I’ve walked the path from Mam Tor to Lose Hill more times than I can count. Over the years it has changed dramatically as thousands of pairs of boots take their toll on rock, soil and grass. Popularity has been punishing and pounding this beautiful place into dust. Stone paving has been laid from Hollins Cross to Mam Tor in an effort to lessen the erosion, and the old six lane motorway of tiered paths is recovering. Around the trig point another bed of stones has been laid as this is one of the most famous viewpoints in the Peak District. Some people like the work, whilst others detest it. I don’t like the countryside changing, but we are damaging it at an ever-increasing rate.
The British countryside is suffering a major problem – congestion. This ‘green and pleasant land‘ as William Blake put it, is becoming more Goretex than grass, more litter than landscape and more car park than copse. The major problem is not only the sheer number of people (UK – 609 per sq mile against Poland at 328 and Spain at 210), but also because of their desire to use the outdoors. Though we all have a right to go out and enjoy ourselves, we have no right to cause damage. As a Leave No Trace Trainer, I do everything I can to protect the countryside I live in and enjoy. One of the seven principles of Leave No Trace is ‘travel and camp on durable surfaces‘.