News from Roy Henderson for November 2013

  • A woodland walk and some more seating.

    14:41 27 November 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    During last weekend two of my regular volunteers joined me to install another seat at the amphitheatre beside the Trust shop.  We had intended to install two but we couldn’t manage to start up the large, self-loading, powered wheel barrow.  

    These are pretty big chunks of wood to be man-handling so we only managed the one this time.  However, there is now a bit more seating where there are fantastic views over Derwentwater.

    We’ve also had a few Rangers working on the path in Cockshott Wood so there is now an accessible path around the wood for wheelchair and pram users.  The newest bits are looking a bit raw at present but in a few weeks they will have weathered in nicely.  So there’s been quite a leap forward in that project and we hope many more people will now be able to enjoy much more of the area around the shop.

    One of the nice things about walking around this path is just enjoying being in a tunnel of trees with lots of dry leaves underfoot.  It’s great fun for kids (big and little ones!) and dogs to charge around scattering them.

    Daisy here:

    Roy says it’s too cold to go in the lake but I think it’s great – a little bit cold maybe.

  • The good and the ugly.

    15:50 22 November 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    I sadly attended the funeral last week of Allan Alcock, a good friend from the Mountain Rescue team.  He had been an active member of the team since 1968.  Allan was one of the mainstays who was constantly sorting out the kit and the vehicles.  He always had a friendly word and is going to be much missed.

    In last week’s post I mentioned wild camping on the high fells and how it can be a fantastic experience when it is done well.  A good wild camp will leave behind no damage, no debris and no lasting sign that it ever happened.  It is something that we encourage.  Unfortunately that is not always what happens.

    Last weekend we had a joint working party with the National Park rangers and volunteers and one of the things we did was clear up the site shown in the pictures.  Clearly a large group had decided to party in one of the woods in Borrowdale.  They had cut down some small trees to have a fire.  They left behind all their rubbish including bottles and had even smashed some of them.  Why do that?

    Thankfully the National Park rangers and volunteers joined me in clearing it all away to return the site to a safe and clean condition for others to enjoy.  It puzzles me that people would make the effort to seek out a beautiful place and then spoil it.  It is very easy to go and enjoy a beautiful part of the countryside without wrecking it.

    Hi, it’s Daisy here.

    I’ve been for a job interview.  I’m going to be a search dog.  Well, I’ve got a lot of work to do first.  There’s lots of training to do and there’s exams you have to pass but I reckon I’ll be great.
  • Winter has arrived.

    18:12 15 November 2013
    By Roy Henderson

    Last weekend saw me with friends from the Rescue Team making the trip to the summit of Great Gable to join others for Remembrance Sunday.   

    There was quite a lot of snow underfoot and we walked up through cloud. 
    Daisy came with us and she enjoyed herself running around in the snow. 

    We noticed on the way down a group wild-camping at Styhead Tarn – a fantastic place to camp and done properly, they would leave no lasting impact on the site.  

    By the time we were making our way down, the cloud had cleared so a couple of guys were able to paraglide back down to Seathwaite.  What a great way to come off the hill although one of them said he was doing it for the benefit of his knees!  

    During the week I worked with Jack and Joe on continuing to bring the Cockshott Wood footpath up to an access-for-all standard.  It will take some time to complete this but we hope eventually it will be possible for wheel-chair users to start at the Trust shop, visit Friars Crag then continue along the Lake shore circling back through Cockshott  Wood. Or enjoy a quiet woodland walk around Cockshott.

    I also spent some time at Braithwaite Schoolworking with their Gardening Club.  We have levelled an area of their grounds where they are going to make a wild flower meadow this Spring and Summer.  We are planning to bring to the school a bale from one of our local farms that has good hay meadows so that we're not importing different genetic strains into the area.  It's also a lot cheaper than buying commercial seed.

    Hi, it’s Daisy here. 

    I’ve been up Gable.  I went up when I was little but Roy carried me last time.  This time I went all the way on my own.  It was great.
  • A bonfire in a downpour.

    19:33 10 November 2013
    By Roy Henderson

     We’ve had some weather this last week including a sprinkling of snow on the tops which is fantastic to see.  And of course it was the time for the bonfire celebrations.  We had it on Crow Park which is next to Derwentwater.  It is a beautiful place but, if the weather is bad, it is especially so there.  It just drives in off the lake.  But we just have to go ahead no matter what. So I was really pleased to see as many people turn up as did considering the weather.  It came in waves with not very wet followed by very wet!

    But it was great to see the people who did come along to enjoy the bonfire.

    A lot of our events are weather dependent but you just have to go ahead no matter what.  What happens of course is that the people who do turn up despite the weather intend to enjoy themselves so they do.  Those who came all seemed to have a good time.  The kids loved seeing a big fire with all the sparks flying.

    Weather wasn't so good on the clean-up day either!

    Daisy here.

    Che’s been to stay and it was great.  He said it was OK if we slept on the settee.  Roy didn’t seem to think so.

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.