"SOME of the best-loved parts of the Lake District" have not been monitored for years, Greenpeace has claimed.

The environmental campaign group says 47 per cent of England's sites of special scientific interest have not been monitored in the last six years, as required by national guidelines.

Among the 4,126 protected nature sites are Helvellyn and Fairfield; Scafell Pikes, covering the upland massif from Seathwaite Fell to England's highest mountain; Buttermere; and Blea Tarn, in the Langdale Valley.

Greenpeace's investigative unit, Unearthed, said Helvellyn and the 977-metre Scafell Pike were last assessed eight years ago, when their condition was found to be "unfavourable".

Blea Tarn was last monitored in 2008, and Buttermere in 2009/10, when their condition was said to be "favourable".

Greenpeace said the data emerged in response to a parliamentary question by the co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas.

It said Natural England, the government agency responsible for monitoring SSSIs, has seen its budget almost halved from what it was a decade ago.

Greenpeace said the data showed 39 per cent of Cumbria's sites are in favourable condition, in line with the national average.