Fears are being expressed that pop-up campsites planned for the Lake District could have the potential to pollute water courses.
Temporary campsites are set to spring up throughout the national park ahead of this summer’s expected staycation boom.
A small number of tents are allowed to be set up in a field for a maximum of 56 days to give visitors to the Lake District the chance to enjoy a night under the stars.
But there is a need to carry out a full risk assessment in advance, obtain suitable insurance, provide toilet and water facilities and arrange litter collection to keep guests and nearby residents safe.
However, opponents of the small-scale sites say they will “destroy” parts of the Lake District popular with visitors and that view has been reflected in a row brewing on the other side of Dunmail Raise.
Members of Lakes Parish Council heard this week there had been “local outrage” over temporary campsites at White Moss, Rydal, and at Chapel Stile in the Langdale Valley. The meeting was told the White Moss site will have bell tents served by chemical toilets and a cold water tap.
But it is being listed on camping websites as having no drinking water, washing facilities or refuse and waste disposal.
This prompted fears over the potential pollution of Rydal Water and the River Rothay. Councillors also queried whether Lowther Estates, the site’s owners, would take responsibility by employing a warden to book in campers and dispose of refuse.
Councillors said measures to allow ‘pop up’ sites for 56 days a year had been decided nationally with no special knowledge of problems likely to be created in areas like the national park. They said the White Moss and Chapel Stile sites had been “dumped” on local communities without warning
It was agreed to write to Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, and Colin Cox, Cumbria’s director of public health, as well as UNESCO World Heritage Site officers expressing anger over the campsites and concern at the perceived health risk they pose during the pandemic.