Keep Cheddar Gorgeous Press Release – July 2012

Cheddar Gorge Too Precious For New Cable Car Plan

Local campaigners fear that a cable car would ruin the finest limestone gorge in Britain and it’s protected landscape.

Keep Cheddar Gorgeous (KCG) is campaigning against Longleat Enterprises Ltd's proposals[1] to put a cable car in Cheddar Gorge. Although precise locations and angles are not definite at this stage, the cable car would certainly go over the B3135 road to the Upper Gorge, on which a viewing platform and other constructions would be built. Cheddar Gorge is an awe-inspiring protected landscape. It is a special place, naturally beautiful, wild and serene at its heights, with raw, craggy grandeur. It is part of the nationally important Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and has international protection for its wildlife and habitats, such as Horseshoe bats and their foraging grounds. KCG believes that a cable car would damage this unique national treasure and will oppose the plans, likely to be submitted to Sedgemoor District Council later this year. KCG agrees that the Lower Gorge needs re-investment as a tourist destination, but not at the expense of this unique landscape which visitors come to see.

Auriol Penniceard, who lives near the Gorge and speaks for KCG, says, “We believe that a cable car in this unique landscape would be an unnecessary short-term fix, attempting to boost tourism numbers, but with long-term, or permanent, detrimental impacts. Statutory environmental designations take precedence over other considerations. KCG supports alternatives such as refurbishing buildings in the Lower Gorge to complement the beautiful surroundings, and finding other less intrusive ways to enhance visitors' experience of the natural beauty and wildlife of the Gorge.”

KCG invites people supporting this campaign to:

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Notes to Editors
[1] To see Longleat’s proposals in more detail
www.cheddargorge.co.uk/upload/pdf/Consultation%20Exhibition%20v1.pdf

View from Birch Hill, Cheddar.