A DEDICATED group of friends who walk in the Lake District every week have teamed up to make a donation to help fix the fells.

The group collected a total of £450 to the countryside group, which has an army of volunteers who work tirelessly to keep the county’s main hiking routes safe, open and accessible for all who use them.

Members from Fix the Fells have expressed their delight with the support and recognition that everyone who uses the Lake District’s upland paths does have an impact – and that it costs money to repair.

Frank McGrath, one of the walkers who lives in Cockermouth, said: “A group of us walks in the Lakes every week and make a small donation on each walk, which we collect and donate to a charity each year.

“This year we will donate to Fix the Fells as we use all the Lakeland paths. We would like to encourage other groups to do the same.”

Fix the Fells aims to protect the Lakeland fells from erosion by maintaining and repairing the upland paths and landscape throughout the year.

This is undertaken in all weathers by a total of 20 highly-skilled rangers and 130 specially trained and highly enthusiastic volunteer ‘lengthsmen’.

The term comes from medieval times when lengthsmen were paid to walk the length of the parish and repair any roads and unblock ditches.

The majority of the lengthsmen come from in and around Cumbria and joined to help ‘give something back’ to the fells they love.

Joanne Backshall, Fix the Fells programme manager, said: “We’re very grateful for this kind donation towards our work. We’re delighted that people enjoying this wonderful resource realise they are contributing to the erosion occurring and are willing to contribute to its repair.

“This protects the scenery and wildlife of this beautiful area now and into the future.”

Fix the Fells is a partnership programme between several organisations, including the National Trust, the Lake District National Park, Natural England, Friends of the Lake District and the Lake District Foundation.

The aim of the Fix the Fells partnership is to protect the spectacular Lake District landscape from erosion damage by repairing and maintaining upland paths.

Fix the Fells needs over half a million pounds a year to complete its upland path repair work.

It is funded by donations and grants and is an ongoing task as visitor numbers increase and the weather becomes more extreme.

The work completed by its 20 National Trust Rangers is currently part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

For more information on Fix the Fells, including the projects and work carried out in the county, visit their website at www.fixthefells.co.uk.