As winter's roll call of storms sweeps relentlessy we look forward to Spring
October and November witnessed the descent back into Wasdale from Black Sail Pass. As the sun's rays lowered behind the upturned hull of Yewbarrow the last of the stone was slotted into place a few hundred metres above the fell gate, with the gullied edges landscaped out with a fringe of soil and turf.
Some of the associated landscaping work will require further attention in spring, as November is never an ideal time for the rearranging of vegetation.
Winter estate work began in late November as we helped host a hedge laying working holiday in Nether Wasdale. In December we stayed in Wasdale with more wall rebuilding on Hollow Moor at the western end of the valley, looking out to sea yet with a panoramic view of the Scafell massif. We aimed to complete a length of wall we had begun last year, achieving this target in early February.
Being positioned on the first bit of high ground inland from the coastal plain we were ideally placed to keep an eye out for the relentless procession of storms sweeping in from the Hibernian Ocean (irish sea). This sunny day occured just before Imogen arrived.
An unplanned extra saw us head across to Borrowdale to help with repairing some of the damage caused by the latest once in a lifetime flood. We concentrated on a wheelchair accessible path terracing along the side of Catbells which had large sections of it's surface material scoured away and deposited on the road below.
Over four days we managed to scrape most of it off the road and back onto the path. Further along the hillside we reinstated a stone causeway across a small ravine which had been completely destroyed by the explosion of water which thundered down the side of Catbells on December the 6th. As this is a popular mountain bike route which is also wheelchair accessible the repair was a priority task and was soon tested before we even had time to scrape away all the nearby debris.
Into the new year we had another burst of tree planting, something which we have done every winter for the last few years. This time we headed to the Duddon valley at Troutal Farm, in the course of two days planting close to 2,000 trees along with the tenant and several members of his family.
As spring theoretically waits around the corner we will be spending some time at Wasdale Head helping with more upgrading of the Lakehead car park before setting out from there armed with helibags for the usual burst of bag filling in anticipation of a helicopter arriving in late April