Team news for May 2017

  • Helicopter lifts and starting work at Hole in the Wall

    12:27 15 May 2017
    By Ade Mills, Leo Walmsley , Pete Entwistle

    With just a few days left to spare before the helicopter lifts, we managed to fill the last of the 325 heli-bags with stone that we need for this years upland path repairs. This gave us enough time to put out the warning signs and make sure we were fully prepared.

    The first lift, over in Ullswater, was the larger of the two jobs. The bags were flown straight across Grisedale valley to the path leading up to Hole in the Wall. Although the weather conditions were tricky due to the constantly changing wind direction, we managed to get all 260 bags over to the work site in three days.

     Moving the stone to site

    The next week we started work on the path. The first job was to unload just over half of the bags and move the stones a few metres down the path to exactly where the path would start.

    Moving the rock into position

    After a couple of days we had the bags emptied and the stone where we wanted it.

    The emptied bags

    With the bags emptied it was time to start building the path. We've recently been joined by a new team member, Jonny, who previously worked for the National Trust in North Yorkshire. Since he's never done stone pitching before, Pete gave him some one on one tuition for a couple of days to help bring him up to speed. After being taught the basics of what to do, it'll be just a matter of lots (and lots...) of practice and the rest of the team being on hand for when any help or advice is needed.

    Jonny starting to get to grips with stone pitching

    After a few days of working up at Hole in the Wall, it was time to get the rock moved for the path repairs on Stone Arthur. With perfect weather conditions we managed to get all 65 bags moved to position in less than five hours. We'll be starting the repair work on Stone Arthur late summer/early autumn time.

    Moving the bags on Stone Arthur
  • New Arrivals at High Lickbarrow.

    15:30 10 May 2017
    By Ben Knipe, Dave Almond, Dave Jackson, James Archer, Neil Winder, Roland Wicksteed

    The late Michael Bottomly bequeathed High Lickbarrow Farm near Windermere to the National Trust in 2015. It has 50 h of 'unimproved' land grazed by cattle only. Much of the land is designated as a Site of  Special Scientific Interest, (SSSI) as wild flowers grow abundantly under this regime and the herb rich grass lands attract a plethora of insects, butterflies and birds.
    One of the steeper fields is red to purple hued in Summer owing to the sheer numbers of betony growing there. 
    (See above with bumblebee in attendance)
    The farm is home to a herd of rare cattle...The Scoutbeck Herd... known as Albion*.

      White Dairy Shorthorn, Welsh Black, and British Fresian cattle are thought to have been used in the original breeding of the Blue Albion in Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

    The breed became official in 1921 when The Blue Albion Cattle Society was formed.

    Tragically the foot and mouth epidemic of 1967 led to the extinction of the Blue Albion breed owing to a Nationwide culling programme to get the disease under control.

    Since then attempts have been made to reconstitute the breed, now known simply as Albion*. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) are being petitioned to classify Albion cattle as a rare breed. This will ensure their status as critically endangered and will lend support for their future as a bona fide breed.
    This Albion heifer was born at High Lickbarrow on the evening of the 9th of May so in this image she is barely a day old! She has the distinction of being  first in the line for the new herd mark that now exists for the National Trust making her number *****01!
    This heifer was born shortly after and  so was beaten by a short head by number*****01 making her the second in the line with the number *****02!
    Here she is being kept an eye on by her protective mum!

    Another  fifteen calves are expected to arrive within the next few days!