THE row over 4x4 and motorbike 'off-roading' in the South Lakes continues to rumble on.

This week, a group of conservationists wrote to the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) to restate its objections.

The move comes after a decision by a High Court judge to dismiss a legal challenge that looked to ban the controversial leisure activity in the area.

A campaign group made up of cyclists, ramblers and horse riders - called the Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement (GLEAM) - had launched an appeal after the LDNPA decided to allow 4x4 and motorbike riders to use two old farm and quarry tracks in Coniston and Langdale.

Following on from the High Court's decision to halt GLEAM's judicial review case, the Lake District Green Lanes Alliance has addressed an open letter to the LDNPA addressing the matter.

The letter raises three key points: that the Lake District has a long tradition of conservation; that the national park is 'is there for everyone, but not for every activity'; and that, according to the signatories, LDNPA 'has enough evidence to hold a consultation on a Traffic Regulation Order banning 4x4s and motorbikes, driven just for fun'.

The LDNPA's Head of Park Management said: "The Judgement dismissed the [GLEAM] claim on all three grounds; supporting and vindicating our approach to the Sandford principle, our approach to the survey and consultation, the manner in which the matter was presented to committee and the decision reached.

"Prior to this - on 8 October 2019 the National Park Authority agreed that Tilberthwaite road should be maintained in its current condition by our partner Cumbria County Council and that we create a partnership management group of invited key partners and stakeholders to work collaboratively to monitor usage and condition; undertaking necessary activities to help mitigate any new issues that may arise.

"And for the High Oxen Fell road, Cumbria County Council maintains the road surface at its current condition, and we work with them and the National Trust to monitor surface condition.

"Given the judicial review we felt it was inappropriate to form the management group prior to the judicial review being determined. And since that time we have had to focus our attention on managing the national park in light of the needs and impact of Covid-19.

"In this context we need to review the timing and formation of the group to ensure we deploy our resources to the highest priorities across the park and make sure that such a group can work effectively in partnership.

Given monitoring of the route use and its condition is on-going and our focus on general visitor management across the national park is necessary - it is likely we will look to establish the working group early in 2021."