HOW pleasant it is to drive along the side of Thirlmere and find that all the holes in the wall on the roadside have been repaired.

The overall impression of a cared-for and cherished environment prevails. Is this a result of the World heritage Site status I wonder?

Such pondering, however, is quickly dissolved when I drive home along the road from Ambleside to Skelwith Bridge, where hardly a couple of hundred-metre section of intact wall remains and the worst carnage is the shambles on the corner below Ellers.

This broken-down wall has been like this for, we think, more than three years.

Some years ago the National Trust created an off road path in an effort to protect the lives of ill-informed visitors who tried to walk this section of road, as can be seen on the field side of the wall. Fortunately there are no bodies lying under the fallen stones.

Am I too naive in assuming that whoever knocks the wall down is responsible, or have they long since fled into the distance or passed away maybe?

Is it left to the county council - that is us, the ratepayers - to foot the bill and, if so, why, as the damage was probably caused by a visitor who was encouraged to come here, as they do in their thousands and will do in even greater numbers?

In the U.S. you have to pay to get into a National Park and, indeed, those places are extremely well cared for.

While such a system would be very difficult to manage here, it is unrealistic and unfair that a dwindling local population should have to cover costs caused by huge passing visitor numbers.

Is money from national sources made available to look after our environment?

David Draper

Skelwith Bridge