News from Mark Astley for February 2014

  • Whiteless breast

    16:57 21 February 2014
    By Maurice Pankhurst, Mark Astley, Jack Deane, Paul Delaney, Andy Warner , Daniel Simpson, Jessie Binns, Geoff Medd, Joe Cornforth


    Buttermere is one of the few places left in the North Lakes with some grassy untouched paths. pre-emptive work can help keep the paths natural.


    "Pidgeon holes" a line of circular bare patches can occur on grassy slopes when a large numbers of walkers follow the same line up a hill. 



    Although these foot holes make the hill easier to climb, they quickly join together into a groove that water runs down creating a gully.


    The holes can be easily repaired using seed, turf and cloche netting  (a willow frame covered with chicken wire) that is used to protect the area while it regenerates.

                     
       The willow is locally sourced from a basket weaver, Phil Bradley.
       All the work was done by Fix The Fells volunteers supervised by a National Trust ranger.


    How it looked with the closhe removed and after the local sheep had grazed it
                       
                          When we removed the netting the local herdwick sheep had a field day. 




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.

Blog:
http://www.ntnorthlakes.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter:
@NTNorthLakes
Phone:
07786 856 443
Email:
mark.astley@nationaltrust.org.uk