I revere Wordsworth the poet, but not his view of farming as a benign force. The Lakes fells don’t need world heritage status – just fewer sheepIt’s the most celebrated landscape in Britain. It’s the spiritual home of the Romantic movement. It’s the birthplace of western conservation. So who could possibly be boorish enough to oppose a campaign to turn the Lake District into a world heritage site? Next month, a coalition of powerful bodies, including the National Trust, Natural England and English Heritage, will begin its fourth attempt to have the region recognised (alongside the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos islands, the pyramids, the Taj Mahal and the Serengeti) by the United Nations. They argue that the Lake District, more than anywhere else, “has influenced the way that the modern world views, values and conserves landscape”. They also maintain that it is “one of the world’s most beautiful areas”.I see it as one of the most depressing landscapes in Europe. It competes with the chemical deserts of East Anglia for the title of Britain’s worst-kept countryside. The celebrated fells have been thoroughly sheepwrecked: the forests that once covered them have been reduced by the white plague to bare rock …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books