Glenridding Common, left, from the Keppel Cove path, with Sheffield Pike in the distance

Glenridding Common, left, from the Keppel Cove path, with Sheffield Pike in the distance

National park bosses are planning to put up a fence near the route to the top of England’s third highest mountain.

Lake District National Park Authority will seek Government approval for the plan to fence off parts of Glenridding Common to protect threatened juniper woodland.

The 12ha (30-acre) expanse of common, close to the route from the old Greenside Mines to Helvellyn, will be enclosed for up to 15 years if the proposals, drawn up by the national park authority, Natural England and graziers in the area, are given the go-ahead.

The authority said the fence is needed to keep out animals and allow the juniper to re-establish itself. It also plans to plant some new bushes on the common, which is part of a site of special scientific interest.

Government approval is needed for the erection of any fence on common land. A display of the proposals is on view at the Patterdale Village Store.

The LDNPA has already consulted with other interested partners including the parish council, the Local Access Forum and Friends of the Lake District.

The head of environment and heritage for the national park, Andrew Herbert, said he appreciated that people would have a range of views about the project which needed to be considered.

“Our native juniper is a rare habitat in a European context. As such it represents an important component of the Helvellyn and Fairfield site of special scientific interest of which Glenridding Common forms part,” he said.

Juniper

Juniper

“Grazing is preventing the natural regeneration of juniper on the common and the proper establishment of young plants that are still present. Successful regeneration of the juniper will contribute to meeting national scientific conservation targets and enhance this important part of the national park’s spectacular landscape,” he added.

The Local Access Forum chair Charles Flanagan said in 2009 that access for walkers must be maintained if a fence is put up. The area in question is open access land and there should be no impediment to the right to walk on the area.

The forum said access points should preferably be gates, and be agreed with the LAF in advance. It also said there should be a legal requirement to take down the fence after the agreed time, or further consultation.

Comments on the scheme should be sent to: the Planning Inspectorate, Room 4/05, Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN.

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