Honister Pass, with the crag on the left. Photo: Alan  Faulkner CC-BY-ND-2.0

Honister Pass, with the crag on the left. Photo: Alan Faulkner CC-BY-ND-2.0

Supporters of plans to install a controversial zip wire on a Lake District fell have signed up to an online petition.

Honister Slate Mine owner Mark Weir has lodged an application to build the 1.5km (1 mile) aerial slide on Fleetwith Pike at the head of Borrowdale.

The proposed zip wire has been dubbed the Lancaster Aerial Flight by the businessman after a 1920s pulley and cable system that brought slate from Honister Crag on the 648m (2,126ft) mountain to the works at Honister Hause, 350m (1,150ft) below.

The online petition, started by the company, says: “Honister Slate Mine is bidding to introduce a new ‘high altitude zip wire’ located at Honister for people like you to try!

“This thrilling experience would take you all the way from the top of Fleetwith Pike bringing you back down to the visitor centre!

“This would be a first for the Lake District, England and Europe. Introducing this attraction would help Honister keep our dedicated staff employed all year-round, instead of just during the tourist season.”

The petition aims to gather 50,000 supporters; at the time of writing, it had collected 129 names in four weeks, including one with the sobriquet of GayLordMeSoHorny who was so excited he or she had logged support twice.

Mr Weir pioneered the first via ferrata in England, again on Fleetwith Pike, which enables fell-goers to experience the climbing via secured cables and ladders on the mountain.

He courted controversy during the storm-hit Original Mountain Marathon of 2008 when he said: “We have come within inches of turning the Lake District mountains into a morgue.” He later proposed, tongue in cheek, that a planned statue of Alfred Wainwright should be placed on Fleetwith Pike, overlooking the Honister mine.

The Lake District National Park Authority is expected to hear the full application at its meeting at Kendal on 2 June.

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