Organisers of the annual Remembrance Day service on Great Gable’s summit have asked that poppies are not placed on the fell.
The memorial plaque at Great Gable's summit, with a poppy wreath
The Fell and Rock Climbing Club (FRCC), which has held the event since the First World War, says discarded poppies left littering the summit plateau are damaging the environment.
The club, one of the first in the Lake District, founded in 1907, bought a large area of the central Lake District, including Great Gable, as a memorial to deceased members, many of whom perished in action. A plaque adorns the summit cairn.
In recent years, many non-members have joined in the service, and the club says it is they who have brought the poppies to the mountain. A spokesman for the FRCC said: “Over the years, many non-members have arrived to join in the service and they are very welcome.
“Thinking perhaps of the service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, they bring poppies as remembrance tokens. These poppies are damaged by the weather and strewn over a large area of fell, sometimes a mile away. They become unsightly litter, surely not the intention of those who left them.
“One of the differences between the summit of Great Gable and the Cenotaph is that there is no arrangement for removing the poppies from the mountain top. In the past, club members have climbed the mountain and have removed several large rucksacks full of disintegrated, soggy poppy waste. This isn’t an easy or pleasant task as the weather is usually awful in late November.
The fell was bought by the club in 1924 and donated to the National Trust. The plaque has a relief map of the area and the names of 20 FRCC who had died in the First World War.
The club stresses that the public is still welcome to join them for the memorial service, which this year will be on 11 November. The club spokesman said: “Their thoughts and sorrow will be every bit as sincere without these well-meant tokens and the absence of poppies will do a lot to enhance the atmosphere of one of the most beautiful and most visited summits in Lakeland.”