Just days before completing her 12-month challenge, I caught up with Lindsay Buck, AKA the Wasdale Womble, and her extremely supportive husband Jim, at Scafell Pike to chat about her most recent mission.
Lindsay is an avid fell runner who moved to Cumbria 26 years ago and now lives in the Lake District village of Gosforth. For much of her time here, she has spent her free time scaling the fells in a bid to rid them of the litter that is so often left behind by walkers and day-trippers. Dubbed the Wasdale Womble by friends and locals, Lindsay has become a well-known face in the Wasdale Valley owing to her admirable dedication to keeping the area free from unsightly rubbish, and her quest to make it more enjoyable for visitors.
Lindsay commented: “Living in Gosforth means both Wasdale and Scafell Pike are on my doorstep. I hate to see any mess in such a stunning place that people deserve to enjoy at its best. I’m often out in normal years training for fell races and this is an integral part of my preparation, plenty of other runners are doing the same.”
Wasdale Womble on Scafell Pike
Almost a year ago, Lindsay set out on a mission – one which was to not only clean up the area but also raise vital funds for the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team. By her 60th birthday, on the 11th October 2020, Lindsay’s goal is to complete as many safe ascents of Scafell Pike as possible, collecting as much litter as she can along the way.
With just over a week to go until she reaches her goal, Lindsay provides much needed and ongoing inspiration for anyone visiting Wasdale. Her modesty is equally as inspiring – “I’m definitely not incredible just very lucky to live in such a stunning place with the time to try and let others see and enjoy it without the blight of rubbish everywhere.”
Post lockdown, the number of visitors to Wasdale and other parts of the national park soared dramatically, meaning the amount of litter sadly increased. Lindsay, along with others such as Dave (the Corridor Route Womble) and Mick Pearce, mainly target Scafell Pike as this is where they had witnessed the most littering.
Lindsay is keen to encourage people to take their litter home with them or, alternatively, put on a pair of gloves and pick up what they can during their walks to help keep local areas clean. If we all do our bit, the Lake District and other areas of natural beauty across the country would be much more enjoyable for everyone.
Lindsay will be announcing the final number of her safe ascents of Scafell Pike on the 11th October, which I will reveal on here and the Lake District Lovers Facebook page. In the meantime, you can donate to the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team via Lindsay’s JustGiving page.
Keep up the fantastic work, Lindsay!
Find out more about the Lake District’s much-loved Wasdale Valley.