Commemorating the Great Gift of Freedom – Behind the scenes news

Project
The June choir on the summit of Scafell Pike

Throughout 2018 and right up to Peace Day on 19 July 2019, we will be commemorating the gift of mountains as war memorials after the First World War.

Keep visiting these pages to find out what the teams delivering these ambitious projects are up to as the year passes by. From coordinating a hundred singers on the mountain tops and the re-building of Scafell Pike's summit cairn, this year will be one to remember. 

Latest posts

03 Sep 18

Everest - climbed 8 times in one summer!

Looking after England's highest war memorials is definitely not a walk in the park. Our Rangers and volunteers have climbed the equivalent of the height of Everest 8 times this summer just to get to their 'office' - that's 70500 metres of ascent. Once there, they've been working hard to re-define and rebuild 1750m of footpath, mainly on Scafell Pike but also on Great Gable helping to protect 17500 square metres of fragile landscape. This will help to combat the effects of erosion of thousands of pairs of feet climbing up and down the mountainside each year. We've had the pleasure of 73 days help from the Fix the Fells team and members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club also joined us on two volunteer days. Of course, a Ranger's work is never done - there will always be more to do and is ongoing forever!

Rebuilding the footpath on the main route between the summits of Green and Great Gable

23 Jul 18

Summit singing is now complete

The Fellowship of Hill and Wind and Sunshine completed the final songs on the summits this weekend. With 25 miles walked and 3000m of ascent under our belts, it's been a huge privilege to commemorate these awe-inspiring places in such a moving way. On this occasion, we were joined by Geoffrey Winthrop Young's nephew, Richard and his wife Jane from the Fell and Rock Climbing Club who set the scene on Saturday by telling us Geoffrey's story. Yesterday we first climbed Thorneythwaite Fell with a BBC crew in tow and sang the words of William Wordsworth to an arrangement written by our musical leader, Dave Camlin. We received a message from our guide's family camping in the valley who reported that the singing could be heard floating on the breeze. In hot and humid weather, we continued on to Glaramara and Allen Crags where we sang 'Old Straight Tracks' by Dave and 'Meet on the Ledge' by Richard Thompson (by special permission). The song cycle was concluded with lumps in our throats to a final rendition of the Fellowship Song. We've finished the recording part of the project but there will be some public performances coming up (Singing Picnic on 13 October) and more opportunities to experience this commemoration in Virtual Reality as well as a chance to learn some of the summit songs - watch out for updates here. Watch the Fellowship story on the BBC iPlayer from 06:53 on BBC Breakfast Show 23rd July https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbconerewindTo=current

The Fellowship choir led by musical director Dave Camlin commemorate the 14 Lakeland summits given to the National Trust, July 2018

18 Jul 18

Free exhibition open at Keswick Museum

A free exhibition about the project to commemorate the war memorial fells by singing on the summits is on display at Keswick Museum until 31st July. It includes an audiovisual display where you can hear the newly composed song sung by Mouthful, one of the leading a-capella groups in the North of England. Visitors have also been able to sing with the choir in virtual reality thanks to the research project by the University of York, called 'The Hills are Alive' (we couldn't resist...)

woman wearing a virtual reality headset singing outside Keswick Museum