Wednesday, 28 October 2015

High Lickbarrow Farm.


High Lickbarrow Farm.

High Lickbarrow Farm, near Windermere,  has been bequeathed to the National Trust by Mr Michael Bottomley who sadly died last January.

The Gateway to the front garden seen from the front door.

Fine topiary work on yew and box leading up to the front door of the farmhouse.

The farm possesses fifty hectares of land,  half of which is SSSI. (Site of special scientific interest), a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the UK.

High Lickbarrow has some of the finest unspoilt pasture land in the South Lakes region with many species of wildflowers to be seen during the Summer months.

The farm is home to the Scoutbeck herd of Albion cattle. This herd was founded by Michael Bottomley's late sister, Libby.

It is not entirely certain as to whether the breed became extinct during foot and mouth epidemics and was re-established later or was preserved during these times.

The Albion Cattle Society are..."dedicated to raising public awareness of this dying breed and help save it from extinction".

Ongoing work at this truly exceptional and unique farm includes tidying up the 'cottage garden'.....

Before...

during...

and, well it's a work in progress!

'Lopping' back the undergrowth to locate...

....the septic tank. We get all the best jobs!

Kim has worked really hard to improve the front garden.

Lots of work still to do... but it's a start. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Iron railings – Cow Bridge

In the autumn of 2009 Cumbria was hit by devastating floods. Here in Ullswater, river banks were destroyed, fields were flooded and dry stone walls demolished.

At the top of the valley, near Brothers water there was a particularly bad section of wall that had been washed away during these floods.


A temporary fence had been erected, whilst a decision was made on how this section of wall should be repaired.

The fence had become slightly more permanent, but at the beginning of this year it was decided that instead of re building the wall an iron railing fence should be installed instead. This decision was made mainly because of the threat of further flooding. Whilst the iron railings would keep the stock in the field, it would allow any potential flood water to flow through the railings with minimal damage.

The base of the wall was left in place, as there was a considerable difference in height from the field to the road.


The brambles and grass were cut back and holes where dug every 2.5m. These holes were for the uprights


The uprights were then cemented into place, so that there was no fear (should there be another flood) of the fence getting washed away.

Once all the uprights had been cemented into place the fence was starting to take shape.


Before the cement had completely set it was essential that all the uprights were straight and in line with each other

  
Thanks to the time and effort spent in making sure that the uprights were all inline we could start threading the top bar through the holes.


Once all the bars had been threaded through, it was down to our local black smith to weld all the pieces together.


This finished off the fence and helped bring real rigidity to the finished product.

Hopefully we won’t see the likes of the floods we had in 2009, but if we do we know that this section of fence will be ready.



Monday, 5 October 2015

Hartsop bridge repair

Bridge repairs at Hartsop.

One of our roles as Rangers, is to work alongside tenant farmers in helping to maintain, boundary walls, gates and fences on their farm land and in this case a bridge.


As you can see from this picture the bridge had become very worn, with numerous holes starting to appear.

The plan was to re-use the steel girders that the rotten beams where sat on. New timbers had been ordered from our in house saw mill based at Boon Crag near Coniston.


They were very heavy

The old beams where cut out and the new ones placed onto the steel girder


They were then bolted into place.


It was a very fiddly job to get the nut screwed onto the bottom of the bolt!

Some of the new beams didn’t match up to the previous holes that had been drilled into the girder, this meant new ones had to be drilled.


Although the girder was well over 10 years old and looked like it had seen better days. It was still extremely strong.

A few alterations had to be made to the final beams, so that they fitted around the old fence posts.



A chainsaw was slightly quicker than using a hand saw!

Once the final beams had been slotted into place, it was clear to see the huge improvement we had made.





The farmers cattle were now safe to cross the bridge once more.