Feb Team Update 2016

The team have been carrying out their usual mix of winter work for the Property and this has included building and repairing many tree cages, walling work and general groundwork tasks in the grounds of Wray castle and Hill Top.  We’ve also had some days on the hills with the Fix the Fells Lengthsmen at Holerake and Wansfell.  During the winter months it can be difficult to work on the higher level paths for obvious reasons and so these low level routes are perfect for a spot of maintenance at this time of year. 


Work on the lower sections of Holerake

The work at Holerake mainly consisted of eliminating eroded side routes that if left unchecked, could become a bigger problem months down the line.  The work at Wansfell was of a similar nature.  The picture below was taken in the summer, showing a new unwanted line being formed to the right of the path.  This eroded line has now become a gully which channels the water, exasperating the problem.  There is already a new path line developing further to the right, where the grass is flattened, which will eventually result in more erosion.


Before: - Developing side path running adjacent to the pitched path


After: - The side path has been landscaped out

As mentioned before, these photos were taken in the summer but we have now extended the new landscaping further down the path line this winter.  We’ll have to see how it develops over time to see if we’re going to be successful with our work on Wansfell.

The team are now also rapidly thinking about this year’s season on the fell and although most of the planning has been done, it’s now all about the fine tuning of those plans.  We have many different groups that come out to help the team each year and so it’s a case of thinking which group is best where.  We may have a group come in that are more suited to low level paths and so somewhere like Gummers Howe might be best.


Section of work to be tackled this year at Gummers Howe

It might be that a certain group really enjoy a long walk in and so our remotest work site this year is Far Easedale, which takes over an hour to get to.  For those that want to get away from it all then the tucked away worksite at Thresthwaite Cove must be appealing.  This project mainly involves repairing pitched sections of path.


Thresthwaite Cove

We also will have a return to Striding and Swirral Edges and complete more path work at Goats Water, Swirls and on Dollywaggon Pike.  As spring rapidly approaches, one task the team definitely have to start thinking about is helicopter bag filling.  For the team this year it’s around 100 bags that need to be filled.


Helicopter Bag Filling

As this update is being written, the team is in a bit of a transitional stage.  Come the end of March, three of the existing team members will have moved on to different things.  One is trying a different role with in the National Trust, one is going on a long holiday to South America and one is heading for pastures new.  It’s always a sad time for such an established team to be breaking up as there have been many happy memories but as one chapter ends, another begins in the story of the South Lakes Path Team.


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