Basecamp Spring Update 2013
Up at the volunteer centre we’ve avoided the worst but have still been caught out by bad weather a couple of times this winter. A planned day finishing off the drystone wall we’d started last summer with the Fix the Fells lengthsmen was snowed off. We still went walling though, but indoors at Wray Castle. We were building an example wall in a room there that demonstrates many aspects of the countryside. It made for a very different day and it’s good to think that lots of visitors will be admiring the lengthsmens work!
We’re hoping for better weather for later in the year with the lengthsmen when we have a summer mega bash planned. For three days they’ll be staying at the Basecamp and walking up to work with us and the upland path teams on the path at the top of Stake Pass. It’s very boggy, causing lots of damage to the delicate upland environment as people hop around avoiding the worst of the bogs, so we’ll be extending the new sustainable path we started last year with some of our working holidays.
This year we’ll also be working with a number of volunteer groups and the South Lakes path team on a path from the bottom of Wrynose pass to Blea Tarn. It’s a good varied job with all sorts of different tasks from stone drains and pitching to closing off shortcut routes and collapsing overhanging peat hags. We went to look at it with the path team and were glad they’d already written the spec as it was the day after heavy snowfall, so we had to use our imaginations and experience to picture the actual work!
Mostly though, it’s been fine, which has enabled us to get a good busy start to the year. We’ve been brushing up on our path building skills by finishing off the new path we started at Wray Bay in August 2011. A group of local young people staying at the nearby Brathay centre worked on this with us as part of a Princes Trust project and had such good weather they even arrived by boat! Littledale Hall, one of the rehabilitation centres that regularly visits us came for the day we laid the last turf. Both of these groups had plenty of their number who’d never done anything like this before and were planning to come back with friends and family to show them ‘their bit’ of path. With the new season starting we’re looking forward to giving many more people this chance over the year.