They do say ‘variety is the spice of life ‘ and of late we’ve had our fair share, aside from the seasonal chores which come with the preparation for our summer visitors we’ve had a few diversions, an opportunity to have some work experience students from nearby Cockermouth school gave us a chance to show 3 young people Ella, Cain and Matthew, some of the tasks which go into maintaining a countryside property and it has to be said they threw themselves into it with enthusiasm, one has since asked to come back as a summer holiday volunteer, which of course we have accepted.
Some of our visitors are more of a challenge than others, most folks are content to visit, enjoy our landscape, perhaps take in some spiritual enlightenment and leave refreshed, a minority of others however seem intent on trashing the place entirely, this past week we’ve been spending most mornings removing rubbish from lakeside fields, broken bottles, cans, barbeques, deckchairs, lots of underpants and general debris!
|A small amount of the daily collection|
While this can be quite disheartening, and we do have a’ real’ job to do, there is some hope, one evening we went round the known trouble spots and gave out litter bags, the reception we got was excellent and on the following morning we had perhaps an 80% reduction in the amount of time it took to clear the sites, so to those who took their rubbish home, Thanks!!
We’re sometimes told we must have the best job ever and some days that’s very true, the end of primary school for some local kids gave us the chance to let them have some fun in our woods, year 6 pupils from both Paddle and Ennerdale schools visited Holme Wood at Loweswater and took part in some of our’50 things to do’ activities including rope swings, den building tree climbing and most popular by far, mud slides!!
|He's not terrifed, honest|
Fantastic to once more hear our woodlands filled with laughter although I dread to think what the laundry bills were like afterwards, many of the children were keen to bring their parents and families back to have some more fun, let’s hope we’re around at the time, after all we need playtime too!
Then it was back to the real job, still fun though, a section of path leading from Pike Rigg to the lakeshore at Buttermere had become seriously eroded due to water damage and increasing traffic from walkers, the most suitable solution was to use stone pitching, a method more usually used in the uplands by the ‘experts’ at Fix the Fells, we think we matched their prowess however?
|Before and After|
One difficulty we had was getting stone to the site, however the recent dry weather gave us a solution, much to the surprise of visitors and particularly photographers, each day Ranger Dan and myself would drive along the lakeshore and at times through the lake itself to access the site.
The new path took shape quickly and has been well received by all who have used it, already it’s looking like it’s been there forever.