|Deer on the skyline.|
Last weekend I had a change of scenery when I took a trip with a couple of mates to Braemar. The main purpose of the trip was to buy some cross-country skis for a trip we plan to make this winter. But of course we took the opportunity to walk in the mountains while we were there.
What was remarkable was that we saw hundreds of hares, far more than we have ever noticed before. They were very easy to spot because they were already developing their white winter coats even though there had been no snowfall this year.
|Spot the hares!|
It turned out to have been the best place to be. When I returned, Jan told me it had rained heavily in the Lakes and the lake and river levels are indeed very high. Once back at work, I went with another ranger to check one of our paths and a section is already under a significant amount of water. As there is very heavy rain forecast and the ground is already saturated, we are likely to have much more flooding. Our hills play a big part in the process that sees high rainfall in this area. Westerly airflows bring across a lot of moisture much of which falls on us!
In preparation for a big project we will be starting soon, I spent some time with other rangers up around Surprise View. We have had a very kind donation from a member of the public to spend in that area and we are going to use it to improve path and car-park surfaces. As far as possible we will improve accessibility with this work although one section will be done primarily to protect tree roots. This is one of our most visited places and sheer numbers create a lot of wear.
After we had walked the area and I had talked them through how to estimate what is needed to do the job, we individually calculated the cost. Each costing was within 5% of all the others. So now we need to schedule the work. Once it is complete, Surprise View will be wheel-chair accessible; all users will have a good path surface and this will protect the surrounding vegetation.
I’ve been running around in the rain. It’s great. I love it when it’s really, really windy.