Under threat

Roanhead is a large area of land immediately south of Askam-in-Furness, on the Furness peninsula in South Cumbria. 

A farming family own a large portion of this land and have commissioned a developer from Portugal to use 55 hectares of their land to build an extensive holiday park: the controversial Roanhead Resort. This could potentially be up to 450 lodges built in two phases with capacity for 130,000 visitors each year.

Natterjack toad: Photograph taken under licence by Pete Burton

Too many people

The impact of bringing thousands of people to Roanhead will devastate the wildlife which depends on the area to survive.

The construction of a holiday resort (which would take several years over two phases and involve digging immense drainage ditches, road access for construction vehicles and all the infrastructure required for thousands of guests) would cause irreparable damage to the delicate ecosystem our species depend on.

"In our view, the revised proposal continues to give rise to fundamental issues in regard to the principle of development, flood risk, coastal erosion, transport and access, landscape and visual amenity, recreation and amenity, climate change and sustainability, land instability, the local economy and - most notably - biodiversity." ~ The National Trust

Photograph by Jill Hempsall

A fragile ecosystem

Minutes from the edge of the planned resort, the unique habitat of Roanhead Beach and Sandscale Haws is incredibly sensitive to multiple threats:

"Cumbria Wildlife Trust has significant concerns about this application and strongly objects to the proposed development which we consider to be contrary to national and local planning policy. 

We consider that the scale and nature of the proposal is completely inappropriate at this environmentally sensitive location and that because of the likely adverse impacts on the adjacent sites, in particular Sandscale Haws National Nature Reserve, the planning application should be rejected."

"It isn't an unspoilt area of natural beauty. In the past there was a shocking amount of spoiling went on with the mining, other industry and the like. The ponds are man-made from the mining days and there are hundreds of boreholes around the site. Further along, the bay is polluted wiht all sorts of nasty stuff from the days when British Cellophane was operating. There's evne an old, now closed tip nearby. BUT - over the years nature has made a comeback and it's once again a beautiful, quiet retreat full of rare plants, fungi and small animals. It's a very special place now. We have to let it be. The jobs this project will provide will be temporary (for the building of it) and mostly poorly paid service jobs after that. The pollution from 450 lodges will be huge, and the increased footfall in the area will damage the delicate balance of wildlife that is struggling to survive there. This sort of thing is happening all over the world in the name of tourism and in the pursuit of money and luxury. It's unsustainable for the planet and for the future of humankind." ~ Rose, Dalton

Huge numbers of animals, birds and habitats have been quite literally wiped out in our own lifetimes and we must now accept that without urgent and collective action, our economy, the climate and the stability of future generations living in our wild isles all face a ticking timebomb.” D Attenborough

"A community like Furness needs a quiet place like Roanhead to aid their mental and physical health. To get away from noisy busy places and relax and refresh in a place of natural beauty." ~ Kay, on Facebook

Once started there is no way back. There is no undoing a project of this magnitude. It will never be the same again. If there is even one shred of a possibility that harm could be done it shouldn’t happen. The developers are interested in profit - not looking after wildlife, preserving a wonderful place, boosting the economy of Barrow, or even providing jobs. Whatever they say profit is their driving thought. It is inappropriate in this location." ~ Katie on Facebook

"For our families, and all the future generations. We deserve an unspoilt place to rest and relax in. Enough has been taken away from us, but not this....." ~ Julie, Barrow