Volunteers & Rangers from Scotland & Wales help Fix the Fells
High Wray Basecamp volunteer centre was honoured recently to be the hosts for a splendid weekend of upland path erosion control, where we worked with and provided the accommodation for many of the Fix the Fells lengthsmen, 8 National Trust for Scotlandworking holiday leaders and a Ranger from the National Trust in Snowdonia.
We were working on the path from Red Tarn to Crinkle Crags, which is a big ongoing project this year. There’s lots of different sections to this path and the stretch we were tackling really benefited from so many volunteers helping us with what was a massive task. The site had a developing shortcut where walkers were cutting a corner from the path which if left would widen out to become another erosion scar. To deal with this we planned to hide the shortcut along with realigning and improving the path itself. Easier said than done though, the shortcut headed across a wide and flat piece of hillside so a few rocks dug in weren’t going to do it – they’d be too easy to walk round and wouldn’t hide the very obvious line heading across the hillside. So, with our army of volunteers and staff we dug the turf off huge areas, dug out hollows and piled up small mounds, then put the turf back to make a lumpy and bumpy landscape that is far less appealing to walk on and blocks the line of view of the shortcut. Coupled with this we straightened out the main path and reduced the amount it kinked off to the left, then graded in the surface and removed any bigger rocks to make it easier and more appealing to walk on.
At the end of three days of hard work we think we’ve made great strides towards helping this bit of fellside recover and be in great shape for many years to come. To cap what was a brilliant weekend we had great weather all three days, which certainly helped on the work sites but also with Saturday night’s barbecue back at Basecamp. A great chance to swap tales, ideas and experiences with people from other areas.
We’d like to say thanks to all involved; The Scottish and Welsh volunteers who had a long journey to come and help us out, the Fix the Fells lengthsmen who are always ready to muck in on big tasks and the Southern, Northern and Western valleys upland path teams without who’s help we’d have struggled to arrange this weekend. Now we’ll look forward to next year!