Team news for October 2011

  • Landrovers?? they go anywhere

    15:46 31 October 2011
    By Maurice Pankhurst, Jack Deane, Paul Delaney, Andy Warner , Daniel Simpson

    But sometimes they don't come back
    Imagine the scene: you offer to be the backup for a walking festival event and  set off in your landrover to park up at the finishing end of the walk, looks a bit damp after the rain but I reckon I will get out without too much bother!
    After a very enjoyable walk learning all about the abundance of fungi in our woodlands  and eager to return to base for a brew we find this

    Sometimes you've got to just sit down and smile

  • Resuming our work at Stickle Ghyll

    10:15 28 October 2011
    By Ade Mills, Pete Entwistle, Leo Walmsley

    With our work all finished at Mickleden our attentions have now turned back to Stickle Ghyll. We started our work here back in the spring before heading over to Mickleden for the summer months, and we've only around two weeks of work left until this project is also complete.

    It's really apparent that the seasons have changed since we were last working at Stickle, it is now feeling much more autumnal which is providing us with some classic Lake District views. It certainly makes the walk to work that little bit easier after prising yourself out of bed in the pitch black at the start of the day.

    A misty morning in Langdale

    The section of path that we've been working on has proved quite challenging as there is a lot of bedrock right where the path needs to be built, meaning the path has to fit around the bedrock, or alternatively it has to be chipped out with crowbars and sledgehammers.

    Another thing that has made building the path a bit more complicated than usual is the amount of large boulders that are in the way. These large rocks have either been used for landscaping or, if they're suitably shaped, we've also been using them to pitch with.

    Nic pitching with large boulders

    Pitching with large stone like this really helps tie the path in with the landscape, but if they don't go in correctly the first time around it can really slow down progress. It can easily result in two, or sometimes even three of us levering the boulder with our bars to get it into the correct position, and it's not always a particularly quick process!

  • Finishing our repair work at Mickleden

    09:49 17 October 2011
    By Ade Mills, Pete Entwistle, Leo Walmsley

    Over the last couple of weeks we've been busily working on the Mickleden project, so we can move back onto Stickle Ghyll for a few weeks, and hopefully finish our work there before the weather deteriorates too much.

    Much of this work has again been upgrading the old path to make it more user friendly. You can see in the photograph below a set of risers (a line of stones dug into the ground to slow down the rate of erosion). Originally these risers would have been dug in at ground-level or, at least, with very little stone showing above the ground. Over time, the soil has eroded out in front of the risers leaving behind large steps that are more difficult to walk on.

    Path before repair work

    As this section of path is next to a beck which has been known to overflow during heavy rain we decided to build a pitched path incorporating the old risers. This has helped reduce the height of the steps and will also help the path stand up to the rigours of flooding.

    Completed section of path

    Another important part of this project has been the landscaping. You can see by comparing the two photographs above how the side-stones that run in a straight line (top picture) have also been removed and replaced with larger stones, in a more natural looking way. Subtle changes like this are unlikely to be noticed by most people but it's all part of our work trying to make the paths blend in more sympathetically with the surrounding landscape.

    Once the path and landscaping was done we finished off this section by selecting a suitably large, and flat, stone and moved it into position as a stepping stone. The beck, which flows out of Rossett Ghyll can be really difficult to cross after heavy rain, so with the new stone in position people will be able to get to the other side much more safely.

    New Stepping Stone in place

    With our work at Mickleden finished (at least for this year), it was finally time to take down the shed, so there's no chance of it getting blown down in the winter. It'll stay here until it's ready to be moved to a new site next year.

    Flat-packed shed, ready to go
  • Grab your boots, the Walking Festival gets under way

    17:54 16 October 2011
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder

    The National Trust's october Walking Festival week starts on the 22nd of the month, with a host of guided walks lined up countrywide.
    The Lake District Rangers have a fun packed time table of walks covering the whole Lakes, with something for everyone

    Here's what the Central and East Lakes Rangers have in store.

    Sat 22 and Fri 28Oct
    A walk through Troutbeck Valley
    Guided 2hr walk from Windermere RailwayStation
    toTown end through the beautiful Troutbeck Valley.
    Adults plus children 8+ (no unaccompanied
    children under 16).
    Meet:Windermere Station, 10.45am
    Contact:Townend 015394 32628

    Sun 23Oct, 10am- 2 pm
    A Walk on the Wild Side
    Join James Archer, the Lead Ranger for Great Langdale,
    fo a walk up the valley of Mickleden.This is a wonderfully
    accessible slice of wilderness.Thewalk will be level but
    stony and will follow the valley bottom up to the bottom
    of two of the ancient mountain passes at Rossett Gill
    & Stake Pass. James will share an insight into the
    pre-historical landscape. Free.
    Meet: Old Dungeon Ghyll NT car park, Great Langdale Sat
    Nav: LA22 9JU.Grid reference for The Old Dungeon Ghyll
    Hotel, Great Langdale: 285 060.Contact: 015394 63814

    Mon 24Oct, 10am
    The Troutbeck Trail,Troutbeck
    Join Ian Clemmett, Area Ranger forTroutbeck,
    fora 3-4 hourwalk, to explore the beautiful
    Troutbeck Valley.
    Meet: Lay by near Jesus Church, Patterdale Road,
    Troutbeck,Cumbria, LA23 1PE.GRNY412 028.
    Contact: 015394 46402

    Tues 25Oct, 10- 12 noon
    Explore Glenamara Park,Ullswater
    A short easy walk with our Ranger, SteveDowson,
    through the ancient deer park with magnificent veteran
    trees and stunning views down UllswaterLake. Free.
    Meet: Patterdale Hotel, Patterdale.GRNY396 159
    CA11ONL.Contact: 015394 46402

    Wed 26Oct, 10am- 2 pm
    The Giants of Skelghyll Wood
    Do you like exploring? - if so meet John Pring the
    Lead Ranger forTroutbeck fromWaterhead to Skelghyll
    woodswhere you can explore ancient woodlands and
    walk amongst some of the tallest trees in Cumbria. Free.
    Meet:Water Head Pier,Waterhead,Ambleside
    LA22 0EU.Contact: 015394 46402

    Thurs 27Oct, 10am- 2 pm
    A wander through Wordsworth country
    Join Dave Almond, Lead Ranger for Grasmere for a
    walk through the landscape that inspired Wordsworth -
    a beautifulwalk through autumn woodlands with a
    spectacular view over Grasmere Lake. Free.
    Meet: Grasmere National Trust Information Centre,
    Grasmere. SatNav: LA22 9SW.Grid reference:
    NY33718 07419.Contact: 015394 63814

    Fri 28Oct, 10am
    The Highs and Lows of Loughrigg
    Walk with Area Ranger Neil Winder around the
    Victorian woodland Garden of High Close and
    explore nearby Low Wood.
    Meet: High Close Ranger Base, Loughrigg, Ambleside.
    SatNav: LA22 9HH. Grid reference: NY33867 05289.
    Contact: 015394 63814

    For More Information about other National Trust walks and events please go to our web-site


  • Good Things Come In little Packages

    14:22 07 October 2011
    By Maurice Pankhurst, Jack Deane, Paul Delaney, Andy Warner , Daniel Simpson

    Ever thought how nice it would be if your holiday gifts and last minute presents could help look after our beautiful landscapes?

    When you’re next in Keswick take a stroll down Lake Road to Derwentwater Foreshore and call in to our small but perfectly formed National Trust Shop, crammed full of quality local products and unusual gifts and with friendly staff on hand and stunning views over Derwentwater and the surrounding fells, so don’t forget your camera!

    Have a chat with our friendly and dedicated team who are always happy to help, from queries about our product range to advice about local walks in the area. We have a wide range of walking books and maps to help you plan your visit to Keswick and the Lake District

    We have beautiful 100% wool rugs and blankets to keep you warm this autumn whether on a boat trip across the lake or snuggled up at home with a good book, and from mid October we’ll be offering 3 for 2 deals and up to 50% discounts on some of our most popular buys, from Christmas cards, bags and satchels to calendars and books.

    So pop down and see us, pick up something nice and help look after the beautiful Lake District countryside.
  • Adventures of the Swampmen

    12:06 07 October 2011
    By Maurice Pankhurst, Jack Deane, Paul Delaney, Andy Warner , Daniel Simpson

    So there we were on the path leading up from Hawes End landing stage towards Catbells. All we had to do was take out the remains of an old stone bridge and replace it with a shiny new one. No problems eh? Until.....we took the first bucketful from the gutter. Within half an hour the place transformed into a welly-eating swamp.
    Anybody who works on paths will tell you that the thing that does the most damage is uncontrolled water. If you don't sort the drainage, you can forget the rest of the job. So what started as a straightforward job quickly became far more complicated.
    Temporary drains were dug at first which diverted water coming down the steep bank. So the swamp turned into a pile of mud. Then we scraped this back and barrowed in washed gravel which raised the path above the worst of the water.
    We used the old stone bridge to build the new abutments then brought in the frame of the new bridge which we had built in the workshop. See what a simple job this was?
    Incidently the bridge is actually made from recycled plastic. We had some left over from the boardwalks at the Manesty end of the lake. It is twice as expensive as wood but lasts four times longer. The plastic is mainly made from recycled plastic milk bottles, so your 4 pinter may have contributed to our new bridge!
    The final job was to surface the new section of path installing some angled waterbreaks to shed surface water. Next time you are near the landing stage at Hawes End on Derwentwater take a look and see what you think. Don't step off the path though...that could be a big mistake!
  • Fix The Fells Social Event

    14:55 02 October 2011
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder

    October was the time for this years Fix The Fells social party. It gives Staff from the partnership organisations a chance to say a big thank you to the volunteers who work hard maintaining the Lake District fell paths.
    This years venue was Ullswater and a sail on the Ullswater Steamers followed by a 7 mile hike to Silver Bay for a feast.

    We set Sailed from Glenridding on a beautiful hot sunny Saturday, very warm for this time of year. Our destination was Howtown to the north.

     The Boat was packed with visitors enjoying the fine warm weather. We managed to find a quiet area at the front of the boat to enjoy our sail.

    Tim and Ruth enjoying the ride and pretending to be Pirates of the Caribbean.

                                             Fantastic views                                         
     We reached Howtown at around 11.30am and Howtown is about three and a half miles from Pooley Bridge and is best reached by water. The Ullswater steamers regularly stop there on their way from Glenridding at the southern end of Ullswater to Pooley Bridge at the northern end of the lake.
    The name Howtown means "farmstead on the hill". The place name is from the Old Norse word haugr, meaning "hill" or "mound", and the Old English word tün, meaning "town".

     We started our 7 mile walk back along the Eastern shores of Ullswater heading for Silver Point and then back to GlenRidding.


     A welcome break for the team
    Lakeland’s most beautiful lakeshore walk - stunning views of the Ullswater Valley and Helvellyn range.


    A small stream flowing between banks of juniper from Silver Crag marks the change from woodland to more open fell side and Silver Point. Silver Bay is in the foreground and our destination for dinner.

    Tim heating up the barbecue

     Dinner time Fix The Fells style

    More food arrives from the volunteers rucksacks, cake, 
    cake and more cake. What a feast fit for a king.

    After all the great food, it was time to sit back and enjoy the views. 

    A dogs life

    A round up on this years achievements and our chance to say thank you.

    Most of the food found a home!

    With our tummy's full it was time to head back to Glenridding. A fantastic day was had by all. The weather had been kind, rather hot at times but definitely better that rain. Roll on next year.

    We followed the path towards Patterdale which gradually turns into a farm track with a wall on the right, over which you can see Glenridding and the Steamer pier on the opposite side of the lake, our starting point this morning.