A SCULPTURAL metalworker from Furness is to be commissioned to create a new ladder to help people climb a Lake District landmark which was once popular with the Victorians.

Chris Brammall, of Ulverston, will make a new metal, 9.3 metre high ladder which will help visitors climb to the top of the Bowder Stone, in the Borrowdale Valley, near Keswick. It will replace the one made of timber which has been on-site at the attraction since the 1980s.

The National Trust is seeking planning permission from the Lake District National Park Authority for the new ladder which it says will be of a design "that restores the excitement of a climb and descent, and the slender, airy, profile of the original."

The design incorporates feedback from the local climbing community, who use the steps as a warm up, as well as the Lake District National Park Partnership and the planning authority.

“We're restoring the excitement of a visit to one of the strangest and once most famous Lake District attractions” said National Trust curator Harvey Wilkinson. “Once we have planning permission Chris Brammall can start work.

"We expect the new ladder to be in place next spring so there’s now a rare opportunity to take a photo of the stone without its ladder.”

The Bowder Stone is a large andesite lava boulder, that is believed to have fallen 200 metres from the Bowder Crag on Kings How between 10,000 and 13,500 years ago.

It was bought by The National Trust in 1910 through public subscription and it has been in the care of the conservation charity ever since.

The trust says that the Bowder Stone is a good example of how the Lake District landscape is changed by people. In its heyday the stone would have been seen for miles around, as depicted by artists and photographers of the day. It is now surrounded by woodland that is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.