BOSSES at UNESCO have confirmed the Lake District's status as a World Heritage Site is not at risk after campaigners claimed it was under threat.

World Heritage Watch (WHW), an independent group which campaigns to preserve World Heritage sites, warned the Lake District National Park Authority was violating the status by allowing off-road vehicles to use green lanes.

The Save The Lake District Campaign has called for the park authority to impose a traffic regulation order closing green lanes to motor vehicles.

Some of these roads in the Lakes cut through two National Trust farms: High Tilberthwaite and High Oxenfell.

WHW asked UNESCO to make the Lake District's designation as a world heritage site dependant on action being taken to prevent further damage caused by the vehicles.

Campaigners directed criticism at Nick Fieldhouse whose Kankku off-road driving company takes motorists on escorted and supervised journeys through the Lakes.

He said he was mindful of the need to protect the roads and he said using 4x4s responsibly allowed visitors an alternative way to experience the Lake District.

The Mail contacted UNESCO and asked whether the use of the roads in the Lake District were putting its status as a World Heritage site at risk.

UNESCO's Ingrid Frederick has now confirmed this is not the case.

She said: "The relevant authorities from the State Party have conducted a Heritage Impact Assessment in order to fully assess the level of impact of the use of the road by motorised vehicles to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including its authenticity and integrity.

"These studies have concluded that the proposed physical repair works and use at the current level by motorised vehicles would not impact on the authenticity of the English Lake District and not impact on the ability of the attributes to convey their value to the World Heritage site.

"Nor would there by any detrimental impact on the authenticity and integrity of the World Heritage site as the long-term value and completeness of the agro pastoral traditions and landscape would be maintained.

"Therefore, the World Heritage status of the property is not at risk."