Now We Are Four (again)
Returning from the Easter break we began by finishing remnants of last years Jubilee Bridge work at the bottom of Hardknott Pass.
To stop stream debris burying the start of the path we built a stone and turf retaining bank to allow water to continue to flow without bringing rubble with it.
The debris which Liam and new team member Sam Corran (signed on a free transfer from Wasdale Campsite where he has been working for the last few years) are clearing was previously making the path very difficult to follow comfortably, and was cascading from the stream above the path
Using boulders put aside from last year we raised a barrier to catch the debris and topped it with a selection of weathered rocks which will slow down the water flow while looking like a natural boulder field.
This should arrest the flow of rubble and hopefully stabilise the area, allowing bits of vegetation such as reeds to colonise it and provide even more stabilisation.
We also repaired a breach in the base of the wall at the opposite side of the path which if left unchecked could have develeped into a bigger problem
We revisited one of our remotest worksites soon after this when we went to the furthest reaches of upper Eskdale to clear drains on The Tongue, a short stretch of path below Esk Hause which had been repaired with a volunteer work party 3 years ago.
being a little used path we don't have to make this journey very often, but it gives us a useful reintroduction to the rigours of summer work in the high fells.
We have already began preparing for the flying-in of stone for our two major projects of the year, on the Brown Tongue route to Scafell Pike and the slopes of Kirk Fell.
Our other new recruit John Lavender has already spent many days with us as a volunteer and is well used to the hauling of large boulders across hillsides, so it is only the novelty of being paid which he will have to get accustomed to. John was part of a group of Rangers and volunteers (and a dog) who spent a day in March filling helibags above Burnmoor Tarn ready for flying in the week of April 20th-24th.
More bags are soon to be filled below the crags of Kirk Fell, although the location there will not be reachable by quad-bike so a long haul up to the top of Black Sail Pass will be necessary. By waiting till the busy Easter season is over we should be able to fly the stone quickly and discreetly, and so by the start of May we will be well into the task before us.