South Lakes March update
To celebrate Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday, the National Trust hosted its first Children’s Book Festival. There was a great buzz at the weekend as a hive of activities filled all rooms and spaces throughout the castle. You were able to meet and interact with authors, illustrators and publishers of many popular children’s books during sessions. Other activities included face painting and contributing to a bird art installation by colouring in your own bird.
One of the authors wrote the story of Stick Man, which tells of his courageous journey back to his family tree. This captured the imagination of children at Wray castle, as Stick Man came alive. The raft build activity soon evolved into making stick men inspired by the family below.
Stickman. Family making Stickman.
There are several positive comments on walking forums/blogs about Bracken Hause path such as ‘excellent the zig-zag path down to the valley’ and that ‘you hardly notice that you are descending’. The annual maintenance on this benched path involves reinstating the width for walkers and the slope of the path so the water off it and not down it.
Fix the fells work party at Bracken Hause.
The Environment Agency of Iceland (Umhverfisstofnun) manages 108 protected areas (out of 110) and hosts volunteers from all over the world and works closely with a several international organisations. Each summer about 200 international volunteers take part in the Environment Agency conservation programme.
Well marked trails help to protect fragile areas from the effects of trampling by encouraging hikers to keep to the paths, however these trails have to be maintained so hikers stick to them.
Some of the volunteers that had previously worked on the trails in Iceland where going to become group leaders for the following season. As part of that training they come to the Lake District gaining new skills in repairing and building water bars and fell style drains.
Iceland group using rock carrier.
Assessing drain repair
As part of the National Trusts internal volunteering opportunities, staff are encouraged to work for a day on another part of the property. Ioan the Visitor Experience manager chose to come out Bag filling for the Ravens Edge Fix the Fells project.
Bag filling of a different sort
Man down….chortle chortle
Fell Foot farm
The majority of wildlife requires cover; a refuge from the extremes of weather, spots to hunt or hide. Scrub habitat proves great dense cover for a variety of species however a lot of this habitat has been lost to livestock and other grazing animals.
At Fell foot farm in Little Langdale scrub cages have been built along some of the water tributes. This cages protect some existing scrub and have been planted with further species; hawthorn, blackthorn, oak, birch, rowan to improve habitat and diversification.
Another task at Fell Foot farm has been to improve the water quality within the catchment. Working in partnership with South Cumbria Rivers Trust several new bridges have been built helping to prevent livestock from using the water channels for access.
Thanks to a generous donor a new Fix the Fells shed at St Catherine’s, Windermere had now been built and supplied with tools.