Friday, 27 March 2015

A volunteer with a blog!

I’m one of the volunteers that Roy often mentions and this week the blog is all ours. Pictures really do tell much more than a few words can so here are some to show you the kinds of things we do.  As you can see, it is often hard work and the weather can be cold, wet and windy. But, when the sun shines, there is no place better than here in the Lakes.

We are volunteers and could stop doing this any time we choose but we keep coming back so that tells you that we enjoy it. There's a great sense of achievement and we have a lot of fun with the added bonus that we keep pretty fit at the same time.  Give it a try if you have the opportunity.

Friday, 20 March 2015

A dog with a blog.

Hi, it's Daisy here.

Roy missed me off the blog last week.  He's letting me have the whole blog this week so I am showing you pictures of me being a Ranger dog. Being a Ranger dog is great.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

A potpourri.

Whilst hunting for a picture recently, I realised just how many I have that you haven't seen. So today I am posting a few from the collection. Hope you enjoy them.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Despite the weather ... !

It was inevitable really that we would have to spend a lot of time in planning the project to lay pipes across to Derwent Island. There will be three pipes on the lake bed. One will supply fresh water; a second will supply LPPG gas and the third will remove waste water. Now that the work is underway, there are clear stages to tackle and we can have a sense of achievement as each is completed.

Last week we had reached the stage where the three lengths of piping had to be rolled out and hauled across from the lake shore to the island. These are long, heavy and cumbersome to manoeuvre so I was concerned that this was going to be a very difficult stage to complete. In fact, the combined efforts of Trust Rangers from a number of areas and the contractor’s dive team ensured that it all went smoothly. It was a lot of hard work of course but there were no unexpected problems.

A rope was attached to one end of a pipe and the dive team took the rope across to the island. The dive team positioned a boat about half way across and from then on it was a case of hard graft just hauling and dragging the pipes. It all went incredibly well and definitely proved that many hands do make light work.

The other big project which has been started by the fell ranger footpath guys is on Castle Crag. They are going to be building a new stretch of stone-built pitch path. This will enable us to take out an old ladder stile that is definitely on its ‘last legs’. It will make it much easier and safer for people to access the area. It will also mean that long-term maintenance should be easier to carry out. 

That’s another job that’s going to require a lot of hard physical work but it is a beautiful place to be working if the weather is good. They’ve been a bit unlucky so far with the weather and have been working through some pretty cold, wintry showers. But, hats off to them, they have carried on regardless.

Daisy here:

We’ve been up Castle Crag.  It was great. I could hear peregrines. I didn’t know what they were but Roy said they were peregrines.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Maintenance and renewal.

Many people who are familiar with the work of the National Trust don’t realise that it is a charity and has to raise funding for all that it does. Some of that comes from membership fees, some from bequests and some from admission fees to properties. But there are other ways to do it including finding sponsors who want to support the Trust’s work. So we have fund-raisers who specialise in finding and matching sponsors to projects. The fund-raiser for my area is Liz Guest and she visited for a day recently to take a look at what projects might be appealing to sponsors.

We had a drive around the area looking at potential sponsorship opportunities. We have several memorial seats in the valley that are beginning to look slightly ‘tired’ and it would be good to replace those. Initially Liz will contact the families of the original donors if possible to see if they want to support them. If for any reason they can’t, a wider audience will be given the opportunity to ‘adopt’ one.

When we were at the top of Castlehead we found a family sitting on the seat up there. We explained what we were doing and they told us that they got engaged sitting there so it was a very special seat for them. They could see that it was more than past its best but even so they wanted to have it and they offered £100 which is a fantastic contribution towards our work in the valley.

We will have several that will be offered widely for sponsorship. I’ll let you know on the blog when they become available. We just can’t do all that we do without donations and sponsorship. We recently received a donation to be used in the Surprise View area. This will go towards helping us to improve access for everyone including wheelchair users. We also intend to carefully and sensitively install another seat. We do make good use of all the donations and sponsorship we receive and are always aware of our responsibility to the many generous givers. A huge thank you to you all.

Elsewhere in the week, routine maintenance continued and I spent a day with a chainsaw cutting back branches that were overhanging a fence line on Crow Park. There’s always plenty of work like that to be done.

Daisy here: Roy always makes me stay well back when he is using a chainsaw.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Shipping diggers over to Derwent Isle.

I’ve briefly mentioned before a big project that the Trust is undertaking to replace services to Derwent Island. This entails running an LPG gas supply pipe and a pipe to remove waste water along the lake bed. During part of this work the pipes will float and create a temporary pontoon so there will be some disruption for regular users of the lake. The launch operators and regular wild swimmers have all been kept informed about this and can make alternative arrangements. Our aim is to minimise the impact in any way we can.

The specialist contractors who are doing the job are very professional and I have complete faith in their doing a superb job. You can see from the photographs what they had to do to get two mini- diggers and two powered wheelbarrows over to the island. It hardly seemed possible until I saw their skills in action. Fortunately it was a still day with flat calm on the lake and they just drove the machinery straight on and straight off the boats. The boats were impressively stable.

To create space for the diggers to work, I’d had to clear some branches and brushwood but these will regenerate quickly and in a short time they will have grown back. My volunteers did a great job moving the wood around to a site for future burning.

This is a very unusual job and it is a great relief to see that the contractors are so good at what they are doing.

Daisy and a friend’s dog Che spent the day running around with the two dogs that live on the island

Daisy here:

Che’s been to stay.  It was great.