An electric fence was installed to 'heaf' the new stock of sheep into the Duddon Valley following on from Foot and Mouth disease. This runs from Three Shires Stone, to Cold Pike and then on to Crinkle Crags. It then runs down over Adam-a-Cove, Black Crag and the down to Hardknott Summit. There is also a spur that runs up from Gaitsgill up one side of Little Stand, round and down again.
This is generating a magnetic field which affects compasses in a seemingly random way, making them unreliable in an area already notorious for people becoming lost.
In good weather this is unlikely to cause a problem, but in poor visibility or darkness people may be within range of the effect without realising. The effect is noticed within about 30m of the fence.
There appears to be no immediate solution, and the fence is going to be in place until approximately 2007
Update.....31st January....The fence is in the process of being removed. It is still present in some places, but not continuous. It is not electrified, so shouldn't effect compasses. During its life it has been an effective 'handrail' and now probably shouldn't be relied upon. May the fun continue!!