The Tubular Fells map

The Tubular Fells map

A London-based geography teacher has produced a unique map of the Lakeland fells that pays homage to two renowned, but very different, artists.

Blackburn-born Peter Burgess’s Tubular Fells lists the Lake District mountains and features detailed by Alfred Wainwright, but in the style of the London tube map, which was devised by engineering draughtsman Harry Beck.

The result is a stylised map, colour-coded in line with Wainwright’s different volumes of his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells, with each area depicted in its distinctive hue. In addition to the 214 fells listed by Wainwright, the map includes the sections of the Coast to Coast Walk, the Cumbria Way and the very end of the Dales Way that fall into the area covered.

Peter Burgess, who is himself a member of the Wainwright Society, is pledging to donate £1 from every sale of the map to the Fix the Fells project, which repairs and maintains upland paths in the Lake District.

He said: “I’ve lived in London for nearly 20 years, although like AW himself, I was born in Blackburn.  About 10 years ago I was on the tube into town and I thought: I could make a tube map to the fells like that.

“As a geographer by trade and a keen fellwalker with an appreciation of the work of both Harry Beck and Alfred Wainwright, the idea seemed a good one.”

Mr Burgess has a degree in geography and teaches the subject in east London. He produced several maps in the past before starting work on the Tubular Fells. “I had to wait until a career break gave me the time to concentrate on my idea,” he said.

“Once started, it took a few hundred hours work I guess, as the idea developed and evolved into the final map I have now.  So I suppose, 10 years thinking about it and a few weeks at the computer!”

Like Wainwright before him, Burgess found inspiration from his visits to the Lake District.

He said: “Growing up in the Ribble Valley I was blessed with an immediate environment that was very beautiful.  I really appreciated it as a kid, but when we started going to the Lakes on many weekend trips I just fell in love with the place.

“There are bigger mountains and wider open spaces around the world, but having visited mountain massifs around the world, I have to say that the Lake District is still the most gorgeous place on earth.  I might be biased, but the unique geology over such a small area, linked with the lakes and its relative close proximity really makes it the ideal hillwalking venue.

Peter Burgess and his brother Paul with the map, on Fairfield. Photo: James Hoye

Peter Burgess and his brother Paul with the map, on Fairfield. Photo: James Hoye

“I started walking from an early age.  My first visit to Lakeland was at eight weeks old, not that I can remember, but my first real Lakeland summit had to be Loughrigg on a trip from primary school at about eight years of age.

“As I grew older, I took up fellrunning for fun, first starting on the hills around Clitheroe like Pendle.  Things have developed from there.  I love being out on the fells, whatever the weather, and enjoy nothing better than scrambling.  I’ve also recently started canoeing.  You just can’t beat being out on the tops after a month or two down in the city of London.”

His approach to the fells is purist in nature, though he admits he is not an out-and-out peakbagger.

“I think it’s a bit of a cheat to just walk from one cairn to the next and say you’ve bagged another mountain.  Mountains are massive structures and they have many facets and interesting features that often grace their flanks.  This is one reason I started scrambling as I wanted to know the mountains as a whole and not as just a summit top cairn,” he added.

The Tubular Fells map is not meant to be used to navigate the fells – it’s not to scale and some of the features are out of their actual alignment to fit the design of the map, but for anyone familiar with the Lakeland fells it provides a fascinating view of their relationship to each other.

The map, which is A2 in size and printed in Cumbria, can be ordered online by visiting the Tubular Fells website. Cost is £8.99 and already £780 has been raised for Fix the Fells.

The map will also be on sale at points throughout the Lake District including YHA hostels and the new National Trust shop in Grasmere. It will also be available at Stanfords in Longacre, London.

grough will also be offering a copy of the map to five lucky winners of a competition we will be running later this week. Keep checking back on grough for details.

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  5. Wainwright calendar sales will boost mountain rescue funds