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Footpath repairs body gets first lady at the top

Posted 21 August 2012
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Footpath repairs body gets first lady at the top
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A footpath repair charity backed by the Lake District National Park authority has just appointed its first female head of mountain top paths.

Sarah Anderson told the Westmorland Gazette she is excited about being the first woman whose job is to look after the paths at the top of the very highest mountains on behalf of Nurture Lakeland's Fix the Fells project.

Appointed an upland ranger earlier this year, Ms Anderson told the paper: "It is a real pleasure to be the first 'Woman at the Top', especially as I myself started as a volunteer on the Fix the Fells scheme."

She added: "I love being out in the mountains and I am really looking forward to making positive contributions to the upland path network."

Ms Anderson explained that Fix the Fells does not just maintain and repair existing paths harmed by the wear and tear of hiking boots, but also creates new routes where appropriate.

The organisation helps the national park cope with the thousands of people climbing its mountains and hills every year, but this year has seen the project lose its Heritage Lottery Fund cash.

One of the paths the charity has been working hard on this summer is the route up Helm Crag, which stands sentinel over Grasmere.

This short but steep fell has a well-used path that has been subjected to plenty of erosion by walkers, but the last few months have seen extensive work taking place to improve the path, including the addition of grass seed to help bind the soil.

With much of the path having a good tree covering, the ground is subject to plenty of humidity and this helps the grass grow, although volunteers and rangers have had to cope with thousands of midges who also enjoy such conditions.

Helm Crag is listed among the Wainwrights and is the hardest to reach the top of, requiring a scramble onto its rocky summit outcrop.  ADNFCR-2803-ID-801432956-ADNFCR