Mystery as abandoned afternoon tea for two found in woodland clearing

The Lake District woodland is one of the UK's national treasures.

From its beautiful landscapes to its incredible scenery, the vast majority of the area is stunning to look at.

But photographer Ashley Cooper stumbled across something that nobody would have expected to find – an abandoned afternoon tea.

While on a photography trip in the area, Mr Cooper was stopped in his tracks by a table and chair, topped with half-eaten food and glasses of champagne.

At first he thought it was an art instillation, or that it was to do with a nearby hotel, but it was more than 300ft away from the nearest path and nobody had claimed it as artwork.

He told BBC News that it was "probably left by someone from the Instagram generation".

The photographer, from Ambleside, said: "It looks like a romantic meal in the woods but then they couldn't clean up after themselves.

"They've gone to a lot of trouble to carry the gear down there as it's about half a mile from the nearest road – but it just looks like they finished their meal and got up and just left it all.

"We're seeing a very different type of visitor to the Lake District who has no respect for the place whatsoever.

"These people aren't short of money but they are short of a conscious and social responsibility."

Earlier this year, in August, it was reported that the Coronavirus pandemic had led to an increase in the erosion of the Lake District's landscape, according to

Charity Fix The Fells told them that increased popularity in the area by hikers – because we all had nothing better to do for 18 months apart from walking – had caused more damage to the area than normal.

The charity's programme manager Joanne Backshall said: "The pandemic has led to people really appreciating the outdoors and the benefits that can bring.

"That’s brought more people here and more people into the outdoors and that’s all great, we’re not about stopping that, we’re just about managing the impact that it has on the landscape.

"It really has increased over the last 18 months, we have really seen an increase in people enjoying the Lake District, but increasing the erosion that is causing and that increases the work and the money that is needed to maintain these paths."

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