Because the purpose of the proposed fencing on this common is restoration of a particularly degraded area of heathland, rather than planting of woodland, particular detailed advice is:
1. It is noted that the proposed new fence at Mosshause Gill is projected to be there for a period of 15 years.
The LAF will wish to know –
2. The LAF is concerned that there is an apparent lack of 'coordination' between the proposed fence being for 15 years and the HLS agreement for the fell being for 10 years. Creating a 'connection' between the two periods of management may reinforce the ability to enforce fencing period and achieve recovery of the fencing materials.
3. It is noted that the grid references stated in paragraph 4.1 of the consultation document detailing the location of the proposed on the south side of Mosshause Gill are wrong and should read '… between the base of Standing Crag (GR 297 136) and the forest boundary (GR 303 138).
4. During the site visit the 'unfavourable declining' condition of the area of common in question was not especially clear. There needs to be greaterclarification of the benefits of this fence, given that it will impede access to the area and will affect the character, given that other areas have been fenced and there has not been the anticipated improvement in condition.
5. There is a general need for a wider management plan for the whole of the common which should include an Access Impact Assessment.
6. There are no public footpaths across the route of the proposed fence, but the land in question is CROW Act Access Land. And even more significantly, there is also public access under the Manchester Corporation Waterworks Act 1879, section 62 which states "The access heretofore actually enjoyed on the part of the public and tourists to the mountains and fells surrounding Lake Thirlmere… shall not be in any manner restricted or interfered with". This should be fully recognised in the document.
7. The location has the appearance and feel of being especially wild and remote, and includes features that are of special interest to geologists (the Armboth dyke), consequently particular attention should be paid to the siting of the proposed fence and the position of gates provided for access through the fence.
8. A suitable number of gates to be installed to enable access in and out, and at each gate location the standard 'Open Access' symbol to be posted at significant points along the fence.
The further advice of the Local Access forum should be sought on this matter when the position of the proposed fence is confirmed.
9. Stiles will only be accepted where there is an overriding case.
The Lake District Local Access Forum has no objection to the proposed planting of Caldbeck and Uldale Common, although there may be concern in the future if the two additional blocks of Roughten Gill are planted with trees.
There are a number of rights of way in this area and the Forum would be concerned if the woodland became too extensive so creating a visual and physical barrier between the road and the Caldbeck Fells. It would urge that the planting is set back from these rights of way so that the trees on maturity do not block either the route or the view ahead.