Thursday, 26 July 2012

Secrets of the Ranger – The Cat and the Ferret

So how do you trace the route of a drain deep underground?  With a CAT and a ‘ferret-finder’ of course!

Let me explain….

The ‘ferret-finder’ is a device that screws onto the end of a drain rod, and emits a signal picked up by the CAT.  This is slid along the drain until a blockage is found.

Ray here with the CAT (Cable Avoiding Tool) which acts like a metal detector.  He sweeps it over the ground and it gives a loud beep when it locates the 'ferret-finder'.

Roland then slowly inserts the drain rods with the ‘ferret-finder’ on the end into the blocked drain.

X (or an arrow!) marks the spot.  Here is the blockage so we know where to dig.

No animals were actually needed for this task but 50 drain rods were!

Look out for more Secrets of the Ranger!

Ben Knipe
Area Ranger
Windermere & Troutbeck

Friday, 13 July 2012

A Bowness walk made even easier

This month the Windermere rangers have been busy working on a small project which will make a big difference to so many walkers.

Post Knott is a pretty field with a rock outcrop that looks over Bowness and Lake Windermere. 

It has a well used path through it which is wide and gentle until….you reach a tall wooden ladder stile.

The offending stile.  Easy for some to pass over, but difficult for many others.

With permission of the neighbour we set about taking this ‘dog stopper’ down and replacing it with a kissing gate.  This will allow those walkers with less mobility, walkers with push-chairs and dogs to pass through with great ease and safety.

Now over to the visitors of Post Knott and your comments on our work here….

“For us having a small dog those steps are quite tricky”

“That’s the worst one and the highest one”

“In wet weather they could be quite slippery, which is fine if you’re able”

“It’s the first time we’ve come across steps as high as that”

“About time it happened, it has been like that for too long!”
No guesswork was used as this was built to British Standards! (BS5709 to be exact).

“It will open it up to many more people”
Roland, one of the Windermere rangers is building a new quoin end to the wall.

“I think as walkers you just don’t appreciate how much work goes into the upkeep to make it easier for us”
No more nails.  Care and precision, and a dry spell in the weather was used to build the wooden pen.

“You can appreciate why the NT needs so much help from the public, it’s free for us to do this walk but in fact it’s quite an expensive upkeep”
The finished kissing gate with Brantfell in the background.

“As walkers we think you (the National Trust) are a very important body”
Walkers and their 4-legged friends enjoying the new gate.

“I think what you guys do is fantastic and the Lake District wouldn’t be the Lake District without you guys”

Post Knott is South East of Bowness on the way up to Brantfell, just a short detour from the start of the Dales Way long distance footpath.

It is a quiet, dog friendly location with great views over Lake Windermere and a perfect place to take a picnic and unwind with nothing but the sound of crickets on a sunny afternoon.

Ben Knipe
Area Ranger, Windermere & Troutbeck

Monday, 9 July 2012

Working Holidays

Working holidays have been going since 1967 and make a real contribution in engaging supporters, environmental understanding, conservation activities, budget savings and meeting our mission.
Participants join interesting activities, learn new skills, have new experiences and provide thousands of work hours.

Groups are over 18 years old, up to 12 people and have a volunteer leader and assistant. They stay in bunkhouses or cottages and cook good meals. 16 to 18 year olds can do Youth Discovery working holidays and their Duke of Edinburgh’s award.

Working holiday activities range from hedge laying to charcoal making, walled gardening to cider making, moorland surveys to conserving collections, winter crafts to John Muir discovery awards. Many combine these activities with leisure activities such as photography or surfing.

Working closely with properties and locations, the holiday’s team help to develop and assist a programme of week holidays and short breaks across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To find out more or get involved follow this link Working holidays