News from Roland Wicksteed for September 2011

  • Wind damage on Silver How

    19:58 27 September 2011
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder

    The Lakes suffered some quite strong winds a few weeks ago causing many branches to fall over paths.
    Part of our work is to keep paths clear and safe for our visitors. Many National Trust Rangers are trained in the use of Chainsaws to undertake small tree felling and cross cutting, any larger or more dangerous tasks are carried out by our own forestry teams.

    This oak branch had split from its main trunk and came down over the path leading to Silver How in Grasmere.

    Using the Chainsaw to clear away the small branches first, so access to the larger limbs are made easier to cross cut.

    Cross cutting the final limb to open up the path.

  • Elterwater mermorial gate

    11:50 17 September 2011
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder

    Today we have been installing a new oak gate at the start of the Elterwater path. This gate has been  made by the Trusts own Joiners using money donated to someones memory.
    We start by removing the old gate system and digging the holes for the hanging posts and closing posts. These have to be deep enough to hold the weight of a oak gate.

    We use the arm of the digger to gently pull out the old gate stoop (cheating) while being careful not to damage the beck wall.

    The Elterwater path is one of the most popular with lots of visitors enjoying the walk from Elterwater to Slelwith Bridge everyday. A designated bridlepath, Its a beautiful walk for all ages and disabilities, talking in some fantastic views of the Langdales and Elterwater. At the Skelwith end of the path stop to look at Skelwith force and the spectacular Woodburn Bridge. Erected in 2006 and named after a Skelwith Parish Council chairman, its location is amazing. Chester's Cafe is nice sight for many.

    Making sure the hole is deep enough before we put the closing post in. From there we use rocks to jam the post in the hole. This is the post that gate strikes against and must be solid to cope with the gate opening and closing thousands of times

     We have to make the path stock proof, Herdwick sheep could easily jump over the section of beck wall by the side of the gate.

    We use oak rails to match the gate to create a small post and rail fence to keep stock from getting on to the path.

     Job finished and ready to be enjoyed by many. The path is prone to flooding with damage still visible from the floods of 2009, we hope to secure funding for repairs very soon.

News from Roland Wicksteed

Photo of Roland Wicksteed

Ranger. It is a privilege to live and work in this beautiful area; it is unique. I am based at Windermere and Troutbeck. My favourite work is drystone walling and hedgelaying. I enjoy instructing Working Holiday Groups in both of these traditional crafts. Part of my work involves keeping the numbers of "invasive non native species" down as much as possible. I also continue to work on a project, the aim of which is to increase the numbers of the scarce touch me not balsam plants,(yellow flowering plants in the image's background!) which the rare netted carpet moth depends upon for its survival. The numbers of moths and plants are mainly restricted to a few small sites in The Lake District.