A helicopter lifted tonnes of rock across the Lake District last week to repair heavily eroded walking routes.

Fix the Fells is a team of skilled rangers and volunteers who repair and maintain the mountain paths in the Lake District with funding from donations and partners.

Earlier in the month, seven volunteers from the British Mountaineering Council's (BMC) joined Fix the Fells to repair a well-loved route in Langdale.

The repair operations can be much more complex however with only a helicopter capable of lifting the heavy rock required.

The Mail: The helicopter above GodbarrowStone used by Fix the Fells is gathered from carefully identified locations on the fells, with the permission of landowners and with the assent of Natural England.  

This ensures that stone is collected in sustainable locations and away from sites which have sensitive ecology, geology and historical interest.

The stones, some of which can weigh upwards of 50kg each, are loaded into bags ready for flying onto site by helicopter.

The helicopter then drops each bag at a pre-identified location on the work site, ready for the teams to unpack and get to work with over the season.

If anyone was out in Ullswater valley between Monday, April 22 and April 24, they may have witnessed this breath-taking sight. 

55 tonnes of aggregate were lifted to Gowbarrow. All  of the stone had been hand-gathered and bagged up by the four-strong Fix the Fells Central and Eastern ranger team - meaning they each moved 25 tonnes of rock.

The Mail: The stones transported can weigh upwards of 50kg eachA spokesperson for the National Trust said: "Glenridding Dodd and Gowbarrow are both popular small fells, with great views.  

"Their popularity means wear and tear from footfall, accompanied by the washing-out effect of heavy rain on steep slopes, have eroded paths on them and vegetation has been worn away from footfall too.  

"Our work will repair damaged vegetation, remove erosion scars, support drainage of water off the paths, and put in place a more sustainable surface for path users.  This will allow the vegetation, peat and soils around the path to heal and flourish again."

"Stone work involves a high level of physical labour, lots of time required to gather and set the stone into the path, plus the costs of using a helicopter to fly it.  

The Mail: Heli-lifts are down with the permission of landowners and with the assent of Natural England"This means we only use it when other options aren’t practical – for example, on steep gradients, stone pitching is the only sustainable solution.

"An experienced upland path ranger can pitch 1m-1.5m of path per day – it is highly skilled and painstaking work.

"It can cost as much as £400/metre to stone pitch a path, taking into account heli-lift and ranger team costs.

"Work on Glenridding Dodd and Gowbarrow is being funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

"All the work completed by Fix the Fells annually is paid for through fundraising.  We couldn’t do what we do without the generosity of our funders and supporters."