Team news for September 2017

  • An update from Hole in the Wall

    06:29 27 September 2017
    By Ade Mills, Leo Walmsley , Pete Entwistle

    Over the last month we've been continuing our work over in Ullswater, on the footpath leading up to Hole in the Wall.

    Building a stone footpath is slow work which is dependent on a wide range of variables such as; how hard the digging is, how busy the path is, the quality of rock, and the width of the path.

    The following two photographs show roughly two months progress. In that time three of the team have worked on this section and roughly 30 metres of path have been pieced together.

    Middle section, 21st June

    Middle section, 16th August

    Once a section of path is completed, it's time to landscape the path. The following two photos show the same bit of path before and after landscaping. The bank of spoil to the left has been levelled out, after removing any turf that would be covered over in the process, and this has been used to edge the path. Surplus stone has been dug into the ground around the path to give it a more natural look, and finally grass seed has been scattered over the whole area.

    Middle section before landscaping

     Middle section after landscaping

    A section of landscaped path, further up from the previous photos can be seen below.

    Freshly landscaped section of path

    As we've moved higher up the path the digging has become more challenging. The path has become littered with large boulders and sections of bedrock which all has to be removed before the new stone footpath can be built. Occasionally a boulder may be too large to move, or the bedrock too hard to break and in those instances it can usually, with experience, be worked around.

    Working in ground like this is obviously more challenging and tends to slow down progress, in addition more rock and less soil is excavated which creates more difficulties with landscaping.

     Removing a sizeable chunk of bedrock from the path

    We’ve now completed just over half of the path repairs up at Hole in the Wall so we’ll be working through until late autumn and returning to finish things off in spring next year.
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters....

    14:51 21 September 2017
    By Ben Knipe, Dave Almond, Dave Jackson, James Archer, Neil Winder, Roland Wicksteed


    The low stone wall on the bridge to St. Catherine's...over Wynlass Beck...was regularly clipped by vehicles and required frequent repairs. 


    We had some 'sleepers' left over after constructing raised beds at St. Catherine's.


    These sleepers were cut to shape and used to replace the vulnerable stone work and after several months are still in place and undamaged.

    Mission accomplished!
  • St. Catherine's 'Moth Night'/Caterpillar Survey.

    15:30 14 September 2017
    By Ben Knipe, Dave Almond, Dave Jackson, James Archer, Neil Winder, Roland Wicksteed

    A 'Moth Night' was held at St. Catherine's in late July. Among other species the rare netted carpet Moth was seen.


    An excellent image of the moth seen on its food plant... Touch-Me-Not Balsam....courtesy of Guy Broome.


    The moth lays its eggs, during its life span, on the underside of the plants' leaves in July and August.   


    Above is an image of the caterpillar during the annual survey that takes place in late August or early September. This caterpillar is probably fully grown and ready to pupate soon.



    In this instance the caterpillar is forming a triangle between the plant stem and leaf. The caterpillars invariably face 'down hill'... particularly when at rest.


    An image of a smaller caterpillar. The caterpillars out-grow and shed their skin 5 times...called instars...before they reach full size.


    The above image shows a caterpillar feeding on a Touch-Me-Not seed pod...the most nutritious part of its food plant.



    Note how well camouflaged the caterpillars are, making it difficult for predators and surveyors alike to spot them!

    Up to 50 caterpillars per 100 plants were recorded in some areas whereas in less densely populated areas only 1 or 2 were found per 100 plants.

    For more information on the moth and its food plant, including the conservation work involved,  please click on the link below.