I had a change of scenery last week when I popped out to the coast and met the Trust’s ranger Chris and two representatives of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC). The BMC had asked us to look at a site on St Bees Head sea cliffs where a lot of climbing takes place. These cliffs are designated a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) bird reserve. The BMC and RSPB have an existing understanding about using these cliffs without disturbing nesting birds in what is an important site.
The BMC has done some work in the past on access and erosion control and they asked Chris and me along to see if we can advise them about how to sensitively maintain and improve an access path down the cliff.
There is a farm on the headland with a camping barn and it would be ideal if the BMC could have a work group staying there. They could provide the materials and voluntary labour and Chris and I, working for the Trust, could provide the advice and necessary tools for the task. The BMC is taking the lead on this but we would contribute technical advice about installing and maintaining sustainable paths on steep terrain which is what we are used to doing in the mountains.
It was a very useful site visit and meeting. As ever, it is a question of balancing a range of uses of the landscape and it would be good to have a joint working programme with them.
While we were there, Chris and I spotted something in the water below. After some time observing its behavior, we concluded it was most likely a seal. It was just too distant to be sure and the photographs I took were inconclusive but both seals and sea otters can be seen from the headland.
|Leave a comment if you can identify this!|
We have also done more work at Braithwaite. A contractor has been in with a JCB installing a large pipe as part of the drainage project.
Once that was done I was back with volunteers putting finishing touches.
|One of our youngest volunteers (he brought his Dad with him!)|
All being well, the flood risk to the village will have been significantly reduced – these volunteers have much to be proud of.