Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Stylish New Gates?....Improving the access to Windermere's scenic North East shore at Jenkyn's Field.

Jenkyn's  (also known as Jenkins) Field is  situated on  the North East shore of Windermere and is only a few minutes walk from the busy tourist area of Waterhead.

Snow covered Langdale Pikes in March ......viewed from the Northern end of Jenkyn's Field.
Canoeists heading out from Jenkyn's Field.
Jenkyn's Field has gently sloping beaches,  and is well  worth a visit for the wonderful views across the lake.

Archie and Missie, with their well trained owner!
It is also an ideal place for a gentle walk, or a picnic and in warmer weather it is a popular base for swimmers.

Great North Swim. 2011. Viewed from Jenkyn's Field.
Many people watch the huge annual summer event - The Great North Swim - from here.

C'mon and Swim to The Beat.
50 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU'RE 11 3/4. Plenty of scope at Jenkyn's Field including
(5)  Skim a stone, (12)  Make a trail with sticks or, as illustrated,  (14)  Dam a stream.

The step stiles at either end of the field were replaced with gates in March 2014, making access to the permissive footpath much easier now.

The work was undertaken by rangers based at St Catherine's with funding from Golakes.

The wooden step stile at the Southern end of Jenkyn's Field before removal.
James, Area Ranger, getting serious with a "wrecking bar!".
The stile has been removed and the ground is being prepared to allow
 the impressive old limestone gate stoops to be brought back into use again.
What a difference! The new gate and steps. Much more inviting. So much easier to use.
Approaching the gate into Jenkyns Field. Acres of space.
 Quite a contrast with the busy A591 to the right.
As one walker put it. "This is such an easy place to get to...to get away from it all!"
For the more adventurous, there is a route around the rocky outcrop at Jenkyn's Field. 
First to go through the new gateway. Good to see the old gate stoops in use again
The stone step stile at the northern end. Narrow, awkward and not a very inviting access.

Work in progress.
The stone step stile removed........

...and replaced by a 4 foot gate and a stone step. Big improvement.

Where to go to next? Stagshaw Gardens and "The Tall Tree Trail" overlook Jenkyn's Field and are within easy reach. Champion trees include the tallest Grand Fir in England; it is also the tallest tree in Cumbria. See post: "Champion Trees of  Ambleside." The trail starts near the Stagshaw Garden's car park.


View of Jenkyn's Field, and the Champion Trees from the lake, and a hint of how Stagshaw Garden looks in April. (See images below)

Friday, 21 March 2014

High Close Volunteers

High Close Estate was left to the National Trust in 1951 and the house was leased to the Youth Hostel Association shortly afterwards. There would have once been nine gardeners employed to maintain the grounds at High Close, however much of the garden has been in disrepair for many years. Volunteers have taken ownership of the garden and begun work to clear back areas of rhododendron and reinstate the network of paths through the gardens.

After a break over the Christmas period, our volunteers have returned to High Close to continue their work.

While they were away……

The gardens were subject to the high winds over the last couple of months which has seen the loss of one of our large Rhododendrons.

The foresters winched the large root plate back into position and the ranger team cut the remaining stems and brash up to clear the pathway.

The hard work was left to the volunteer group who dragged and burned all the brash to make the site tidy.

Our Footpath Rangers have been hard at work over the last couple of months installing beautiful slate steps in the gardens to improve access and link the network of paths that the volunteers have been working on. The volunteers have been continuing with edging the paths to link into the steps

They have also begun work clearing and preparing the ground for seeding on the banking below the view point.

Another great days work by the team who we rely on to help continue to develop and reinstate the gardens at High Close. The volunteers will continue through the year to work on the footpath infrastructure and improving areas of the gardens to restore them to their former state

If you are interested in volunteering we are currently advertising for a Volunteer Coordinator for Grasmere and Great Langdale, to help us increase our volunteer numbers so we can continue the great work already started at High Close as well as working on new projects.

For more information:  Click Here

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Wordsworth's Daffodil Legacy-Sunday 23rd March

NGS Cumbria 'Wordsworth's Daffodil Legacy' Day 
Come and see us at Dora's field Rydal 11am to 4pm

  • Just before Easter 8 gardens will open to the public the length of Cumbria 'from Cartmel to Carlisle' to mark the Lake District's link with Wordsworth's 'host of golden daffodils'.
  • Wordsworth left a double legacy to the Lake District - not only his poem 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud', but also Dora's Field, which he planted with native daffodils in memory of his daughter. Opening Dora's Field last year was the starting point for all the openings.
  • Includes an eclectic mix of gardens- (Dora's Field & Acorn Bank are both National Trust properties)
    • South Cumbria - Dora's Field and Rydal Hall in Rydal, Eller Howe in Lindale, Holehird Gardens in Windermere,
    • North Cumbria - High Moss in Portinscale near Keswick, Newton Rigg Campus Gardens & Lowther Castle & Garden Trust near Penrith and Acorn Bank Garden & Watermill  in Temple Sowerby near Penrith.
  • The NGS, which celebrates its 87th anniversary this year, organises the opening of almost 4000 gardens in England & Wales.
  • In 2012, by opening their gardens, NGS Garden Owners raised £2.8m benefiting nursing & caring charities and horticultural education in England and Wales. 

Come and join us at Dora's field Rydal on Sunday 23rd March, enjoy the sea of yellow Daffs and chat to the Rangers about the Fields history and secrets.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Wynlass Beck after a night of heavy rainfall.

Blue the Border Collie. He was paddling in here yesterday morning!
Wynlass Beck was looking impressive in the morning  (7th of March) after a night of heavy rainfall.

Wynlass Beck flows through National Trust land at St Catherine's, and close to the straw bale building called The Footprint.
Blue decided to forgo his customary paddle in the beck; after some
  deliberation he considered discretion really was the better part of valour.
The Footprint alongside the fast flowing beck........
...........close to being in full spate.

                Wynlass Beck, now back to a more tranquil mood. 11th March.