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The Selling of Stickle Tarn and selling out of national park values

February 11, 2015

The other day the Lake District National Park Authority put Stickle Tarn and eight other publicly owned properties on the market.

For those who don’t know it, Stickle Tarn is set high in the Langdale Pikes, a natural rest spot where people delight in lingering on their way to the summits of those grand peaks. Above it rises the mighty cliff of Pavey Ark.

And now it’s for sale.

And the first most of the population of the Langdale Valley knew was when they heard it on the news.

Why the secrecy? Why the under-handed way this was done?

Was the park authority trying to head off protests until it was too late?

The reason the park authority is selling is because this government – which knows the price of everything and the value of nothing – is starving them of funds.

But rather than fight back -or reduce the overblown salaries of its executive officers – the family jewels of the Lake District are up for sale yet again.

The park authority says that these sales will make no difference. That the landscape will be protected anyway.

But will it?

Over the past five years this wretched government has rolled back much of the environmental protection laws that we all have fought so hard to gain over the past seventy years.

Who is to say what will happen in the next five years?

And where are the outdoor campaigners in all this?

Silent, mostly.

Why aren’t groups like the Ramblers Association, the CPRE et al shouting from the rooftops about the degradation and underfunding of our precious National Parks?

Perhaps they should get their battle helmets on and stop cosying up to the Establishment.

In the meantime Britain and its precious landscape has become a pound shop, a kind of monstrous version of eBay where everything is going under the hammer.

In the words of the old slogan:

They Say Cut Back – We Say Fight Back!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2015 8:27 am

    We need a complete game change. In the “capitalist” USA, National Parks are not just protected by the Federal and State governments, they are also owned by them. Why do our governments pussyfoot around. Public pressure has shown what can be done with Blencathra (now, fingers crossed, heading for success). Are The Ramblers up to starting a crusade? I fear not.

  2. February 11, 2015 10:05 am

    I think the rumbling noise I can hear is the sound of the founders of the Ramblers Association spinning in their graves.

  3. February 11, 2015 10:25 am

    I agree, and I have to say that it often makes me feel quite sick when I hear about yet another of these deals being touted as a “good thing” by the various governing bodies. If the UK sometime seems as though every scrap of it is on sale to the highest bidder that’s actually not so far from the truth. See for example what’s happened to our national sport, or the London “Coca Cola” Eye, or Christmas lights in Oxford Street bought and paid for by the Hollywood film industry. In this paradigm land is simply just another “resource” to be flogged off when the price is right.

    I can highly recommend James Meek’s recent book “Private Island; Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else” for an insight into the kind of mentality that puts a price on everything and doesn’t care who it sells to or what the consequences are.

    An article by Owen Jones in today’s Guardian also addresses this subject from a different angle:

  4. February 11, 2015 11:11 am

    I don’t think it will make a difference. If Stickle Tarn was made private people would still go.

  5. February 11, 2015 11:25 am

    The reason why National Parks are owned by the state in the USA, is that the state did not pay for them: they were stolen from the Red Indians.

  6. February 11, 2015 11:26 am

    Sounds like Vixen Tor.

  7. February 11, 2015 11:28 am

    The only hope is that the National Trust buys it.

  8. February 11, 2015 3:30 pm

    I think it does matter who owns it. We’ve seen environmental protections for greens and open spaces smashed in the past 5 years, budgets for footpaths and bridleways slashed to almost non-existence, and we know that landowning organisations and some politicians would just love to destroy the CRoW Act with its freedom to roam credentials. Already some commercial organisations are looking at Stickle Tarn. Some of the woodland for sale elsewhere in the Lakes could be used for shooting and walkers banned. Please don’t assume that you’ll always have the freedom to walk in the British countryside. There are some rather nasty people out there who are determined to stop you.

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