Marhofn 49.02 - April 2000

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Hall of Shame:

Get Off My Land: Swinside (34B)

Chris Peart: Swinside has 'Private - No Right of Way' signs on every access point. I was in a hurry so gave it a miss but I'll be back.

Peter Wilson: Who owns this hill and why the need for so many Private notices? My ascent, a few years ago when the fence was down and felling was taking place, revealed two orienteering-type markers on and near the summit bearing the logo of HF Holidays who have a centre at the foot of the hill.

Ann Bowker:

Swinside is owned by Lord Rochdale who also owns nearby Lingmoor Gardens which border a substantial chunk of Derwentwater shore. Shortly after his father died the new Lord Rochdale closed the gardens which used to be open to paying members of the public. He has also apparently renewed all the Private notices round Swinside. I also once saw HF markers on the hill but have not seen any since the Private signs were renewed. I go up regularly in the winter but avoid it in summer because of ticks and bracken. We have collected evidence of open access to the hill in the past. Baddeley's Guide to the Lake District of 1902 recommends Swinside as an easy stroll from Keswick. In Victorian times it was one of the seven 'stations' around Derwentwater which tourists visited for the view. And a very fine one it is. I mentioned this to a local historian who gave us a lecture on the fight for freedom to roam around Keswick on Latrigg and in Fawe Park which may well also be part of the Rochdale property. If access to Swinside was made impossible then I think we should organise similar protests but as things stand I find it rather delightful to have a Lake District hill which one can climb in complete solitude.

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