Lake District being used as marketing tool?

Date: Monday 13th January 2020

SO, having revealed the Lake District National Park Authority’s future plans to “open up” the national park and world heritage site to the rest of the country, one wonders if, 30 miles south of here, officers are aware of conditions in Keswick at the height of the tourist season, school holidays, during the Christian Convention and our many local festivals throughout the year.

Have they considered that among the national park’s 18 or 19 million annual visitors include people of every age group, ethnicity and ability, and of British and international origin?

One even wonders if all this is to detract from the objections to the tarmac resurfacing of the Keswick to Threlkeld railway footpath.

We would like the authority to consider why the National Trust movement was formed for environmental reasons in the 19th Century; why national parks were created in the 20th Century with their legal environmental remit embodied in the 1995 Environment Act; and why the Lake District has become a world heritage site.

Readers will be interested in this comment below posted on an English Lake District Facebook page by Stephan Doempke, chairman and chief executive officer of World Heritage Watch in Berlin, following the announcement of flights into the Manchester from the Far East: “Before that happens the Lake District needs a tourism management plan which a) sets a limit to the numbers of tourists on any given day, and b) has the full support of the local population.

“I am afraid, however, that the LDNPA sees itself as a commercial enterprise to exploit the park and the world heritage status as a marketing tool — the direct opposite of what they really are and should be.”

When such important people take an active interest in our national park authority’s developments and thinking, the authority should indeed take notice.

A. R. and C. A. SMITH