Repairing The Roof Of England

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 How many stones do you think there are in this cairn?


Actually there aren't any because  since this picture was taken during our wild camping working holiday we completely removed this quite unneccesary edifice from the side of Ill Crag on the scafell ridge route from Esk Hause to the Pike.

We intended to keep a tally of the total number of stones but in all the excitement we kinda forgot so the idea of making this the question in a prize draw had to be shelved.

The good news however is that several surplus cairns went a similar way, leaving just a small number of navigationally useful ones in situ. We also spent some time narrowing the path in places where it was beginning to sprawl across the hillside, recreating the natural rocky terrain by redistributing boulders and smaller debris.


The semi-arid nature of the scafell massif meant our usual landscaping techniques of soil and turf redistribution along with reseeding was replaced by this rather more lunar effect.

The next working holiday 2 weeks later saw us return to the gentler slopes of the Burnmoor bridleway for a couple of days of drain building along with 2 days of exploring local riding routes.

The path here was restored a few years ago using a machine and although it has proved very popular with walkers and mountain bikers we have noticed some water damage occuring. If left unchecked this could undermine the long term future of the path.

So with the aid of 8 keen mountain biking volunteers we set about adding extra drainage in the form of bike friendly 'waths' -broad and shallow  open cross channels which turn water without making cyclists fall off. This view shows the improved rideability of this technique :


A total of 5 waths were built despite the intense heat - yes this was wasdale! - occasionally using specialist tools such as this corner spade



To reassure potential donors we don't actually break tools all that often.

Simon the holiday leader provided some very well recieved lemon drizzle cake along with ice cream from a cool box to make the hot weather more tolerable, as well as joining in the drain building :


A very intense period of work outside the hottest part of each day resulted in some excellent drains being built which should shed water effectively as demonstrated here:


  Inbetween these events we found time for another week of joint work with the south lakes team on Fairfield as well as continuing sporadically our Yewbarrow project.


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