Urban encroachment makes this issue topical, and urgent. Those meadow saxifrage at Ghyll Brow came into bloom in mid-May, and a JCB ploughed a course into those steep pastures- to dig a trench and test for ‘percolation’, so I was told when I asked . It’s preparatory to building extensive housing estates at Stainbank Green and south of Underbarrow Road. The original plan was turned down because the environmental impact was judged too harsh. An appeal sees the plan active again. I talked to the men and pointed out that these precious meadow saxifrage were shown on maps we saw with development briefs. ‘ Mind the flowers,’ the man in charge advises the driver who must be struggling with the aspect of slope- it’s steep. How can he mind the flowers on such a steep slope?
The topic is much bigger than Scout Scar. All over the UK there is urban encroachment, extensive building programmes. So how does the conservation community respond to all that increasing pressure on the countryside? Visitor management is key. Scout Scar is important because it’s glorious, it’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest and it’s in the Lake District National Park. So how do we tell what it is? How do we create a culture that respects sensitive habitat and protects endangered species?
Here, and in Cumbrian Contrasts I’m asking the conservation community and I’m asking everyone.