South Lakes Update Oct 2013

You've probably all felt the change in the air over the past few days; jumpers are being donned, hats dusted off, the smell of wood smoke in the air, upland rangers sighted in offices once more...it's all a sign that autumn is indeed upon us!

For us this means we begin our steady return to the lowlands and finish off all our upland projects for the year.  As you will have read in previous updates (Team Update July 2013) the main project this year has been Fairfield and what a splendid project it has been, with some splendid views, one of which can be seen below.  What a treat to arrive to your office and see this!

Ian enjoying the view

It is a shame however that this picture was taken a week after our working holiday.  This year we had a full contingent of 12 volunteers from across the country who had all choosen to come and spend a week with us learning about upland footpath construction and repair.  It just so happens that the week they all came was some of the most miserable weather we've all seen this summer, this picture pretty much sums it up!

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Battling through the wind and rain!

Despite the weather being quite so terrible the group were fantastic and kept smiling all week.  They also really helped us progress the projects at Fairfield and Blea Tarn.  More can be read about their week on our other blog here- http://countryside-catchup.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/making-splash.html.  Thanks again gang!

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The working holiday group in a brief spell of sunshine!

With the working holiday assistance there really wasn't much left for us to finish up on Fairfield, so given a few more days to tidy up the landscaping and get the last few pitching stones in, the job was completed.  Hurrah! And a mighty fine job it was aswell.  See the before and after photos below to see the differece we've made, or even better go and give it a try yourself!

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Before work was started the scar was quite large and there was evidence of it getting larger still!

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Once work was completed we had created one sustainable line for people to use.

With Fairfield all tidied up, we were left with our final summer project at Blea Tarn to finish off.  The beauty of this project is its close proximity not only to our office but also the road!  This means we could return to a standard five day working week and begin to show our faces in the office once more.  It is also a great worksite for volunteers, so where we can we have been using volunteer groups to help us out.  This is where Kirklees College came in very handy recently.  With 19 Students and 2 leaders we had 2 days where we could hit the path hard and get a large amount of the remaining work complete, again a massive help towards the completion of the project!

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The Kirklees army working on the path at Blea tarn Moss.

So between the working holiday and our army of helpers from Kirklees, we've managed to do a pretty good job of tying up any loose ends from the summer work programme.  This means our attentions can now move to our winter work and I tell you what there are some bostin projects thrown in their.  Our attentions to start with will be at Moss eccles where we have been asked to replace the pitching from behind the dam after the levels were raised slightly following an annual inspection.  While working there we feel it would be a shame not to indulge in some eccles cakes...

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Speccing the moss eccles work

Once this is done we shall be looking at one of the paths coming up and out of Cathedral Quarry that has suffered with quite a bit of water damage.  It is also inevitable that we shall have our fair share of wall gaps and general property maintenance to deal with too.  Before all that though we shall enjoy our last few weeks on the fells enjoying views like this, we recommend you do to!

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Blea Tarn

By Sarah

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