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articles > 2011

The Wainwright Society Campaigns Update - 2 February 2011

The Society has recently been involved in two campaigns affecting the Lake District.  The first was the proposal by Cumbria County Council to cut the funding for countryside access services by £850,000.  The consequences of such a cut would have been to cut the number of staff employed as rangers and rights-of-way officers from 16 to 5 with a loss of skills, expertise and local knowledge that would, in time, have had a significant effect on the maintenance and upkeep of footpaths throughout Cumbria.

As a result of the Society’s submission along with many others received by the Council, it has now been decided that there will only be a cut of £350,000; still a significant reduction, but one which will still allow the Council to maintain an acceptable level of support to maintain the footpath network.

Concurrently, the Society has been involved in vigorous opposition to the proposed sell-off of Forestry Commission land in the Lake District.  Eric Robson represented the Society at the recent rally in Grizedale Forest and also had interviews published in The Times and The Observer as well as the Society’s position being reported in a number of local newspapers. 

At the time of writing, the result of this concerted campaign is unresolved, but we hope that that the Government will have a similar change of heart over their plans.

Derek Cockell
Press & Publicity Officer - The Wainwright Society