's remit. Placing bolts for canyoning does not.

In reply to Steve Crossley:

Hear hear.

Just because the rest of the park has been trashed by humans, it doesn’t excuse these last remaining refugees suffering the same fate. If anything we should be expanding their range, and if that means not climbing, hiking, biking or whatever other ‘ing’ in certain areas then so be it.

In reply to CragRat11:

Please don't go for a walk down a cave. 

 CragRat11 16:49 Thu
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I've been for plenty of walks down caves. Cavers love banging bolts in things.
The disparity has always puzzled me.

In reply to CragRat11:

My point is that different sports have different standards and we should impose them on each other. 

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

But they are not being trashed, that’s the point. Most ghylls and riverbeds are not climbed or canyoned.  And the small % that are, then the vast majority (probs over 99%) of the flora and fauna remains untouched. People stick to the river bed on the water worn rock which is often submerged when in spate.  Climbing the steep sides where the vast majority vegetation grows simply does not happen. Partly coz it’s impossible. And loose and shite and dangerous. I’m not saying there isn’t some damage, but the overall percentage is likely to be extremely small. 
Worth remembering that the companies running such courses want it to be sustainable and know full well the risks they run if a place gets trashed.  Good chance that the instructors are also climbers etc and are fully aware of the issues. I emailed the governing body for further info on their bolting and access policies, be interesting if they send anything. 

 PaulW 17:11 Thu
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

For sure we should be expanding the untouched areas. Climbers should decide which of their areas they would like to give up. Other sports and outdoor users should do likewise. But unless you are going for a general consensus then each should only deal with their own.

And good luck with a consensus. I remember a long, heated but friendly discussion with bird watchers whilst belaying on the top of a sea cliff. They raised lots of interesting points and tended to regard all climbers as the spawn of Satan. Good to talk to them and become more informed though.

In reply to Bottom Clinger:

Crags and hills weren’t being trashed 100 years ago either, but here we are today. Growing a sport/experience which as above is admitted to be in its infancy is going to have an effect maybe not today, but in 10, 25, 50 years time.

I’m not of any fixed opinion on the matter really, but we shouldn’t fall in to the trap of saying it’s only a few a year as it’s largely a commercial enterprise and the interest in pushing growth is natural from a business point of view. We shouldn’t get to the point where in x years time we’re discussing how venues have become trashed, when we can so easily learn from the experience of the last 100 in other areas.

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Good points.

 Jon Stewart 23:07 Thu
In reply to ianstevens:

> The entirety of the Lakes is a human destroyed ecological dustbin. 

It's funny you should say that, because I was out on the fells the other day with snow on the tops of Helvellyn and the Pikes, evening darkness hiding the cold wild crags and combs at the head of Grisedale. The setting sun was lighting up St. Sunday Crag in gold and the plantations and pastures of the valley were alive with the sound of the birds and the rushing water of the beck in spate.

It was horrible, honestly, just a total dump. 

I'd stay at home if I was you, complaining about how horrible it is, and I'll enjoy it with along with others who feel a connection with landscape. 

Post edited at 23:08
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> It's funny you should say that, because I was out on the fells the other day with snow on the tops of Helvellyn and the Pikes, evening darkness hiding the cold wild crags and combs at the head of Grisedale. The setting sun was lighting up St. Sunday Crag in gold and the plantations and pastures of the valley were alive with the sound of the birds and the rushing water of the beck in spate.

> It was horrible, honestly, just a total dump. 

> I'd stay at home if I was you, complaining about how horrible it is, and I'll enjoy it with along with others who feel a connection with landscape. 

What a daft trite thing to say.

He didn't say it was horrible and he didn't say it was a dump. He made a very specific point that it is an ecological dustbin. Which it undeniably is.  Have a little read of Monbiot if you want to learn more.

None of the eulogising in your post actually countered his point apart from the fact that you heard some birds. That I not in itself evidence that the Lakes isn't an ecological dustbin.

 Jon Stewart 00:39 Fri
In reply to TheGeneralist:

> He didn't say it was horrible and he didn't say it was a dump. He made a very specific point that it is an ecological dustbin. Which it undeniably is.  Have a little read of Monbiot if you want to learn more.

Eughh god. Do you not think I might have read enough monbiot to last several lifetimes?

I don't know what the definition of an "ecological dustbin" is. And christ knows how that would relate to bolts in a ghyll which is a totally separate issue to the farming and biodiversity. 

There's some sense in what monbiot says, mixed in with a load of bollocks. And the way he presents it is extremely annoying.

In reply to Jon Stewart:

I love being in the Lakes, I'm actually here at the moment. But I do realise how biologically undiverse it is when I walk on the fells.

Pretty barren for the most part, but to bring back that diversity would essentially involve much more tree cover, and I doubt I'd like that because extensive views would be occasional pleasures rather than long lasting immersive experiences.

Can't win really ☹️

Post edited at 07:47
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> There's some sense in what monbiot says, mixed in with a load of bollocks. And the way he presents it is extremely annoying.

couldn’t agree more! I’m with him on a lot of what he says, but I just can’t listen or read his missives any more. He became counter productive quite a while ago.

Also while I’m here. I know I’m old, but my eyesight isn’t that bad. If bolts are such a blot on the landscape, how come when I’m in Spain etc, how come I have to get right up to the crag to even see the bolts? Even then, to see if there are any challenging distances between bolts sometimes needs a pair of binoculars. Not just Spain, where I live, we are blessed with lots of poor quality bolted limestone, which I struggle to see the bolts on when I walk past on a daily basis with the dogs. 

 Jon Stewart 11:54 Fri
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I love being in the Lakes, I'm actually here at the moment. But I do realise how biologically undiverse it is when I walk on the fells.

I agree with the central point about the "sheep desert" and I'd love to see a more diverse ecosystem. There are essentially no flowers in the whole of Cumbria for a start.

It just annoys me that it has become fashionable to blather on about how terrible it is. There's absolutely loads of people working really hard on maintaining the woodland habitats, loads of planting, etc etc as well as the traditional farming landscape that maybe we could have a bit less of without changing the character of the place.

 wbo2 12:01 Fri
In reply to CragRat11: I'm not familiar with Cleft Ghyll, but is it one of the 'hot spots' for Canyoning in the Lakes? Is there much evidence of wear , erosion? That's more important than the presence or not of a couple of very small pieces of metal

In reply to CragRat11:

Hmmm... I'm surprised

Canyoning is going downwards but Ghyll Scrambling is going up. I can understand bolts for either (if small glue ins with grey resin should be fairly discrete?) But rope in situ makes it sound like commercial Ghyll Scrambling is going on.

What puzzles me about this is most places run their clients May-October, so why would there be any rope left in at this time of year? Without the rope it *should* be pretty unobtrusive, near invisible to most people, done properly of course...

In reply to Jon Stewart:

I have a lot of time for Monbiot, but on occasion he is a bit OTT..

He was talking about sheep at some point, and said 'They're from Mesopotamia, you know...' he sounded just like Sybil Fawlty. 


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