Helvellyn ia a magnet for walkers on this October day and their figures are etched against the horizon. Wonderful panoramas to be had, the summiting experience, the thrill of Striding Edge and Swirral Edge. But the way to Raise is impoverished- nothing much grows up here. Why is that? What has blasted these fells? Relentless pressure of walkers along broad tracks to the tops, that’s visible. Overgrazing in the past? Mining and a change of geology? There is a patch of fir club moss close to the ski-station but it’s localised. I know the high corries of Helvellyn are of botanical interest, saved by being inaccessible.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)