News from Mark Astley for March 2012

  • The boys go back to School

    18:12 24 March 2012
    By Maurice Pankhurst, Mark Astley, Jack Deane, Paul Delaney, Andy Warner , Daniel Simpson, Geoff Medd, Joe Cornforth

    Regular readers? of this blog may be forgiven for thinking everything happens in Borrowdale! but North Lakes covers a lot of ground and this week our Loweswater based ranger team, Dan and Paul headed even further west to Ennerdale Bridge to start on an exciting new community project. At the  very heart of the village sits the small local primary school and our project  over the next few weeks is to re design and refurbish the school garden to make it a more interesting space for the children to play, learn and most of all have fun!

    ©Ennerdale and Kinniside School
    The clever stuff, designing the new garden and advising on useful planting schemes will be done by our fantastic gardener at Wordsworth House and Garden, Amanda and her small talented team of volunteers, working with the staff, parents and children and will include areas for quite sitting, noisy play, bug hunts and mini beast safaris

    The Ranger team and regular Thursday volunteers will carry out the physical tasks of removing unwanted trees and refreshing the hard landscaping, walls and seating areas.
    First task before the major works got under way was to clear an area of shrubs and trees so that a living willow hide could be constructed, (just the right size for kids but small enough to keep adults out!) Dan and Paul spent half a damp morning removing a trailer load of trees, and their stumps  (much harder than we thought) shrubs and branches to create this space and the effect was immediately noticeable

    ©Ennerdale and Kinniside School
    The hide has now been built and will grow with time to create a cool, shady secret place.
    This is just the start of an exciting project, involving a wide range of staff and volunteers, we even had our senior forester Martin kindly health check the  trees!! so check back here often and see how we’re getting on way out west, next on the agenda is to remove crumbling facing stone from the retaining walls and replace with new  sandstone, building in lots of planting spaces and bug houses

  • Loweswater -Conservation of a Blue/Green Lake

    08:44 13 March 2012
    By Maurice Pankhurst, Mark Astley, Jack Deane, Paul Delaney, Andy Warner , Daniel Simpson, Geoff Medd, Joe Cornforth

    Each of our lakes here in the Lake District has its own distinctive character. The diversity of their form is one of the things that make the Lake District so special. But behind their basic attractiveness lies a complex constitution complicated by numerous influences, both natural & man made.
    This Sunday 18th March, you can join our local Ranger Mark Astley, for a walk around Loweswater.

    Copyright Tom Richardson & licensed for reuse
    under the
    Creative Commons License

    Here is a chance to find out about the issues that effect this most tranquil and pastoral of lakes, and to hear about the Loweswater Care Project and how that will help us to look after this beautiful and special place. Park at Maggies Bridge Car Park. This can be a bit tricky to find, so look out for signs on the main Loweswater road. The grid ref is NY134 421 and the post code is CA13 0RU. Meet up at 11:00 and expect to be out until 3:00. Dress for the conditions and you may need some food. And finally, good news - the walk is free.

News from Mark Astley

Photo of Mark Astley

Ranger for the Buttermere and Ennerdale valleys, I live in Loweswater with my family; three boys aged 15, 11 and 9. I'm a very keen fisherman, an amateur archaeologist and work very closely with farmers within the valleys. In my spare time I'm a rugby coach for Cockermouth Rugby Union club. I have been working for the National Trust for over 25 years. For me, it is a way life not a job.

07786 856 443