Why do they do it?

A reader emailed me recently to light-heartedly inform me that he had recently visited Mosedale Cottage in the Lake District. It’s a cracking place in a peaceful and remote location.

Anyway, he posted a picture he’d taken of mine and Eion’s notes in the bothy logbook which we had written while on our Coast to Coast Walk.

Unfortunately, it has come to light that some nights after our stay some idiot’s have decided to wreck the place.

When me and Eion arrived the bothy was in good nick and the only gripe we had was the fireplace being jam-packed with rubbish – empty food tins, cans of beer and the like.

Eion and I spent the best part of an hour sorting that out choking on dust and getting covered in black filth.

We got the fire going eventually and managed to burn most of the rubbish. However the tinned waste we left behind in a corner in a bag and some we squeezed into our packs knowing we could ditch them once we reached Patterdale some miles away.

But according to the notes in the logbook some fools have damaged and tried to burn the sheep pens/folds that can be found round the rear of the bothy.

Why on earth do some people think it’s OK to do this?

Clearly, they thought it was a special place to visit – how or why else would they walk the miles to reach the place?

But to cause so much damage and ruin it all for the majority really pisses me off!

It’s folk like that that puts landowners off letting places like Mosedale Cottage to the Mountain Bothy Association.

Only last Sunday while I was in the Peak District I noted some casual “yoof’s” camping shall we say in some woodland not far from a car park in a well-known area.

Unfortunately, I didn’t note their car number plates – but I did clear up some rubbish bags and empty cans of beer they left behind.

And only an hour later not too far from there I noticed streams of smoke in some other woodland below Higger Tor. Clearly, someone was making or using a fire and maybe it had got out of hand.

I was about to dial 999 when a gentleman nearby commented on it to me and informed me he had already called the fire brigade.

Some time later, me and my wife were back in the vicinity on a main road and noted two fire engines and several police cars at the entrance to the bridleway which leads to these woods.

It can be very frustrating observing all of the above, no?

We were all young once – and I was never whiter than white – even so, I knew where the line was drawn and so did many other people of my age.

It maybe a sign of the times but it just goes to show – with an increasing population and a greater awareness of the great outdoors comes even more pressure on our special places.

Heck! Even Cumbria Tourism wants to increase the number of visitors to the Lake District National Park by 500,000 by 2012!!! What?!!!

The place can be jam-packed as it is in the summer! Often roads can be grid-locked and even public transport can be next to useless in such circumstances.

By any means, I’m no whinger or have apathy to others in the hills – why would I do this blog, for instance. But those in charge need to show some clemency to our precious landscapes. There’s only so much they can take.

I understand the needs for the local economy but even many local residents would be dismayed by some of the decisions being made in places like the Lake District. After all, it is a place of work for some, home and more.

I could go on – but I’d much rather do that with a pint in my hand in the pub with any one of you – putting the world to right and all that.

But going back to Mosedale Cottage – it is a shame to read about that.

I just hope the landowner takes a balanced view of the situation and realise it is perhaps a one-off incident.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Don Dawber says:

    Just utterly baffling.
    I have had some strange encounters with gangs of youths obviously out to prove themselves in the fells – but also keen to live up to the drinking peer pressure thing too. One such event was on the top of Harrison Stickle just a couple of weeks ago, a bunch of about 10 of them sitting drinking and talking loudly – bad language etc.. oblivious to families around who were trying to appreciate the beauty, i was with my nephew who was more embarrassed than I was. I feel old reading this back but that kind of thing just seems so incongruous to me. I could go on.. but I won`t!!


  2. terrybnd says:

    Oh go on! I'd high-five ya! LOL

    It's the world we live in now….hopefully attitudes will change over time as other factors take hold.

    A better education with respect for the outdoors would be one – never mind alcohol (thought I'm no fine example of that myself)


  3. Tomas says:

    I'm always surprised at the amenities in Sweden that are treated so respectfully. I've stayed at a load of huts here, used lots of windshields and cooking spots. I even found a communal sauna in the middle of the forest near Norrköping, free for any hikers to use! And they're always in perfect nick, very clean, usually with signs that people are 'paying it forward' by leaving useful left-overs like candles or dehydrated food there. One cabin in particular on an island in the Stockholm archipelago dates back to the 1920s, was donated to the Swedish people by the military who had built it, and still has in it yellowing photos of the Swedish King from that time on the walls.

    I know that in Ireland you can barely trust that private houses in the countryside won't get vandalised, let alone resources that are for everyone to use. It's a pity!


  4. Terry, on a recent Bivvy backpacking trip in Alport valley we spotted about 3 fireplaces that had been made recently with scarred ground and left over paper and tins, this really disgusts me..after clearing up and trying to bury some of the mess we moved on, but what can actually be done about this?? these people are watching to much TV and are more interested in getting pissed than being at one with nature…all we can do is keep clearing up after these idiots and report them if they are still in the vicinity..!!


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