Team news for February 2017

  • Tree planting at High Borrowdale with Friends of the Lake District.

    08:30 21 February 2017
    By Ben Knipe, Dave Almond, Dave Jackson, James Archer, Neil Winder, Roland Wicksteed

    The National Trust actively encourages members of staff to work for up to 5 days per year with other conservation organisations.

    I used one of my days to help with Friends of the Lake District's Fell Care Force Tree Planting Day on February 8th.. See link below for more information.

    https://www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/high-borrowdale

    The ongoing project will ultimately involve planting 5200 native trees at High Borrowdale. This land, acquired by Friends of The Lake District in 2002, is located north of Kendal and south of Shap. It is also within the newly extended area of the Lake District National Park.

    A good turn out of over 50 volunteers were at the Hucks Brow layby on the A6 (GR553030) close to the track that leads to High Borrowdale.
    Tools for the job! 
    High Borrowdale is within the locality described by Alfred Wainwright as the most beautiful valley outside the Lake District.

    By planting oak, alder, willow, hawthorn, rowan and holly amongst other tree species, a native woodland will be created.

    This will not only enhance the landscape and habitats but tree roots, once established, will help to combat further erosion. This should reduce the risk of landslides that caused so much damage here in December 2015.
    Struggling up the slope with a bulk bag full of tree tubes and stakes.
    Looks enjoyable!
    One of the sympathetically restored barns, undertaken by Friends of the Lake District, at High Borrowdale in which the trees to be planted are stored.
    Like the wildflowers we planted in Grasmere...See a  previous post...The alder trees are plug plants, making them easier to plant.
    A newly planted alder.
    In total more than 600 trees were planted, staked and tubed on the day.
    A well earned break and you can get 4G here!. I enjoyed my day in High Borrowdale, felt a real sense of achievement, and look forward to working  with  Friends of the Lake District again.

    R.Wicksteed.

  • Recent planting - Langdale

    10:52 15 February 2017
    By Ben Knipe, Dave Almond, Dave Jackson, James Archer, Neil Winder, Roland Wicksteed

    Recently we have been out enjoying Lakeland’s finest weather - rain! We hope you have too!

    Some of the volunteers braving the weather to help us! 

    Our team along with help from volunteers successfully managed to plant 50 juniper (Juniperus communis) trees at Middlefell in Great Langdale. We also planted around 30 other assorted species of tree including Crab Apple, Hazel and Rowan (Malus sylvestris, Cratageous monogyna, Corylus avellana and Sorbus aucuparia).
    Juniper's poor regeneration is of such concern, that it has been included in the Biodiversity Action Plan as a priority species for Cumbria.


    View from Middle Fell our site for the day.

    Various schemes, aimed at conserving juniper, will hopefully safeguard the long term future of this threatened species (see our previous blogs on Juniper planting & conservation).

    Newly planted Juniper 

    The planting of the additional 30 native trees in keeping with the area will help maintain the biodiversity and wildlife value otherwise in decline.

    What is Juniper? – One of the three conifers native to England, can you name the other two (answer below).

    Spot the Ranger.

    Juniper was one of the first tree species to "colonise" Cumbria after the last ice age. Juniper has been a prominent feature on this landscape ever since.
    Juniper is best suited to the extreme weather conditions, and poor soil found on the Lake District fells. Having said this Juniper is still in decline in both Cumbria and the U.K.

    One of the reasons for Junipers decline is that many of the trees found in Cumbria are now very old; (upwards of 200 years old). Unfortunately, the few seedlings that they do manage to reproduce are also heavily grazed by sheep, rabbits and deer.

    Pete and Liam spotted planting down slope, the trucks can be spotted in the back ground, we were working high up the fell side.

    Juniper is an important habitat; as it supports, or is host to over 40 types of insects, including the Juniper Carpet Moth. The caterpillars feed exclusively on juniper. Larvae of the Juniper Berry Miner Moth feed on  juniper seeds.
    Juniper's dense prickly foilage provides good cover and protection for nesting birds.
    The Ring Ouzel, an upland bird of the thrush family, feeds up on ripe juniper berries before its Autumn migration to Southern Spain, or the Atlas Mountains in North West Africa.

    Answer – Scots Pine & Yew join Juniper as the three native British conifers.

  • Mass tree planting in the Lakes

    08:17 15 February 2017
    By Ben Knipe, Dave Almond, Dave Jackson, James Archer, Neil Winder, Roland Wicksteed

    National Trust Rangers, volunteers, local residents and school children gathered together to plant a variety of different trees across the Lake District on 10 February 2017. This was the first ever mass tree planting that the National Trust have organised in the Lakes on the same date and approximately 1400 trees were planted - some of which will be the wonderful veterans of the future.
    Over 90 people took part at five sites spreading the length and width of the Lake District, including; Glencoyne Park in Ullswater, Hoathwaite in Coniston, Wasdale, Fell Foot on the shore of Lake Windermere, and Coledale, near the village of Braithwaite.


    our job in Ullswater was to concentrate on Gelncyone Park


    Glencoyne Park is and ancient deer park that date back 100's of years. the park holds numerous amounts of veteran trees


    in 2013 Stephen Dowson (Area Ranger) picked some crab apples from the veteran crab apple trees in the park


    these apples where sent off to the National Trust conservation center in Devon.


    over the three years since picking the seeds they have grown into saplings and on Friday the 10'th of February they were planted back in the park where they were picked.


    there were 30 crab apple trees to be planted. due to Glencoyne being an old deer park there is still a wild herd of deer that can be found in the park, as well as the 12 cattle that graze the land. This meant that each tree had to be planted inside a deer and cow prove tree cage.


    So prior to the planting taking place on the Friday material had to be carried out to sight




    There were a lot of posts and rails to be carried out each cage required 14 rails and 4 posts.


    A mixture of volunteers, staff and a quad bike helped get everything to sight.






    Once the 30 sights had been selected the cages could be built.




    And finally once the cages had been built the trees could be planted. Luckily we had lots of little hands to help us.




    Patterdale Primary school came to lend a hand.


    We all had a thoroughly enjoyable day.




    Lets hope that in 100-200 years time these will be the veteran trees of the future.


  • Restoring a Victorian Vision

    18:19 07 February 2017
    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


    Here in the Lake District the National Trust looks after an awful lot of land - about a fifth of all the countryside in the National Park. But it’s not all high, open fells, we also care for iconic historic places like Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top, and James Garth Marshall’s Tarn Hows.

    
    A stunning wintry scene looking across Tarn Hows to the Old Man of Coniston and Wetherlam

    Located in the low level hills between the villages of Coniston and Hawkshead, Tarn Hows is ideal for a walk or cycle trip from either, and has lovely circular walks around the tarn. With a commanding panorama out across the wider Lake District fells, it's a favourite with both regular and first-time visitors to the area, attracting over 300,000 visitors a year, and is popular with artists and photographers who love the fantastic views.

    Marshall's design

    Yet despite Tarn Hows dramatic setting, it’s very much a ‘man-made’ environment. It was created as part of a designed landscape by James Garth Marshall, a wealthy Leeds industrialist and owner of the Monk Coniston Estate, in the 1860s, in the ‘picturesque’ style popular at the time. Tarn Hows as we see it today was originally three natural tarns. When Marshall bought it he embarked on a project to create a new body of water surrounded by a bold, ornamental planting scheme, which also had an industrial use to feed his sawmill, downstream in Coniston. 

    Tarn Hows in the late 19th century, much less wooded than it is today.
    Marshall’s vision involved clumps of trees planted in a carefully considered way, highlighting rocky knolls and the dramatic Lakes landscape beyond. The new planting was protected by ‘nurse’ crops of conifers, which were intended to be removed once the young trees were established. However, Marshall died before his vision was realised and the nurse crops were never removed. Trees then grew to dominate the Tarn Hows panorama as we know it today. 

    Looking across to the Langdale Pikes today...

    The wood for the trees
    Recently, the Trust decided that the majestic views over the tarn and across to the fells beyond were in danger of being lost amongst the trees. Marshall’s clumps of specimen trees, although still present, were hard to see in the thick growth, his vision fading in the passage of time. Aware of the popularity of the present-day landscape however, and realising that many visitors who came to enjoy Tarn Hows  didn’t know of Marshall’s ‘hidden’ landscape, the Trust carried out a full survey and consultation with local stakeholders to decide on the most appropriate  course of action. As Tarn Hows is highly protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, we also had to make sure that work would protect the rare plant communities and habitats that exist there.  An approach was agreed which therefore aimed to restore elements of Marshall’s vision, without impacting too suddenly and dramatically on the modern cherished landscape. There will be a gradual receding of the modern character and a simultaneous emergence of Marshall’s vision, with a medium term co-existence of the two landscape characters. Work will take place very incrementally over a number of years, with no sudden or drastic changes to the views and feel of Tarn Hows, and there will be periods when little or no work is being carried out there.
    ...and in the 1950's



    The project today  

    We have now started this work to restore elements of the designed landscape, as it was intended to look when it was originally created. This will involve very gradually removing some trees, particularly thinning areas where there is dense regrowth, to open up some views over the tarn and across to the fells beyond, as well as revealing some of the rocky knolls identified in the original design which have become overgrown.  Opening up views across the tarn and surrounding countryside will enable visitors to enjoy perspectives on this landscape as it was originally intended to look in the 19th century, as well as helping to protect some of those rare habitats around Tarn Hows. 

    Our ranger teams will also be working to partially reinstate parts of Marshall’s vision with some new planting in selected locations from the suite of trees in his original plans. Work will be done very gradually over a number of years, but starting now means that we can avoid too much intrusive felling work in the future, and keep the visual impact on the landscape to a minimum. So if you’re out and about around Tarn Hows in the coming months, and see us working down there, do stop and have a chat. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this exciting project!

    Matt Tweed.
    Looking up Tarn Hows towards Helvellyn, possibly 1920's.

  • We're Recruiting!

    08:44 02 February 2017
    By Ade Mills, Leo Walmsley , Pete Entwistle


    If you've ever fancied the Lake District fells as your office here's your chance to live the dream... *

    We are currently recruiting for a fixed-term, until 1st April 2019, Assistant Ranger (Uplands) here with us in the Central Lakes.

    Click here https://careers.nationaltrust.org.uk for further details and to apply.

    *Note: Good weather can not be guaranteed.