26 November 2016

Fell Season 2016




The South Lakes upland footpath team have been hard at it Fixing the Fells this year, whilst on our travels we've encountered wild weather, mountain mists, a healthy dose of hard working volunteers and one or two foot paths.

We've had projects running all over the Lakes and helped out some of the other teams too! Here's a rundown of some of the jobs we've been getting up to.  


Threshthwaite Cove

Threshthwaite Cove & Raven Crag
Threshthwaite Cove is a beautiful quiet valley (if not a little windy at the best of times!) situated near Hartsop.

Erosion scar before


After landscaping

Thresthwaite is a very damp place indeed and the path suffers a great deal from flowing water and foot fall. Above we have tried to define a path line and re-vegetate the damaged areas. 



Working holiday group





Working with different volunteer groups we carried out work all the way along the valley including installation of rock stepping stones, path definition and drain building.







Sca Fell Pike

Wasdale Valley
From time to time the upland teams like to help each other out, earlier in the year we had the chance to go to the dramatic wild west-ern fells to work on Sca Fell Pike.


West Lakes team on brown tongue. Wastwater at the back.
Path widening















Brown Tongue is a popular route up England's highest mountain and can be incredibly busy all year round. To reduce erosion and help accommodate the vast numbers of feet on the hill the path from bottom to top (its a big path, trust me!) is being widened. In the picture to the right you can see the new and wider pitching merging into the older path which is soon to be replaced.

Dolly Wagon PIke & Fairfield

We have have been paying some attention to the hills surrounding the popular Grisedale Tarn. With many a hard working volunteer group and help from both the Western and Northern upland teams we've been landscaping out side routes and placing stepping stones over sensitive peat bog. And look here some kindly fellow has labeled the hills just in case!!  

Working holiday


Opposite direction!


Below is a section of much needed pitching Nick put in near the summit of Dolly Wagon Pike. 




Helvellyn

Helvellyn is an understandably popular mountain which on a clear day rewards anyone who ventures up there with stunning views of the whole of the Lake district and beyond to up to Scotland and the Howgills to the east. It's therefore unsurprising to hear that we concentrate a great deal of effort up here.  

Thirlmere from Brown Cove Crags
Stone pitching put in this summer

Striding Edge 

Striding Edge suffers a great deal of erosion along the sides of the crest of the ridge so it would be impolite for 'Fix The Fells' to not go and visit and chip away at the on going work up there.  


Erosion Scar








Landscaped out! 

Goats Hause

To end the fell season we decided to do a bit of work in our own back yard and our focus turned to Goats Hause which is the col between Coniston Old man and Dow Crag. This project was funded by EOCA or the European Outdoor Conservation Association, you may have seen/heard coverage of this earlier in the year on the TV or Wireless! There is a huge amount of damage to the vegetation in this area so we have been using the usual techniques to reduce this.

The Fix The Fells lengthsmen hard at work landscaping


The above drain finished is now being blended in with its surroundings. Below we are trying to encourage people to use a path line that will erode less quickly


After
Before

























I

In the photo above, the path is relatively thin however it was three times as wide before the area to the left of the path was landscaped out. 


It's not a bad place to have lunch either......




So that's it for the fells for 2016 and next year's work plan is already in the pipeline, for now we're all having a well deserved break by getting on with some good old fashioned hard work down in the lowlands. 

Thanks for reading


4 November 2016

Claife Viewing Station - Facelift



Looking Spectacular

As we get older we all need a little extra help to keep ourselves  looking spectacular !


Looking hairy


 For me it’s  my increasingly  hairy ears, nose  and eyebrows that require just that little bit more time spent in front of a magnifying mirror with the scissors and Remington nasal hair trimmer to ensure that I don’t start looking like the lovechild of Brian Blessed and  Chewbacca  !  



Must See Destination




At 238 years old Claife Viewing Station is no different and  needs a little love and attention to keep it looking as it should . The Viewing Station was once a ‘must see’ destination  for the very earliest tourists to the Lake District, when their traditional ‘Grand Tour ‘ of Europe was too dangerous an undertaking  due to the French Revolution .


The Station,  a now ruined building, lay  hidden in the woods for decades until it   re-opened to the public  last year after a £1/2 million pound  facelift and we continue  with the care by restoring the landscape around the Viewing Station itself,  so that the present day experience is as close to the original as possible.


Thrilling Dramatic Wild !




This week as part of our landscaping works, we have been planting 750 heather plants with the assistance of a couple of volunteer groups. We have also removed young self sown birch trees and in the near future will be removing more cherry laurel to expose more of the bare rock faces around the Station. All of this is being done to create a more thrilling , dramatic ’wild’ experience for our visitors.




Come and  see for yourselves , Claife Viewing Station is open all year round  as is the Courtyard cafĂ©. Located on the West shore of Lake Windermere, Far Sawrey,Ambleside, Cumbria.


https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/claife-viewing-station-and-windermere-west-shore

21 October 2016







The Basecamp Toolstore...A Photo Essay.




In early September we held a green woodworking holiday, using traditional techniques to build a new Basecamp toolstore. This is that story...




 Removing the old shipping container…careful not to take the toilet block out while you’re at it…
 …or the small dog…!

Sayonara shipping container! You have served us well but we need an upgrade





OK, let’s cover all the surfaces. Things are about to get serious





“Here’s one I made earlier”…Our woodland Ranger, and Project Manager – Richard, briefing the troops, with the woodstore built on a previous holiday as an example.





Hmmm, that’s a lot of wood. A few daunted looking faces there…





Let’s get to it! This toolstore ain’t gonna build itself…

Especially if the boss is sitting down on the job.


Measure twice, cut once, as they say…We had to get measurements spot on to make sure everything would fit together perfectly


…But preferably not your own fingers – Eyes down Gary!


Show him how it’s done Jane! Textbook sawing...


Second-in-command Claire overseeing a measurement. Any errors meant holidaymakers were put on half-rations…


Concentrating hard on getting that jowl post right…at least the sun’s shining


An industrious scene, little changed from the Middle Ages…


Another timeless technique – here’s Tony making the wooden pegs for the frame. These were traditionally used to avoid costly iron nails (a tradition kept alive by National trust budgets).


…And relax…


Making sure the frame fits together…with a little gentle persuasion from Mr Sledgehammer.


Ged the dog overseeing on-site assembly.


Lots of fun was had putting the frame together…


Watch out for that car window! I don’t think my insurance covers oak-framed timber buildings.


The finished frame, and a happy bunch of campers…


But the toolstore wasn’t finished no siree…Richard and Claire came back with regular volunteers John and Ian to carry on with the roof and cladding


Hard at work to get it finished (most of us)


Gadzooks! Almost finished and looking great…Just needs a roof and a door and she’s good to go…come back soon guys!!

TO BE CONTINUED.....