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Protest planned over Lake District quarry tourism scheme

by Staff
Picture: johnlsl/Friends of the Lake District

Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District is holding a protest later this month over plans to transform a quarry into a tourist attraction.

Burlington Slate want to create a heritage attraction at Elterwater Quarry.

Its initial proposals were rejected last year by the Lake District National Park’s development control committee due to concerns over the increase in traffic an attraction would mean, but the firm, working with Zip World, has submitted an amended plan.

Burlington Slate and Zip World estimated it could attract up to 50,000 visitors a year.

Burlington Slate want to use part of Elterwater Quarry at Great Langdale for heritage tourism – including zip wires in its caverns, a visitor centre and natural history trail. When the firm first revealed its plans, it provoked outrage, including an online petition against the plans signed by over 90,000 people.

Friends of the Lake District said it was opposing the scheme and is organising a rally on Wednesday March 27.

The charity’s CEO Michael Hill said: “This is still the wrong attraction in the wrong place, despite the tweaks to the travel plan.

“We’re calling on everyone who agrees, to join us on Elterwater Common on March 27, and make your voice heard.”  

He called on people planning to attend to be mindful of how they reach Elterwater Common.

Friends of the Lake District is urging people to attend by walking, cycling, bus, or car-sharing. The charity has made arrangements for people to attend without driving through the village or parking where they should not.

Mr Hill said: “Elterwater is a small remote village, and we’re conscious of the need to avoid it being overwhelmed with cars – which is something the developers of this proposed attraction have overlooked.

“Please join us on March 27 to help us push back against theme-park style attractions in this remote part of a protected landscape.”

The amended plans from Burlington Slate include a travel plan outlining initiatives to encourage sustainable travel, including people walking, cycling and using public transport to reach the site.

Zip World commissioned transport planning consultants Curtins to develop a bespoke travel plan.

It said it will provide an enhanced bus service – either by working with the current operator of the 516 service or providing a private shuttle bus. it added it was also working with Langdale Low Carbon group, led by Cumbria Tourism, on developing sustainable transport options, with a memorandum of understanding being prepared by Cumbria Tourism.

The resubmitted plan includes an ‘immersive visitor experience’ to share the heritage of mining in the area and the legacy of Burlington.

The Cavern Explorer will allow people to explore the underground quarry while fixed to the cavern walls and there are also plans for a walk with viewpoints

A visitor centre would also be created in former shed buildings.

It is estimated it would create between eight and 10 jobs, shared with the existing workforce of Zip World’s Brockhole attraction.

People can find information on how to travel to the event on the charity’s website and register their interest in joining the rally at https://www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/Event/protest-rally-elterwater-take-action-against-new-plans-for-attraction-in-world-heritage-site

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