Mourners slammed for leaving piles of ashes in the Lake District

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Mourners leaving 'piles of ashes and litter' in the Lake District
Mourners leaving 'piles of ashes and litter' in the Lake District

Mourners are being asked to be more tidy and respectful after scattering ashes in the Lake District - and contaminating the famous beauty spot.

British ramblers Steve Curl, 60, and his wife, Beth, have launched a campaign asking mourners to be more considerate after they recently found five discarded cardboard boxes at a popular beauty spot while walking in the Langdale Pikes.

They have since called upon local organisations to request mourners to be more considerate.

Speaking to the Independent, Mr Curl said: "The fact that friends and relatives of the deceased or pet owners should carry ashes to such high places, scatter them and simply leave the boxes to litter the fells is completely incomprehensible.

"I find the idea of scattering ashes a bit disconcerting but it was the rubbish that made us really angry."

Steve Tatlock, ranger at the Lake District National Park Authority, told the Daily Mail: "It can be upsetting to see large piles of ashes dotted around, so we would ask people to spread them around. It's about being sensitive but also responsible.

"We understand that families want to scatter ashes of relatives and pets in places they enjoyed. However, it is important to pick up cardboard left behind because it is littering."

Not only has the issue of littering been brought up as a concern, but some naturalists have even gone so far as to say that ashes could have an effect on the environment.

The Daily Mail reports that Dr Malcolm Petyt, from the Ramblers Association, said: "The naturalists among us may say a concentrated amount in one place could have an effect on biodiversity in the area."

According to The West Morland Gazette, even the Wainwright Society has chimed in its disapproval.

Famous fellwalker and artist Alfred Wainwright's ashes were scattered at his beloved Haystacks.

The paper says that, while he would certainly have understood why people who loved the Lake District would like it to be their final resting place, he would not have approved of his favourite landscape being littered with cardboard boxes.

According to the Daily Mail and the Independent, Derek Cockell, of the Wainwright Society, said: "It is a landscape that many people have a close affinity with during their lifetime and they wish their ashes to be scattered on a favourite fell or viewpoint after their death.

"However, the Lake District landscape is a fragile environment and, as Wainwright stated, 'like a rare jewel it should be treasured and guarded'."

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