Felling of the monkey puzzle tree raises questions

THE sheer bloody-mindedness of the Lake District National Park Authority’s decision to axe the Brockhole monkey puzzle tree has astounded me.

I believe that to push ahead with the felling was an act of ecological and cultural vandalism.

No wonder campaigners fighting to save the 110-year-old tree ended up in tears.

In my view, the national park leadership should hang their collective heads in shame.

What, I ask, is a national park supposed to be for?

I thought it was about protecting the landscape - both natural and cultivated, as in the case of Brockhole’s garden.

National park authorities should certainly not be in the business of developing theme park-style visitor attractions in direct competition with private businesses. This is what appears to be happening at Brockhole with its tree-top walk and new jetty and plans for a zip wire, watersports centre and wedding and concert venue.

It would have been much better for the LDNPA to sell off Brockhole and use the money to preserve the Lakeland landscape and its iconic settlements. Instead, a lot of public money is being poured into the place at a time when public institutions and organisations are supposed to be tightening their belts.

What I find amazing is that the authority was able to grant itself planning permission for the work at Brockhole.

I can imagine what the LDNPA would have said if a private business wanted to introduce such attractions on the shores of Windermere.

You only need to recall the failure of the Honister Slate Mine zip wire bid to get an idea of what I mean.

It’s a point which raises fundamental issues about whether park authorities should be allowed to grant its own planning approvals, especially such contentious ones.

I believe it’s also legitimate to question why the authority was allowed to be judge, jury and executioner in the case of the now lost monkey puzzle tree.

Comments (14)

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3:58pm Thu 8 Nov 12

marianneb says...

Many thanks to Allan Tunningley for exposing the rottenness at the heart of the National Park Authority. The heartwood of the Monkey Puzzle was strong and full of spirit.
Many thanks to Allan Tunningley for exposing the rottenness at the heart of the National Park Authority. The heartwood of the Monkey Puzzle was strong and full of spirit. marianneb
  • Score: 0

8:15pm Thu 8 Nov 12

PieWoman says...

An alternative view: National Parks aim to do vital conservation work, but their funding has been reduced by the government.

Visitors to Brockhole gain an understanding of the cultural history of the area and get great views of the Lake District. If that brings tourists into the area and generates an income to fund further conservation work (rather than private porfit) - then I think it is a good thing.

Pie Woman
An alternative view: National Parks aim to do vital conservation work, but their funding has been reduced by the government. Visitors to Brockhole gain an understanding of the cultural history of the area and get great views of the Lake District. If that brings tourists into the area and generates an income to fund further conservation work (rather than private porfit) - then I think it is a good thing. Pie Woman PieWoman
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Thu 8 Nov 12

marianneb says...

There is no evidence of vital conservation work at Brockhole. On the contrary the garden is well on the way to losing its unique cultural distinctiveness and becoming a homogenised theme park attraction.
There is no evidence of vital conservation work at Brockhole. On the contrary the garden is well on the way to losing its unique cultural distinctiveness and becoming a homogenised theme park attraction. marianneb
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Thu 8 Nov 12

marianneb says...

The founder of the National Parks John Muir would be appalled at the felling of the Monkey Puzzle. John Muir was a big fan of this marvellous and endangered species and his last journey, alone in his mid 70s was to travel to The forests of Chile to see the remnant Monkey Puzzle forests ...http://www.bruceb
yersconsulting.com/t
racking-john-muir-to
-the-monkey-puzzle-f
orests-of-chile/
The founder of the National Parks John Muir would be appalled at the felling of the Monkey Puzzle. John Muir was a big fan of this marvellous and endangered species and his last journey, alone in his mid 70s was to travel to The forests of Chile to see the remnant Monkey Puzzle forests ...http://www.bruceb yersconsulting.com/t racking-john-muir-to -the-monkey-puzzle-f orests-of-chile/ marianneb
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Thu 8 Nov 12

PieWoman says...

marianneb wrote:
There is no evidence of vital conservation work at Brockhole. On the contrary the garden is well on the way to losing its unique cultural distinctiveness and becoming a homogenised theme park attraction.
I'm talking about the National Park as a whole, not just one tree.

Pie Woman
[quote][p][bold]marianneb[/bold] wrote: There is no evidence of vital conservation work at Brockhole. On the contrary the garden is well on the way to losing its unique cultural distinctiveness and becoming a homogenised theme park attraction.[/p][/quote]I'm talking about the National Park as a whole, not just one tree. Pie Woman PieWoman
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Thu 8 Nov 12

marianneb says...

The Monkey Puzzle is no longer "just one tree"

As has been said before the felling is a symbol of the blatant disregard of the cultural and historic significance of the Brockhole gardens.

The National Park's "Vision" is not fit for purpose if they can fell this tree on a trumped up whim. The wider Lake District is at threat while the conservation watch-dogs stay stum. the National Park's perverted notion of "the view" allows for a nuclear dump under Ennerdale Forest as long as it is screened from "the view." CONservation at work? Shady deals done with central government? We'll keep stum on the nuke dump while you give us the taxpayer millions to "restore" Brockhole? Makes you wonder.
The Monkey Puzzle is no longer "just one tree" As has been said before the felling is a symbol of the blatant disregard of the cultural and historic significance of the Brockhole gardens. The National Park's "Vision" is not fit for purpose if they can fell this tree on a trumped up whim. The wider Lake District is at threat while the conservation watch-dogs stay stum. the National Park's perverted notion of "the view" allows for a nuclear dump under Ennerdale Forest as long as it is screened from "the view." CONservation at work? Shady deals done with central government? We'll keep stum on the nuke dump while you give us the taxpayer millions to "restore" Brockhole? Makes you wonder. marianneb
  • Score: 0

10:33pm Fri 9 Nov 12

twitchy says...

Visitors to Brockhole would get a better understanding of the area if they could see it in action, it needs to promote conservation and not from a TV screen in a back room but by encouraging people to take part.
Ironically one of the great attractions at Brockhole the Monkey puzzle has been destroyed. I wonder if the LDNPA in its "Ivory Towers" at Murley Moss ever saw how many people visited Brockhole just to see the tree and how many to get a photo of it.
If the LDNPA can't deliver the goods and from the length of time they have had, it is clear they can't, then the decent thing would be to hand it to someone who can.
By that I don't mean the Adam Thomas "disastrous developments"because that won't deliver either.
Visitors to Brockhole would get a better understanding of the area if they could see it in action, it needs to promote conservation and not from a TV screen in a back room but by encouraging people to take part. Ironically one of the great attractions at Brockhole the Monkey puzzle has been destroyed. I wonder if the LDNPA in its "Ivory Towers" at Murley Moss ever saw how many people visited Brockhole just to see the tree and how many to get a photo of it. If the LDNPA can't deliver the goods and from the length of time they have had, it is clear they can't, then the decent thing would be to hand it to someone who can. By that I don't mean the Adam Thomas "disastrous developments"because that won't deliver either. twitchy
  • Score: 0

11:25pm Fri 9 Nov 12

PieWoman says...

Westmorland Gazette - why are comments on news articles not moderated?

It seems anyone is able to post anything on here - and a small number of regulars are being allowed to post a great deal of bile.

Pie Woman
Westmorland Gazette - why are comments on news articles not moderated? It seems anyone is able to post anything on here - and a small number of regulars are being allowed to post a great deal of bile. Pie Woman PieWoman
  • Score: 0

11:38pm Fri 9 Nov 12

twitchy says...

PieWoman wrote:
Westmorland Gazette - why are comments on news articles not moderated?

It seems anyone is able to post anything on here - and a small number of regulars are being allowed to post a great deal of bile.

Pie Woman
If they moderated bile Pie Woman you would never be posted.
This is a democracy and this is freedom of speech and unless you live in a deprived Eastern European state you should know that.
Then again maybe not.
[quote][p][bold]PieWoman[/bold] wrote: Westmorland Gazette - why are comments on news articles not moderated? It seems anyone is able to post anything on here - and a small number of regulars are being allowed to post a great deal of bile. Pie Woman[/p][/quote]If they moderated bile Pie Woman you would never be posted. This is a democracy and this is freedom of speech and unless you live in a deprived Eastern European state you should know that. Then again maybe not. twitchy
  • Score: 0

8:36am Sat 10 Nov 12

marianneb says...

Considering the ruthless actions and arrogant words of the LDNPA the comments from the public have been remarkably restrained and measured. Rather ironically the chair of the LDNPA said that they operate on an "open and transparent" basis and campaigners should read the book "how to win friends and influence people". If it wasn't so deeply sad it would be funny.
Considering the ruthless actions and arrogant words of the LDNPA the comments from the public have been remarkably restrained and measured. Rather ironically the chair of the LDNPA said that they operate on an "open and transparent" basis and campaigners should read the book "how to win friends and influence people". If it wasn't so deeply sad it would be funny. marianneb
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Sat 10 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

PieWoman wrote:
marianneb wrote:
There is no evidence of vital conservation work at Brockhole. On the contrary the garden is well on the way to losing its unique cultural distinctiveness and becoming a homogenised theme park attraction.
I'm talking about the National Park as a whole, not just one tree.

Pie Woman
PieWoman, you seem either unaware of all the occasions on which the LDNPA has ignored it's own policies or changed it's mind and reversed previous decisions, or you are seeking to promote the LDNPA with propaganda which obscures the truth.

They refused a Zip Wire at Honister mines, saying they were preserving the tranquil environment from the possibility that some users might scream in excitement - ignoring the existing mine traffic and existing noise - and in the same meeting approved THREE zip wires of their own at Brockhole and the use of the site for weddings etc. despite pleas from their neighbours that the peace and quiet they enjoy would be ruined!

In Windermere they ignored the Development Boundary THEY established to allow the building of 30+ homes at School Knott... homes which increased traffic on already congested estate roads, and adding sewage into an already hard pressed system!

For years, they closed other lakes to water skiers, ENCOURAGING them all to Windermere, where businesses AND the LDNPA benefited from their presence (cost of registrations) then changed their minds, ignored the possibility of zoned use (as in the Norfolk Broads) and imposed a speed limit to prevent skiing, and which has led to the eyesore of more yacht moorings as SLDC try to make up for the launching fees THEY used to collect!

Only this week the LDNPA acted with indecent haste to approve the Morrisons Supermarket development in Windermere just 8 days after amended plans were submitted, and before anyone had a chance to apprise or comment on the new plans!
The people living on College Road stand to suffer increased traffic on an already congested road, but have no chance to object.

If the LDNPA sold used cars, you would have seen them on Watchdog by now, being investigated for sharp practices... and for your part, YOU would be viewed with some suspicion over your support for their actions, and pleas to silence the rightful concerns of others!
[quote][p][bold]PieWoman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marianneb[/bold] wrote: There is no evidence of vital conservation work at Brockhole. On the contrary the garden is well on the way to losing its unique cultural distinctiveness and becoming a homogenised theme park attraction.[/p][/quote]I'm talking about the National Park as a whole, not just one tree. Pie Woman[/p][/quote]PieWoman, you seem either unaware of all the occasions on which the LDNPA has ignored it's own policies or changed it's mind and reversed previous decisions, or you are seeking to promote the LDNPA with propaganda which obscures the truth. They refused a Zip Wire at Honister mines, saying they were preserving the tranquil environment from the possibility that some users might scream in excitement - ignoring the existing mine traffic and existing noise - and in the same meeting approved THREE zip wires of their own at Brockhole and the use of the site for weddings etc. despite pleas from their neighbours that the peace and quiet they enjoy would be ruined! In Windermere they ignored the Development Boundary THEY established to allow the building of 30+ homes at School Knott... homes which increased traffic on already congested estate roads, and adding sewage into an already hard pressed system! For years, they closed other lakes to water skiers, ENCOURAGING them all to Windermere, where businesses AND the LDNPA benefited from their presence (cost of registrations) then changed their minds, ignored the possibility of zoned use (as in the Norfolk Broads) and imposed a speed limit to prevent skiing, and which has led to the eyesore of more yacht moorings as SLDC try to make up for the launching fees THEY used to collect! Only this week the LDNPA acted with indecent haste to approve the Morrisons Supermarket development in Windermere just 8 days after amended plans were submitted, and before anyone had a chance to apprise or comment on the new plans! The people living on College Road stand to suffer increased traffic on an already congested road, but have no chance to object. If the LDNPA sold used cars, you would have seen them on Watchdog by now, being investigated for sharp practices... and for your part, YOU would be viewed with some suspicion over your support for their actions, and pleas to silence the rightful concerns of others! life cycle too
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Sat 10 Nov 12

zaney5 says...

PieWoman wrote:
Westmorland Gazette - why are comments on news articles not moderated?

It seems anyone is able to post anything on here - and a small number of regulars are being allowed to post a great deal of bile.

Pie Woman
So stop doing it then. Problem solved. You only seem to pipe up in order to disagree with peoples comments. And considering folk have had comments deleted in the past I would say someone IS moderating the site. Maybe they think that a healthy discussion doesn't warrent culling.
[quote][p][bold]PieWoman[/bold] wrote: Westmorland Gazette - why are comments on news articles not moderated? It seems anyone is able to post anything on here - and a small number of regulars are being allowed to post a great deal of bile. Pie Woman[/p][/quote]So stop doing it then. Problem solved. You only seem to pipe up in order to disagree with peoples comments. And considering folk have had comments deleted in the past I would say someone IS moderating the site. Maybe they think that a healthy discussion doesn't warrent culling. zaney5
  • Score: 0

8:15am Sun 11 Nov 12

speedwell-blue says...

The main issue here is that an enormous amount of tax payers money has funded various consultants and reports in relation to Brockhole since 2004. The citizens of the South Lakes have no idea of the entire cost.

The way the LDNPA works needs to be fully investigated by an outside body. There needs to be a public enquiry. There has been a manipulation of information and the good citizens have not been allowed any involvement in the voting process that goes on behind closed doors at Authority meetings.

It would be far more palatable if a small technical team of specialists from the LDNPA were put into the Cumbria County Council organisation.
The rest of the organisation scrapped. Why have a Chief Executive and a separate HR team.

We have SLDC, Cumbria County Council, and then all of the Parish and District councils that seem to be completely powerless. It is a mess.
The main issue here is that an enormous amount of tax payers money has funded various consultants and reports in relation to Brockhole since 2004. The citizens of the South Lakes have no idea of the entire cost. The way the LDNPA works needs to be fully investigated by an outside body. There needs to be a public enquiry. There has been a manipulation of information and the good citizens have not been allowed any involvement in the voting process that goes on behind closed doors at Authority meetings. It would be far more palatable if a small technical team of specialists from the LDNPA were put into the Cumbria County Council organisation. The rest of the organisation scrapped. Why have a Chief Executive and a separate HR team. We have SLDC, Cumbria County Council, and then all of the Parish and District councils that seem to be completely powerless. It is a mess. speedwell-blue
  • Score: 0

12:55am Mon 12 Nov 12

twitchy says...

I totally agree a public inquiry is the best, perhaps the only way to sort this out. I suggest writing or emailing Tim Farron and David Cameron and demanding an inquiry.
I understand Quangos are on the "endangered list" and considered "vulnerable" ------to being scrapped!
I totally agree a public inquiry is the best, perhaps the only way to sort this out. I suggest writing or emailing Tim Farron and David Cameron and demanding an inquiry. I understand Quangos are on the "endangered list" and considered "vulnerable" ------to being scrapped! twitchy
  • Score: 0

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