Cumbria

Lake District zip wire plan: About 200 attend Thirlmere protest

Protestors gather
Image caption About 200 people attended the rally organised by Friends of the Lake District

About 200 people gathered to protest against plans for zip wires in the Lake District.

Adventure leisure firm Treetop Trek wants to string two sets of four zip wires across Thirlmere Reservoir.

Friends of the Lake District organised Saturday's rally to show their opposition saying the area was a "national park not a theme park".

Treetop Trek said the £1.8m zip wires would be good for tourism and would not have a big impact on the landscape.

Image caption Treetop Trek wants to string two sets of four zip wires across Thirlmere Reservoir

Douglas Chalmers, chief executive of Friends of the Lake District, acknowledged "people enjoy" zip wires but he said Thirlmere was "absolutely the wrong place to put them".

He said: "This is a place people come to for other benefits and experiences."

Mike Turner, director of Treetop Trek, said people worry the project would "scar the landscape and really dramatically change it" but "that's not the case at all".

Image caption Protestors say it will ruin the landscape

Mr Turner said the area was already "significantly affected by man" with people paragliding, cycling, swimming, walking and running, all of which "come with environmental impact".

He said the zip wires would be "another fantastic attraction" particularly for younger people who will be the "Lake District lovers of the future".

Image caption Mike Turner said the zip wires would be a "fantastic attraction"

The Ministry of Defence has previously said the wires would pose a risk to military aircraft.

The Lake District National Parks Authority is due to make decision on the plan in March.

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