Lake District National Park Authority chief executive Richard Leafe at this year's Kendal Mountain Festival. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Lake District National Park Authority chief executive Richard Leafe at this year's Kendal Mountain Festival. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The boss of the Lake District national park said social media reports of his impending resignation are ‘fake news’ and he will not be leaving his post.

Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority was replying to a Twitter post implying he was thinking of stepping down.

Mr Leafe has been in charge of the Lake District authority for more than 12 years.

A post by #ZipOff Lakes Watch yesterday said: “Sources in Murley Moss [the site of the national park offices] inform us @LakesChief is considering stepping down in the New Year.

“If true, the supporter of theme park zip wires, cable cars, & pods in the National Park will be gone, and the #lakedistrict will be free of #Richardtatorship.”

The Twitter feed from the #ZipOff Lakes Watch feed

The Twitter feed from the #ZipOff Lakes Watch feed

The feed was set up initially to oppose the planned zipwire across the Thirlmere reservoir, the application for which was withdrawn in February 2018.

Mr Leafe has also come under fire from the site and others in the Lake District for recent decisions by the authority he leads, including the laying of asphalt on the track between Keswick and Threlkeld; support for the abortive plans to charge for wild camping; proposals for a chairlift at Whinlatter Forest and the decision to continue to allow motor vehicles to use two unsurfaced roads in Little Langdale.

The authority posted a reply to the #ZipOff Lakes Watch tweet, saying: “This is not true and a disgusting personal attack on one of our National Park officers. This post has been reported to Twitter.”

And a short time later, Mr Leafe replied to the tweet himself, saying: “I am not resigning. This is fake news.

“I’m passionate about working with my dedicated staff and volunteers to look after this special place today and for the future.”

Richard Leafe was appointed chief executive of England’s largest national park in July 2007. He was previously a regional director of Natural England, the Westminster government’s advisory body on the outdoors.

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