News from Roland Wicksteed for December 2015

  • Picture Gallery of Volunteers.

    09:20 24 December 2015
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder, Ben Knipe

    Just some examples of the work volunteers have been
    involved with in the Central and East Lakes region over the course of 2015. 
    With thanks and good wishes for 2016!
     Matthew clearing away wind-blown trees from woodland wall. More firewood for the Footprint woodburner!
    Combating invasive plants at Dora's Field Grasmere.
    Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed.
    Newton Rigg students replacing worn out steps at Wetherall Woods, near Carlisle.
    Cumbria National Trust Volunteer Group.
    Putting in stone setts at Ambleside Roman Fort.
    Working Holiday Group upgrading Millerground Footpath and lake shore revetment work.
    Volunteer group from Shardale.
    Footpath improvement and resurfacing work.

  • Interim repairs to the St. Catherine's drive.

    14:43 10 December 2015
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder, Ben Knipe

    In the aftermath of Storm Desmond repairs to the three hundred metre plus drive to St. Catherine's, The Footprint and Gatelands, are now well underway as the following images show...

    Blue obligingly posed to give some sense of scale to the problem.
    Central East Lakes pick up and two ton tipper trailer put to work.
    Craig and Nick from the South Lakes region were quick to offer their assistance in the running repairs to the drive. Here Craig is loading the dumper driven by Nick with material washed down in the flood.
    ...another load of salvaged aggregate ready to be raked in.
    James, Ray and a special mention for Leila, academy ranger from North Lakes, in helping to spread the retrieved aggregate brought up by the dumper. 
    John gathering up more aggregate.
    Here come the cavalry....The firm I.T Shaw were commendably quick to arrive on the scene with the heavy plant machinery needed to deal with the massive amount of work required just to reinstate vehicular access to the property.
    The excavator at work with dumper in attendance.
    A twenty ton load of MOT Type one sub base arriving from Burlington... making it two hundred tons delivered up to press...ready to be spread and rolled. The final top layer will be put down in the New Year, once the drainage for the drive has been reinstated and improved .

    Thanks are owed to I.T.Shaw and their prompt response in dealing with the situation and to Craig and Nick from South Lakes, and Leila from North Lakes for all their valuable assistance.

  • After The Deluge

    17:30 06 December 2015
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder, Ben Knipe

    Images from around Ambleside and Windermere in the aftermath of Storm Desmond. Sunday December 6th.
    Stock Ghyll Force looking impressive after 'unprecedented' rainfall.

    The wrecked National Trust St. Catherine's, The Footprint, and Gatelands.. after Wynlass Beck burst its banks during the relentless downpour.
    The drive is extensively damaged throughout its entire length with ruts of over two feet deep in places.
    Tarmac ripped up by fast flowing flood water. Ambleside.
    The rubble strewn A591 at Troutbeck Bridge.
    Waterhead Marine.
    Lake Wardens going to the assistance of a stranded Land Rover.
    Jenkyns Field.
    The dry boathouse at Jenkyns Field!

    The A591 between Ambleside and Windermere with flood water gradually receding but more rain forecast for the week ahead...

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.