News from Neil Winder for May 2015

  • Help from Newton Rigg students

    11:45 24 May 2015
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder, Ben Knipe

    Over the past four Fridays the Ullswater Ranger team have been working with seven Newton Rigg Students at Wetheral Woods.

    Wetheral Woods is located in the Northern most reaches of the Central and East Lakes property portfolio. The Woods are located on the banks of the river Eden, on the outskirts of Wetheral Village.

    The woods are home to many interesting features, not least St Constantine cells, that have been dug into the red sand stone cliff face, right on the side of the river. It has been said that they were refuge for the monks from the nearby priory. The woods are also home to small leaved lime trees. This is the furthest north that they are found in the UK.

    Some area of the woodland have started to get a little tired over the years, not least a steep section of steps that link the top path to the lower one.



    This work would be an arduous task for the small Ranger team, with some 50 steps needing to be replaced. The team jumped at the chance to have Seven young fit students from Newton Rigg to help.

    Newton Rigg is and Agricultural College situated on the outskirts of Penrith. These seven students are studying a Countryside Management course and needed some work experience in countryside estate skills.

    The students broke up into two groups, one group concentrating on the steps, and another focusing on re surfacing some of the boggier sections of path.



    The groups swapped over each work so that they could all try their hand at each task. After a couple of weeks the students were progressing well up the steep slope.



    And by the final week the huge improvements in the path were clear for all to see with many local dog walkers thanking us for the improved access.



    A huge thank you has to go to the students and their tutor Pam, in helping to complete a task that would have taken the Ranger team considerably longer to complete.
  • A Challenging Wall Repair.

    07:30 12 May 2015
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder, Ben Knipe

    A section of the old dry stone wall, separating the lower slope of Queen Adelaide's Hill and Millerground, collapsed recently. 

    The base of the wall is a good eighteen feet above Millerground footpath and as can be seen in the image the slope is exceptionally steep.

    On the "downhill" side the wall is about eight feet high and it took a while to retrieve the stone that had tumbled down the bank.

    Once the foundation stones had been reset, the rebuild could begin. (See image below)

    Walling on the Queen Adelaide's Hill side.

    The finished repair...on the Queen Adelaide's Hill side....

    ....and from the Millerground side.

     A view of the waterfall below the wall.



News from Neil Winder

Photo of Neil Winder

Area Ranger-Grasmere and Great Langdale.

Growing up in the Lakes naturally progressed to working in this beautiful area. After studying Countryside management at Newton Rigg College Penrith I spent time volunteering for the RSPB at Leighton Moss Silverdale. These experiences lead to employment with the National Trust whom I’ve been with for over 14 years now.
I’ve worked on the upland footpath team carrying out footpath repairs in the area and as Warden working on countryside estate work like walling, fencing and hedge laying.
As Area Ranger I’m Responsible for planning and coordinating general operations over 7800 Hectares of countryside portfolio.
I love the outdoors, getting out side in my work and also spending time walking with my family.
I’ve been known to enjoy bursts of trail running when my energy levels are high. I also have a passion for electronic music; I was a DJ for many years and hold a qualification in computer music production.

Blog:
http://centralandeastlakesrangers.blogspot.co.uk/