Thursday, 19 January 2017

Wordsworth Daffodils 'I wandered lonely as a cloud'

The beginning of the year always sees Wordsworth point being prepared for Daffodil season. After a summer of Bracken growth the area needs strimming and clearing to allow this year’s Daffodils a chance to grow through.



This area is called Wordsworth point; because it is supposedly the spot that inspired William Wordsworth to write is famous poem ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’. Dorothy Wordsworth, Williams sister said in her journal that she had never seen ‘daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness & the rest tossed and reeled and danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing’.


Every January before the bulbs have a chance to send up a shoot, the area is strimmed.



This picture was taken on January 17 and already a few where beginning to appear from the undergrowth.



As well as clearing the bracken and brambles it was decided this year that a bit of the natural regeneration would be cleared from the road side, to allow motorist the chance to see the daffodils as they are passing by.



This involved cutting back any small sycamore that had started growing and clearing any hazel stands that had started to get out of control.



This work has much improved the area and will hopefully allow some more light in to help the daffodils to flourish.


If you are around Ullswater in spring, please go down and have a look at the colorful showing. Or even better pop into the welcome building at Aira Force car park to pick up a Daffodil walk that takes you along the lake shore finishing at Wordsworth Daffodils.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Volunteers 2016

Some examples of the work volunteers have been involved with in the Central and East Lakes region over the course of 2016.

A special thank-you to all the volunteers who helped in the clean up in the Central and East Lakes region after the devastating damage caused by a succession of storms in December 2015.

Thanks also to the volunteers who throughout 2016 have been an invaluable help on various projects...including...
Cumbria NT Volunteers "bracken bashing" around juniper trees..Langdale.

Working Holiday Group putting in new steps at Millerground....
... major upgrade works to Millerground path...
...and lake-shore revetment work.
Cumbria NT Volunteers "plug planting" wild flowers near Grasmere.

Windermere School involved with touch me not balsam and netted carpet moth conservation work at St. Catherine's.

Reinstating the pond in the walled garden at St. Catherine's.
Volunteers resurfacing footpath at Ullswater during "Fix The Fells Day".

Volunteers from Stickle Barn involved with Himalayan balsam control at Elterwater.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Downed beech tree across a footpath.

On the way to do some tree planting... (Wednesday November 30th) on land belonging to The Howe Farm at Troutbeck, above Windermere,... this fallen beech across the footpath was discovered!
The tree had come down in the recent high winds partially blocking the footpath with the crown resting on a neighbour's property. The next day, Liam, forester ranger based at St. Catherines, can be seen here working out the best approach to deal with the tree.
Jess from High Close, who like Liam is also qualified to do large tree felling, was able to give assistance at very short notice. With warning signs set up and a lookout in place to warn walkers using the footpath work began.
In this image Jess has reduced the crown of the tree. Most of the wood will be cross cut and used for firewood... (after seasoning)... in the NT Footprint wood-burner.
Here Liam is cutting more sections out of the tree trunk to further reduce its weight prior to "felling" it..
Above and below.
Working down to where the tree is resting on the bank.
A robin popped by to see what was going on.
Finally the main trunk was winched to the side of the path and out of the way, ready to be dealt with later.
Jess kindly volunteered to do the winching.
Liam and Jess...what a team!
The first of many loads of wood on the way to St. Catherine's with the wood-burner as the final destination.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

The walled garden pond...St. Catherine's.

Academy ranger Bruna Remesso, with volunteer help, has done a great deal of work in the walled garden at St Catherine's this year.
One of the jobs she undertook was to reinstate the old pond. It was dug out afresh and a new pond liner was put in place.
Stone dredged out of Troutbeck, after Storm Desmond, was selected to be used for landscaping the area around the pond. 
A volunteer group from Windermere School, who help out on most Thursday afternoons on various tasks, began landscaping work with Bruna.
A busy scene unfolds!
Smaller stones were put in buckets and...
...carried over to the pond.
looking promising.
Really taking shape.
Almost done. Approximately two and a half tons of stone was used for the pond.
The large rounds of wood floating  in the pond are alder. They have had large holes drilled in them as refuge sites for frogs and newts; hopefully they will colonise the pond.
The Windermere School group with Bruna on the right.
Julie King, Director of student pathways and careers at Windermere School, quite literally threw herself into the task, giving the term pond dipping a whole new meaning. She also ably demonstrated just how deep the pond was!