News from Roy Henderson for April 2013

  • Off the beaten tracks.

    07:42 23 April 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    Now that the lighter evenings are here, it is much easier to get out in the evening and as I had worked over Easter, I was also able to take some lieu time last week.  Some of it was spent walking the fells.  Even in the busiest times of the year, it is still easy to find some places in the Lake District to be alone and to find peace and quiet. 

    I am often asked, “What’s your favourite place?” but I usually answer, “You have to go and find your own.”  It is really easy to find quiet paths to walk and space to sit.  Most people tend to use the well-known paths like Catbells.  It’s a brilliant little hill and well worth its money but of course it is very popular.  You really don’t have to go far from there to find somewhere nice and quiet to sit in the sun and watch the world go by.

    The dry weather we’ve been having allowed me to get out and about on my bike and also to do some climbing.  I had an outing with a couple of mates from the rescue team.  We did Little Chamonix which is a route on Shepherds’ Crag in Borrowdale.  It is a relatively easy, beautiful route in a fantastic setting and, climbing in the evening, we were the only ones on the crag.

    We have also been out walking with Daisy.  She is a lot bigger now so she is only carried when she tires– I still have to scoop her up and carry her up steep sections!  We have had some rain recently but we did need it - everything has been incredibly dry and we have been quite worried about fires for a while.  The danger isn't over yet but the vegetation is mopping up some much-needed moisture and the lake level is rising.

    Hi, It's Daisy
    Life is brilliant but I don't like the rain. Sunbathing is the best.

  • Our own amphitheatre!

    17:45 15 April 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    As I mentioned in the last post, much of this week has been spent working in the area around the shop at the lake-shore.

    A number of volunteers popped in to join me and help with constructing the sub-structure for the recycled decking that will be the base of the open-air classroom.  This is now being rather grandly referred to as an amphitheatre!  Eventually the base will be screened from the view of passing walkers by tree trunks that will also serve as seating.

    View from the 'amphitheatre'.
    There will also be an accessible ramp sweeping from the side of the shop around to a dirt-scree path behind the decking and then on to link with the path through Cockshot Wood. What we want to do is make it easy for as many people as possible to enjoy exploring the woods rather than just walking a tarmac road.

    As usual I had a steady stream of volunteers turning up and giving their skills, time and enthusiasm to push this project forward quickly.  We just could not achieve so much without them.

    Whilst we were working in the area around the shop, I had my attention drawn to a miniature garden on top of a short stretch of wall.  There will be hundreds or even thousands of people who pass it every day and don’t notice it.

    The hills, the lakes and even the trees are so big and splendid that they demand attention.  This little garden and many others wait for you to notice them.  So, when you pause in your exploring, it’s worth remembering to look at the small things. 

    Hi, it’s Daisy here.  I’ve been working with lots of new people and they’re all really friendly.  I’ve been saying “Hello” to people as they walked past me working outside the shop.  (I think that’s going to be my job.)

  • The Lakes at Easter

    14:47 08 April 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    Buttermere at Easter

    We have just had a superb Easter weekend.  The weather was brilliant, almost alpine with clear blue skies and lots of snow on the hills. In sunny, sheltered spaces it was even pleasantly warm.  So we had lots of visitors taking the opportunity to enjoy it.  Many visited our new shop and information point beside Derwentwater - it has been much admired

    This is the time of year when we begin patrolling the valley checking for inappropriate camping, potentially dangerous camp fires and discarded rubbish that needs to be cleared away.  Often these happen because people are really just not aware of the reasons for using a camp-site in an area like the valley.  Wild camping should not affect the enjoyment of others and should leave behind no lasting evidence that it ever took place.  Thankfully it was a busy few days with no problems.

    It is also the time of year when the Trust organises family activity days for Easter.  We had three in the North Lakes and I helped out with Mark’s Buttermere day and Chris’s Whitehaven day.  Andy organised the Borrowdale day.  

    Buttermere Easter event

    Whitehaven Easter event
    There were trails to follow, things to see and do, and the all-important Easter egg to take away at the end.  For me, it’s always interesting to spend time in different parts of our area.  At Whitehaven I spent part of my time showing children sea creatures and that’s not something I do in Borrowdale.  (They were all kept safe in a tank of sea-water and were returned to the sea at the end of the day.)

    This year we had record numbers of people taking part so it was a very successful holiday period.

    Hi, it's Daisy again:  Sunny is one of my oldest friends and I met him when I was less than eight weeks old. He came for a sleepover - for four sleeps. He's now my best friend.

News from Roy Henderson

Photo of Roy Henderson

I’m the National Trust ranger for Borrowdale and Newlands in the North Lakes, UK. I volunteered for the Trust when I came on the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme aged 13. I started by building a new fence on Friars Crag to tackle an erosion problem and making paths more accessible for people with limited mobility. I enjoyed it so much that I continued to volunteer until I left school and was lucky enough to get a job with the National Trust. After working for the Trust for 29 years, I still love the job.