Thursday, 29 January 2015

Enjoying learning.



Despite some inclement weather, last week included a day out with Threlkeld Primary School. We visited Myrtle Bay, and the recycled plastic boardwalks. We used those as the basis for learning about measuring, estimating and working out the costs of things.



We first paced things to estimate distances. Then they were measured using a trundle wheel and finally we calculated the costings for a length of boardwalk. So that was the mathematics aspect of the work.



We also talked about the reasons for using recycled plastic boards for projects like these. We use boards made from waste collected in NW England and manufactured in Liverpool so they could see tangible results of the recycling they are encouraged to do. Lots of lessons to be learned from that about minimising waste, reusing materials and reducing transport pollution whilst still being sensitive to the qualities we value in our surroundings.


It was a really good day with nice kids who were thoroughly enjoying learning through outdoor activities. I enjoy these days as much as they do!

Daisy here:





I’ve been playing in the snow. I can run really, really fast. It’s great.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Footpath improvements



A big job this last week was to work on the footpath from Cockshot Wood down to Derwentwater. This is a popular path which at this time of year is mainly used by local people walking their dogs. The path runs through a low-lying section of a field that is always boggy and wet during the winter months.




      


A Trust team has rebuilt a boardwalk through this area and then, with the extra help of my volunteers, we have laid a dirt scree path from the end of the boardwalk back towards the wood.  




This is another win/win situation. It will be easier to walk on; there will be less damage to the ground; the farmer will be happy that less of his field is being turned into a muddy quagmire and, although it is looking a bit raw at present, with some grass seed, come spring it will look well.  The end result should be a hard path that is grassed over and is not visually intrusive.


It’s a good job done so huge thanks to the footpath and estate teams and also to my volunteers.
On a personal note, myself and Jan both stepped down from the mountain rescue team this last week.

Daisy here. 


 I’ve been helping the teams. It’s great. I’ve been carrying timber – well, little pieces.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Training to commute!



Well, it’s been a wet start to the year. The lake is very high and it’s very warm for January. Usually we would expect snow and ice by now. Ironically, we have just finished the work on a winter ice-climbing guide. Credit for most of the work goes to the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and Natural England. It is due for release this coming week and as soon as I have an electronic copy, I’ll post it on my blog. It is a really nice piece of work but there is no ice climbing to be had at present!


The weather wasn’t especially helpful either for a day I have just spent on Derwentwater.  The Trust is having lots of work done by the building department on Derwent Island. Access of course is by boat but none of the building team had relevant experience. So I spent a day instructing them on use of the boats and on safety drills for this specific trip. 




Fortunately they were all very quick to learn the essentials and their daily journeys will reinforce their proficiency. Each of them now has the skills to drive the power boats they will use to get them and their equipment safely back and forth to the island.



It turned out to be a wild, exhilarating day on the lake with driving wind and lots of rain. The builders took turns to have an hour spell in the boat but I was out there in the wild weather all day and got a thorough soaking. But I do love to have days out in wild weather.


Daisy here. I’ve been to Derwent Island playing with my friends Gus and Bryn. It was really wet. I got cold.


Friday, 19 December 2014

Time to reflect.


Once again, as we approach the end of another year, I have been reflecting on what has been achieved and once again I realise just how much has depended on the fantastic volunteers who work with me.



Some of the work has been creative in that we have started with an idea and have made it a reality. I think of the play trail in Cockshot Wood that has taken many hours of hard work. Our reward is to see so many children (and a good few grown-ups) enjoying themselves in the wood.







Some of it has been stewardship in that we have worked to protect the best features of the area. I think of the work done to maintain good surfaces on the paths so that there is good access for as many people as possible.





It just would not be possible for me to do all of it without my groups of volunteers. The National Trust is fortunate in having thousands of committed and gifted volunteers and I know I am lucky to have mine.

So now is the time to say a HUGE THANK YOU.


Daisy here:



I’ve decided not to be a rescue dog. I am going to concentrate on being a ranger dog.