Local concern over 'luge' track planned for Cumbria

Cumbria could be home to Europe's first bobsleigh style luge track, according to those behind plans to build one. 

The 850m long downhill track would include a chairlift and would be constructed near Armathwaite - a village in the Eden Valley. 

While the landowners say it would bring a boost to the county's economy, some are concerned about the impact it would have on the local landscape.

What is a Luge track?

Luge was developed as an outdoor recreational activity in New Zealand almost 40 years ago. It involves sliding down a specially designed track in gravity powered carts. There are tracks in New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, China and the Philippines.

Credit: Daniel Holder

If built, this new site would be located in woodland at Nord Vue Farm which is just off the A6 between Carlisle and Penrith in Cumbria.

It's being proposed by Daniel Holder, who owns the Quiet Site holiday park at Ullswater. He hopes that it could potentially bring in 960 visitors daily.

Mr Holder, who has been planning this venture for the past five years, said: “Fully sustainable attractions in the UK are thin on the ground but this one ticks all the green boxes."

However, some locals are worried about the impact it could have on the environment.

Cllr David Ryland, the Independent councillor from Hesket said: "I think it's a brilliant idea, I have to say I'm not convinced about the location. Some residents expressed concerns about commercialisation of Blaze Fell. We do get a lot of rainfall around here and that concrete will channel the water down the fell. What is the zero carbon impact of a huge amount of concrete like that?"

Other residents of the area are worried what impact nearly one thousand visitors a day would have on the traffic.

If the plans get the green light, more than one hundred luge carts make the fell their home. 

But making it happen might not be an easy ride.