The return to the fells is nigh!
March for the team is always an interesting time of year. There is always plenty of work to be finished off around the property but there is also the anticipation that fell season is so very nearly upon us. This year has been no different, but with snow still up on the fells in early April we are hoping the weather improves slightly for our return!
These daffs were clinging on up at Blea Tarn
Our main priorities this month have been a walling job on an unclassified road near Tilberthwaite and putting in some more slate edging at Claife Station Courtyard ready for it to open over Easter. But we’ve also found time to sneak up onto the fells a few times and remind our legs and bodies about the impeding return to the fells full time.
It was all go go go at Claife
With a Café opening at Claife, this was our key priority. Ably assisted with other Rangers and volunteers from the property we set about putting in another 30m of edging to define a path into the courtyard. With the stone collected by the team and Craig on hand to help dig the trenches with a digger, everything was looking good with everyone soon into the swing of things. Sure enough after 4.5 days and some great teamwork the edging was in and the Courtyard was looking really rather smashing just in time for the café to open.
Claifes Courtyard looking smashing just in time for opening
Meanwhile at Tilberthwaite the challenge was just as interesting! With off-road vehicles using the track it meant a few of the walls were at risk of being undercut and potentially collapsing onto the road rendering it unpassable. As such our stone working skills were requested to build a wall, under the wall, to protect the wall, simples! This project has also been the benefit of donations from the Green Lane Association, so thanks to anyone who donated.
The wall under a wall
Fell wise in March we got our project on Tongue Gill underway with the able assistance of volunteers who are going to be heading to Iceland for the summer. These volunteers come to the Lakes to undertake a weekend of training before heading out to Iceland to work on the footpaths there. It’s a programme run by the Icelandic Environment agency and Sarah, Clair, Liam and Jamie have all been to Iceland to volunteer themselves. Hopefully strong links have now been forged and this training in the Lakes will continue as it’s a great way to train the new volunteers and to get plenty of work done!
The Iceland team in the Lakes....
...and Sarah in Iceland (the orange waterproofs were pretty awesome!)
Finally we also managed to give our legs a good stretch by undertaking the Esk Haus drain run with a large group of Fix the Fells volunteers. With well over 20 of us on the fell a number of paths had a good spring clean and plenty of fun was had in the process. For now the fun will continue as we finish projects off and start heading to the hills, probably with heli bags in tow in the first instance!
To keep up to date with the team follow us on Twitter @ntlakesfells