Running Int' Fells: Fell Running in the Cumbrian Hills and Mountains – Treading Lightly with David Broom

19 April 2024
18:00 - 19:30

David Broom talks to us about the importance of the environment and landscape of the Cumbrian fells and how fell runners should consider their impact.

The Cumbrian uplands include extensive areas of considerable nature conservation value. The grassland, moorland, woodland, scrub and heath vegetation of fells, ridges and mountain summits, rivers, tarns, rock outcrops and screes contain many rare plants and provide habitats for a great number of wildlife species. However, the plants, habitats and wildlife species that contribute to the special character and interest of the Cumbrian uplands can be vulnerable to disturbance by fell runners.

Trampling by fell runners within upland landscapes can displace rare upland plants and can cause erosion of vegetation and valuable wildlife habitats. Fell runners can also disperse wildlife species. With care, it is possible for fell runners to access upland landscapes with little risk of ecological disturbance, both as individuals and as competitors in fell running events.

This talk describes some of the main nature conservation interest features that contribute to the attraction of Cumbrian upland landscapes for fell running. The talk will explain the main reasons why these features can be vulnerable to disturbance by fell runners, and will describe measures that can be taken by fell runners to avoid the risk of impacting Cumbria’s fragile upland environment.

About the speaker

David Broom is an ecologist who has advised fell running, mountain marathon and ultra marathon events on the avoidance of ecological impacts for many years. David has competed in a wide range of mountain marathon and ultramarathon events, including many in the Cumbrian Hills and Mountains, where he also works as a mountaineering instructor.

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