Lake District mysterious abandoned tea-for-two found in woodland

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Table and two chairs with afternoon tea in wooded area at Blea TarnImage source, Ashley Cooper GWI
Image caption,
Local photographer Ashley Cooper said he initially thought the abandoned afternoon tea was an art installation

A mysterious abandoned afternoon tea has been found in the middle of Lake District woodland.

Photographer Ashley Cooper said when he first found the table and chairs, about 300ft (91m) from the path, he thought it was an art installation.

But on closer inspection he thought the half-eaten food and glasses of fizz were abandoned by a celebrating couple.

Mr Cooper said the table, above the Blea Tarn, was probably left "by someone from the Instagram generation".

The area where the afternoon tea was found on Monday, between Great Langdale and Little Langdale, is considered one of the most spectacular of the many Lakeland tarns.

'Couldn't clean up'

Mr Cooper, a climate change photographer from Ambleside, said he was walking in the woods to the north of the tarn when he spotted the table and chairs.

He 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."

Image source, Ashley Cooper GWI
Image caption,
It is thought the table could have been set up for a special celebration at the weekend

Staff at the nearest hotels - all several miles away - said the set-up was nothing to do with them.

The Lake District has seen an issue with litter being left behind during the pandemic as the region has proved popular with visitors following the easing of lockdown measures.

Mr Cooper said he had seen a number of tents, along with sleeping bags and cooking equipment, abandoned during the past 18 months.

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

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

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