Team news for June 2013

  • Miniature walling!

    14:58 28 June 2013
    By Martin Clayton

    Our intrepid school team who come and work on our allotment, were faced with a very wet day.

    We surprised them by teaching them dry-stone walling. Inside and in miniature! What safer way to learn. No heavy lifting and no trapped fingers.

    Needless to say, we were really pleased with the results!


  • Caring and sharing.

    11:48 28 June 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    As I live and work in Borrowdale, the launches that regularly carry visitors around Derwentwater are a familiar sight.  Last week was a bit different though because I was able to have one of these trips as part of my work.  Since I became the Borrowdale Ranger, the numbers of users of the water has increased enormously.  There are many more kayaks, canoes, small sailing boats and rowing boats as well as the much larger launches and we have to be vigilant about the implications for all users of the lake.  Keswick Launch Company generously offered a trip around the lake for representatives of the Borrowdale Users Group to see what their drivers see.  This is a user group set up by the Trust and I chair meetings twice a year.

    It was a very illuminating experience for me and some instructors from Derwentwater Marina to do this with a driver and to see how incredibly skilled they have to be to manoeuvre these large launches in quite confined spaces at some of the jetties.  And, of course, the instructors can use their experience of what small boats can do to identify the spaces that are unsuitable for their use.  

    We are constantly looking for safe ways for different users to coexist and enjoy the lake and this trip on the launch was a very useful part of that process.  The instructors have now offered to take the launch drivers on small sailing boat trips so that they can better understand their capabilities.

    The work on the amphitheatre beside the shop is coming along nicely.  

    It was good to see a local company making use of it recently for a corporate event.  They brought a couple of trestle tables and had a buffet lunch.  It is the kind of space that lends itself to a wide range of uses and we hope many of you will take advantage of it.  There is some log seating; we put out a couple of deckchairs in decent weather and eventually there will be more seating.  If you are passing, just take some time to go and enjoy it.  Have your picnic there; take some pictures; have a grandstand view of the action at the boat landings or just soak up the sun!

    Another project underway is the installation of a webcam.  All being well, that should be up and running very soon.  I’ll post details on the blog once it is live.

    Once again there was a gathering of people at Castlerigg Stone Circle to celebrate the summer solstice.  Maurice (forest ranger) checked the site the following day and, as usual, he found it was undamaged and tidy.  No matter how many there are, they always respect the site.  It’s great to see people enjoying and looking after this fantastic area.

    Hi, it’s Daisy here.

    I’m the best there is at running and jumping.  I can run and jump better than any other dog I’ve ever seen.

  • Kinn End

    07:47 26 June 2013
    By Andy Warner , Daniel Simpson, Geoff Medd, Jack Deane, Jessie Binns, Joe Cornforth, Mark Astley, Maurice Pankhurst, Paul Delaney

    With this project there were different types of jobs. They included path erosion repairs, cutting back vegetation from the paths, and strimming back bracken. A good spell of weather meant it was time to crack on. The first job was to strim the bracken back on both paths up at Kinn End. So myself and Paul the Ranger Supervisor from Loweswater took on the first part of the task. Instead of carrying the strimmers all the way to the top we got permission from the Forestry Commission to go on there land and gain access nearer to the site.  

    With both paths strimmed the barriers at the top and bottom of Kinn End could be changed. Blocking off one path gives it time to recover, whilst the other takes the brunt of this popular route. By alternating the usage of the two paths we can manage the erosion. With the barrier not being changed for some time the locks had siezed up. So with some WD40 on the one lock and bolt croppers on the other that solved that problem.

    The second part of the project was to repair a step-over stile. Again we were able to gain access to the site by going through Forestry Commission land. This saved us from carrying all the materials and tools up the fell, and we would like to thank the rangers at Whinlatter for their help in this.  

    The other part of the project was to cut back the vegetation leading up to Kinn End. This helps open the path up, making it easier for the public to walk, which in turn stops them from making the path wider. We also strimmed the grass, and brambles back that were encroaching on the path. We found that one section of path had started to slip. A simple post and rail revetment backfilled with rocks and soil proved a good “stitch in time” solution. It is always good to catch these problems early, and this will help the path from eroding and washing away.  The pictures below help show a before and after of the path. Joe the foot path supervisor and I took on this part of the project. This grouping of several small jobs into a greater task, is a method that we regularly use.

  • Glenamara Park

    10:21 21 June 2013
    By Ben Knipe, Dave Almond, Dave Jackson, James Archer, Neil Winder, Roland Wicksteed

    Glenamara Park occupies a small north facing valley in Ullswater and covers an area of about 70 Ha.The National Trust acquired it in 2002 because of its ecological and historic importance with its scattered veteran trees and impressive dead wood habitat. The area was used as a deer park in the 16th and 17th centuries indicated by the substantial high wall around almost the entire perimeter. Other significant interests are a pre historic scoop settlement and the numerous charcoal pitsteads around the site.

    Here you can just make out the park boundary wall running up the left hand side and coming round under the crags on the right. Due to the steepness of the slopes and the exposure of the site the wall often comes down and requires putting back up again.

    The ranger team putting up two big wall gaps.

    With the long history of grazing within the park, firstly by deer and then by sheep the trees that remain in the park are becoming very old. These old trees is one of the reasons why the park is so special, veteran trees are very important for wildlife due to the amount of dead wood and cavities which are ideal for nesting birds and roosting bats.  

    This is an ancient Alder tree which is completely hollow.

    This is a large Silver Birch with an unusual shape, it must have been storm damaged at some point.

    Due to the grazing pressures over the years there were no young trees coming up to replace the veteran trees so we had to think of a way to try and get some tree regeneration going and it was decided to remove sheep from the site and replace them with 12 hardy cattle. Natural tree regeneration rather than planting was preferred because you retain the local tree provenance and by putting cattle on the site these would trample down the bracken and brake up the ground to allow some tree regeneration.

    It has been 10 years since we put the cow in and I'm happy to say the trees are regenerating well and in a few hundred years time we will have our next generation of veterans trees. 

    Finally, this is the view from Glenamara Park, you can understand why the early settlers wanted to live here.
  • Record breaking jumping and surprised squirrels!

    09:00 21 June 2013
    By Clair Payne, Craig Hutchinson, Glenn Bailey, Ian Griffiths, John Atkinson, John Moffat, Luke Sherwen, Matthew Allmark, Nick Petrie, Paul Farrington, Paul Kear , Richard Tanner, Rob Clarke, Sam Stalker, Sarah Anderson, Stuart Graham

    With the good weather we've had recently we've been noticing 'cuckoo spit' starting to appear on many of the plants around the Basecamp grounds. I remember seeing this when growing up and always wondering what caused it, but never finding anyone who knew (although I probably didn't try that hard if I'm honest!).

    Today though, with the wonders of the internet and knowledgeable National Trust staff I know it to be produced by the intriguingly named 'Frog Hoppers', or rather their nymph stage. These young insects suck the sap of the plants they are on and exude the froth to both stop themselves from drying out and to protect them from predators, such as ants. Where do they exude it from? Let's just say it's not their mouths ....

    He's in there somewhere ....
    They don't really do much damage as they're so small and when adults they move freely from plant to plant, by jumping. It's this that makes them the record breakers - they are the animal kingdoms champion jumpers. They can jump up to 70cm, which when you're only around 6mm long is a fair distance. Even more impressive is that while a flea can do a similar jump the froghopper is around 60 times heavier, which gives a force per body weight comparison: A froghopper will manage around 400 times it's body weight, a flea about 135 times and a human being a measly 2 or 3.

    The g-force generated by this is around 400, compared to about 5 for a human astronaut going into space - that'd make your head spin ....

    Enough about tiny insects. They're interesting, but they're not cute. Our red squirrels, which we mentioned in a recent post, certainly are though. We recently managed to capture this short video of one making off with one of the monkey nuts from our feeder and being surprised by our camera. You can see it here:

    If you can't see the video here then click the link below to go see it onYou Tube.

    By Rob Clarke, Community Ranger
  • A medley of activities.

    12:39 20 June 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    Another week gone by with a lot of variety!  It began with my delivering a Scots Pine tree to Crosthwaite Church for a lady who is doing a flower arrangement with a National Trust theme.  Canon Rawnsley, who was a founder of the National Trust, was also Canon of Crosthwaite Church.  We had needed to thin out a couple of trees so she was able to choose one of those.  It’s a nice way to feel we are still linked to one of our founders.

    I spent another day with Maurice (forest ranger) and a group from Threlkeld School.  We walked along the old railway line which is now a great walk.  Maurice used the theme of Journeys to guide the children through the journeys of plant seeds.  Daisy came with us.  She was a bit overwhelmed at first by the attentions of so many children who all wanted to pat her but she did cope very well. 

    At the weekend I did some freelance work for a company that organised a 24 peaks challenge.  On the first day I was on Bowfell looking over to Scafell and on the second day I was on Raise looking across to Helvellyn. 

    It was good weather for both days but just a bit too hot on the first day and some hadn’t taken quite as much water as they would have liked.  This is a hard challenge with the 24 peaks over 2 days.
    The company and the charity I was working for also make a contribution to the National Trust and the National Park for the up keep of the footpaths.  There are many events like this taking place now and, with growing numbers, there is inevitably some wear and tear.  Many of the thoughtful and responsible event organising bodies now make a contribution to maintaining the paths.  I think most people now realise that enormous numbers of users can cause damage that is expensive to repair.

    I’m sure many of you will be watching a nest somewhere near your house.  Ours is a wren’s nest in a nesting box beside the back door.  The parents are very busy now coming and going for food and I managed to find an opportunity to take some photographs.  There are at least four chicks and all are doing well.

    It’s Daisy here.

    Did you know you are not supposed to eat dead rabbits?  How ...  how am I supposed to know that?  Roygot very upset and I was a little bit ill.

  • The centre of adventure

    08:31 20 June 2013
    By Andy Warner , Daniel Simpson, Geoff Medd, Jack Deane, Jessie Binns, Joe Cornforth, Mark Astley, Maurice Pankhurst, Paul Delaney

    Newlands Adventure Centre have for the third year given Fix the Fells their staff for the day to maintain the Mountain Paths

    Where's that drain at?
     This year they have helped on Causey Pike, Scar Crags, Sail, Crag Hill, Grasmoor and Force Crag to Coledale Hause. 18 km, 63 drains cleared to ensure water does not damage the paths - oh and 100 kgs of "upland grass seed mix" spread on the Sail path.  Not bad for a days work!

    Carrying the seed up scar crags

     1 National Trust Ranger, 8  Fix the Fells volunteer Lengthsmen and 13  staff. Good day out on the fells with some great people.

    Sail digger path and scar crags

    Work done 

    Thank you Newlands! 

  • It's that time of year again

    12:55 17 June 2013
    By Jo Day

    Finally the weather has changed to long days of sun.  This does however bring with it some challenges for us here at Sandscale.
    Although we have been carrying on with our patrols with the police we have still had some people using off road motorbikes and quad bikes to access the dunes.  Not only does this have implications for the habitats that are churned up by the bikes but the noise cuts through people’s enjoyment of the reserve.  They also speed through families picnicking or building sandcastles without a care for children or dogs running free range.
    We hope with the school holidays just around the corner the extra patrols will help to put a stop to these few people that want to spoil it for the rest of us.
    Litter also keeps us busy.  We’ll be testing to see if adhoc bins on busy weekends are able to concentrate litter in a few places rather than dotted about the place.
    We always welcome suggestions and comments from yourselves, so please let us know how we are getting on by taking our visitor survey.
    Luisa drilling holes for the screws
    The change in the weather tends to have a negative impact on the boards of our boardwalk with shrinkage and bending as they dry out.  Our volunteers have therefore been deployed on hands and knees to work their way along fixing any that might become a trip hazard.  As we lever some up we realise just how rotten the runner boards are underneath so the little job becomes a little larger than first expected.  At least it will keep us out of trouble for a while.

    Ok so its a bigger job than we thought, but at least they're still smiling

    All repairs to our electric fence have been carried out as we witnessed the herd of our cows jumping over to get at the lush grass the other side.  And since we were all kitted out for fencing we just carried on and fixed the fence at the blow out too (we were on fire!)

    We had some amazing visits from youth groups and schools who did some stream dipping and estuary dips, finding over 40 elvers (baby eels) and thousands of shrimps.

    As far as other wildlife goes, although we had to cancel the moth trapping public evening, we’ve since done some trapping and caught some awesome hawkmoths as well as 7 other early species.
    Eyed Hawkmoth

    Poplar Hawkmoth

    Our natterjack toad spawn count is up to 307.  We’ve found it particularly hard this year to monitor the natterjacks because the site was still quite flooded at the beginning of the season and therefore the monitoring area was a lot larger than it had ever been before.  Also we were finding the odd spawn string every time we were monitoring rather than all at once.  We have since found tadpoles in pools that we haven’t had any spawn counted in.  For these reasons we believe our final count may be far smaller than the actual numbers

    Our orchids aren’t quite out yet which means the orchid survey day has been put back to the 4th July.  We still don’t have any records for our coral root orchids yet which came as a great disappointment for all those who travelled to us at the beginning of may for our Coral Root guided walk.

    The butterflies are gradually showing themselves with Green veined whites, orange tips, walls and common blues the most regularly seen.

    We had some great results for our nesting birds.  As we’ve been walking around the reserve we’ve occasionally come across some corkers including eggs from lapwing, snipe, oystercatcher, grey partridge, meadow pipits, tufted duck and coot.  We’ve also seen numerous birds carrying food into bushes such as a willow warbler right next to a busy area in the car park.  Amazing!
    Can you guess the following nests/scrapes?

    Unfortunately our owl cam didn’t catch the moment our owl chick fledged and due to technical problems (ie the user) I’ve yet to post the high lights.  Which will hopefully come in the next blog so stay tuned...
  • Jobs finished, mountains climbed and holes in the ground.

    14:43 14 June 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    It was a busy week at work last week.  I spent one day with my team of local volunteers.  We managed to finish off a job that had been started by the Yorkshire volunteers but couldn’t be completed at the time because the lake level was too high.  We have now completed the removal of some old, redundant fencing on the lake shore.  This job has also removed one unnecessary gate and the path around the lake now feels more open – it also looks better.

    Another day was spent going to the top of Great Gable to photograph a war memorial.  This is part of a project that the Trust is carrying out for 2014 which marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War 1.  A photographic record of all war memorials and commemorative donations of land on Trust properties is being created.  It is important that we keep these in good order.

    Daisy came with me.  I chose a route from Honister and up Gillercombe because there is a stream for part of the way for her to have a drink.  

    I also filled up some water bottles to take on up to the summit.  She is quite a big dog now but, despite her irritation, I did carry her on a couple of particularly steep sections so that she did not overtire.  I needn’t have worried.  When I sat down at the top, she was orbiting me like a little comet.

    Then one evening Jamie Lund (archaeologist), John Malley  (water adviser) and I had a little excursion into the coffin levels of an Elizabethan mine.

      Jamie has been researching the old mines on Trust land and wanted to see this one.  John made a photographic record. 

    It is amazing to enter these coffin levels and to think that they were hand cut into solid rock. The pick marks can be seen in the rock. 

    To minimise the amount of rock that had to be removed they are narrow at the bottom, widen for the shoulders and then become narrow again.  This gives them their coffin shape.  We three were not able to walk through with our shoulders square on.  Those miners must have been strong and fit but much smaller than we are.

    Daisy here:
    I’ve been up a big mountain.  Roy still carried me a little bit.  What’s that all about?  I showed him.  I had energy to spare running round and round. It was great. 

    And I’ve been down a hole in the ground.  Not sure what that was about but it seemed to be fun.  Everybody went in.
  • Interns out and about.

    09:00 14 June 2013
    By Clair Payne, Craig Hutchinson, Glenn Bailey, Ian Griffiths, John Atkinson, John Moffat, Luke Sherwen, Matthew Allmark, Nick Petrie, Paul Farrington, Paul Kear , Richard Tanner, Rob Clarke, Sam Stalker, Sarah Anderson, Stuart Graham

    With the weather warming up nicely to coincide with the bank holiday and half term the whole area has been busy. A couple of MOT trips to Wray Castle were made to put down gravel in the car park and along the side of the entry road to help curb soil erosion. Us new interns have been getting stuck into strimming, fencing and walling at various locations and are really enjoying it, great to be out and about as paperwork and admin erode the brain after a while!

     One of the fencing projects recently has been at Low Peel Near, with there being lots of bedrock no more than a few inches from the surface life has been hard trying to dig in the straining posts. With the driller finally deciding to work for a while we made some headway, the section next to the road is now done and dusted (much to the relief of everybody). The area that was fenced off near the shoreline has allowed a carpet of Bluebells to come through and some oak saplings are progressing well.

    Low Peel Near

     Love going out and exploring over the weekend and woke up early to do Helvellyn on Saturday morning. Weather was clear so there were some amazing views at the top. The one here is looking back over Striding Edge, next time I will do a longer loop, but the stomach was rumbling and I had an insufficient lunch of a banana and a cereal bar. A café was calling my name at the bottom.  The path team have been working on Swirral Edge all week landscaping the footpath line to protect some rare alpine plants.

    Striding Edge

    Trying to use my camera to full potential

     Post by Stu

  • Legend of the Gentle Giant

    10:08 10 June 2013
    By Ben Knipe, Dave Almond, Dave Jackson, James Archer, Neil Winder, Roland Wicksteed

    Woodlands are places of myths, legands and ghost stories, and the evidence of one such tale can still be seen today on modern day maps.

    Let me tell you the story...

    In the reign of King Edward VI there was Hugh Hird, the Troutbeck Giant, who was supposed to be the son of a monk from Furness Abbey.  Hugh was noticed for his feats of strength and could lift huge weights that would cause even ten men to struggle with.  He was employed in the district to move great boulders and uproot trees single-handedly.

    Hugh had the chance to demonstate his strength to the monarch and became a favourite of the court.  His apetite was as big as Hugh himself, and could eat an entire sheep at a sitting, as well as porridge thick enough for a mouse to walk over for breakfast.

    The King promised him any gift he could reasonably bestow, and along with a simple dwelling he asked for a stand of timber for fuel which became known, and still is today, as Hird Wood.

    Hall Hill, the final resting place for the Giant of Troutbeck can be seen on the right in the forground, with Hird Wood, a National Trust woodland in the background.  Troutbeck Park Farm, one of Beatrix Potters favourite farms can be seen peeping through the trees in the centre.

    Could this have been Hughs humble 'tenement'? (Forgive the out-of-season photo!) The valley of Troutbeck beyond is the best wood-pasture in the Lake District, maybe even the best in England.  This valley will see some exciting changes over the next 2 years to restore more of this amazing this space!

    Source: Ghosts and Legends of the Lake District, J. A. Brooks 1988 Jarrold Publishing. 
    ISBN 0-7117-0340-X

    Ben Knipe
    Woodland Ranger
  • Our holiday in the Lakes.

    22:42 07 June 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    I have just taken a break from work catching up with time on lieu of worked weekends.  I spent the time having a holiday in the Lake District!  We decided that we would stay and enjoy what millions of others see as a fantastic place to have a holiday.

    We stayed on Derwent Island for a few nights looking after it for the tenants as they had a short break.  Daisy had a great time playing with Ted, the island dog.  They had a lot of fun racing around the south lawn and swimming.  Daisy was much faster than Ted running around but he was definitely a stronger swimmer.

    We then met up with Canadian friends Kirk and Jo Mauthner.  Kirk was running courses for mountain rescue teams on rope-work and rigging techniques.  Between these they stayed a few days with us.  We spent some time canoeing on Derwentwater and also made a visit to Grizedale Forest to walk the sculpture trail there.  It was good to catch up with them. 

    And we also had a walk with Ellie (from the Rescue Team) and her collies.  Daisy was able to show off her swimming skills.  She was obviously much more enthusiastic about the water than the collies were – a big difference between labradors (gundogs) and collies.

    I know I’ve said this before but it can’t be said too often.  When you are out walking, look at the mountains, the lakes and the sky but don’t forget what is close by you and your feet.  We walked one day through the Ings which is a wetland area quite near Keswick and we saw lots of tadpoles, a dragon-fly larva and a water snail. 

    On another walk in the Falcon Crag area we saw peregrines, a roe deer that Daisy ‘pointed’ out to us and also red deer slots (footprints).  On the return along the lake shore, we found otter spraints (poo) left by otters to mark their territory.  I’m still not convinced that spraints smell like jasmine tea!

    Daisy here:

    I’ve got loads of friends.  It’s great.  Ted on Derwent Island is a brilliant swimmer.  And I’ve been canoeing.   Canoeing is great.  You can look at the splashes that come off the paddles from side to side and side to side.  Roy doesn’t think that’s very good.

  • Itching to do some Pitching...

    09:00 07 June 2013
    By Clair Payne, Craig Hutchinson, Glenn Bailey, Ian Griffiths, John Atkinson, John Moffat, Luke Sherwen, Matthew Allmark, Nick Petrie, Paul Farrington, Paul Kear , Richard Tanner, Rob Clarke, Sam Stalker, Sarah Anderson, Stuart Graham

    This week it is the turn of the South Lakes Upland Rangers to do the blog.

    It may be helpful to first explain the title. "Pitching" refers to the stone step-like paths that are sometimes built in the fells to tackle erosion problems. The "Itching" relates to the fact that in recent years the team have not done much path work using rock and we were keen to do some.

    In the last couple of years much of our work has used different techniques. These have included a subsoil technique, which uses compacted subsoil to create a hard wearing path surface, and landscaping techniques to define a sustainable path line and stabilise areas of erosion. These techniques predominately use materials near the path we are working on.
    Subsoil path under construction last year 

    There are various issues when considering rock for a path project, such as the proximity of suitable rock (we use rock local to an area wherever possible) and can we use it. There may be rare flora growing on a scree slope that is potential rock source that should not be disturbed. There may also be significant costs moving the rock if done using a helicopter (see blogs earlier this year) or it may simply be that rock is not the most suitable option.

    The team's main project this year is on a path from Grisedale Tarn up Fairfield. Survey work concluded that an erosion scar that is developing was best tackled by 100 metres of stone pitched path. This means that the team has lots of pitching to get their teeth into.

    Before work started: erosion scar developing
    (Ignore rock on right, an old dry stone wall) 
    In addition to getting rock flown by helicopter to the project site we were able to have a flat packed shed lifted there. This provides some storage but most importantly some shelter at lunch time when the weather is bad. The first job was to build & tether down the shed.

    Project Fairfield "office" (not a bad location)
    Once the shed was up we started on the stone pitching, taking a 10 metre section each. The first step was to dig in some of the biggest rocks at the bottom of each section to act as anchor for the rocks going in above.
    Pitching in progress: looking down path at Luke & Tom in action
    In addition to the stone work we also "landscape" out surrounding areas of erosion and finish off with turf and and grass seed to help the pathwork blend into the hillside.
    Finished pitching plus landscaping
    This project is progressing well and at the time of writing we are enjoying a very nice spell of weather.
    Project progress as at end of this week
    If you would like to know more about the daily work of the South Lakes Upland Ranger team they can be found on Twitter @NTLakesFells.

    Posted by: Nick, Upland Ranger
  • Repairing the path up to the Esk Hause shelter

    15:00 04 June 2013
    By Ade Mills, Leo Walmsley , Pete Entwistle

    Over the last couple of weeks we've started work on this years upland path repairs, with our first job being a section of path leading up to the stone shelter at Esk Hause. It's on the far edge of our "patch" and getting there is a bit of a trek. It generally takes us over an hour to walk to site each day before we even start our work.

    The path that we're repairing had previously been worked on over 20 years ago. When this original path was built all the stone was collected by hand from the fell-side, this meant that the selection of rock was fairly limited. Because of this, smaller stone had to be used, the path had to be narrow and there was little landscaping carried out to help encourage people to stay on the path. All this has led to people wandering off the path and causing erosion problems. You can see in the photograph below that this has also produced an increased amount of rubble, which again leads to people not using the path.

    Old pitching

    It was therefore decided that extra stone would be flown to site by helicopter so that we could widen the path and improve upon the landscaping. As there is now a lack of suitable rock in the nearby area, without the use of a helicopter it's unlikely that we could have ever made these improvements. As part of our work extra drains are also being added to help shed water and to catch any surplus rubble.

    Starting to replace the path

    By using some of the original stone plus the stone that was flown in, after just a few weeks of work the path is now really taking shape. There's still a lot of of landscaping to do once the footpath is completed but we're progressing along nicely.

    New section of path

    Being over 2000 feet high we tend to get a real variety of weather. Usually at this time of year the weather consists of strong winds, low cloud and rain (or a combination of them all) and we don't often get to see the sun for long! Even though Esk Hause tends to get it's fair share of bad weather we were still surprised by a recent reminder that winter wasn't quite over. As we approached the work site on the 23rd May we were greeted by a fresh covering of snow. Much of this melted off over the course of the day but there were several heavy hail showers throughout, and the temperature remained low.

    Unseasonal snow
  • 50 things for you to do (& some for Daisy).

    16:20 03 June 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    The Mountain Festival is now over for another year.  It did become rather damp eventually but was still very successful.  The Trust was on hand to organise a number of activities within the theme “50 things to do before you are 11¾”This is one of the Trust’s national campaigns this year.   (It’s half-term so go to the link and you might be able to tick off a few from the list.) 

    I worked mainly at the amphitheatre beside the Trust shop.  From there I could advise or help with the navigation trail which had been set out.  I could also continue with the work to install riven oak posts and hand-rail.  And of course it was an ideal opportunity to talk to a lot of people about the area and our work.

    As usual for such events, they were long days with the final Sunday being very long.  By then the field was quite muddy and the Trust’s four-wheel drive vehicles were in action to tow off a few that were having problems.

    During the week I had another session at Watendlath with pupils from Borrowdale School.  This time we did some map-reading and navigation work. 

    They did some work on pacing and timing plus a little on compasses and bearings.  They then followed a short orienteering course.  I stood on a little knoll where I could see them and it was good to see just how much they were enjoying themselves.  It is such a brilliant place for them to be running around on the hills whilst they are also learning.

    Hi, it’s Daisy here.

    Have you tried swimming?


    It’s great.  I’m a natural.