Sunday, 31 January 2016

Planning for increased resilience.



We are now several weeks into our recovery work after the floods. We have completed the first phase where we responded as quickly as possible to any dangerous situations and also restored access as far as possible. Now we are into the second phase where we will spend some time considering appropriate actions to increase resilience.


After previous flooding events, we were under some pressure to put everything back exactly as it had been. Having in mind that these disruptive flooding events might recur more often than we once expected, this time we are going to consider what changes we might make to minimise future damage.


We are starting this by looking at how we can manage the water-catchment area as a whole. As part of this I’ve been out with a Trust water advisor, John Malley, in the Force Crag Mine and Coledale area. There have been several landslips in the valley and there is a lot of material above the mine that will come down eventually. We have been discussing how we can ensure that it does as little damage as possible to the mine site when it finally does shift dramatically.


We are also going to move some lake-shore fencing that was destroyed up to a higher level. This will give more space for fencing and footpaths that will be less vulnerable in future.



Hopefully, part of the good that will come out of the floods will be that we go into the future with a more robust, more resilient landscape.

Daisy here: It’s been snowing. Life’s great.


Friday, 22 January 2016

Some winter weather to enjoy!



Well, the weather has certainly taken a turn for the better now and the Lake District is looking absolutely fantastic at the moment. We’ve got snow as you would expect at this time of the year and often clear blue skies to go with it.





We still have quite a bit of work to do following the flood damage but we are steadily getting through it. As ever, we’ve had a huge amount of help from volunteering individuals and from different volunteering groups that have come in to add their efforts. Whenever something like the flooding occurs, it always astounds and humbles me to see how people rally round to help wherever they can.  





As you might have seen on TV reports, neighbours helped neighbours in any way they could. Those that haven’t been flooded helped those who have. Many who are not regular volunteers for the Trust turned out to help with anything from fixing damaged fencing to working on repairing damaged paths. It has been brilliant to see such a resilient community in action. It definitely shows the best side of human nature.


Daisy here: It’s great. I go mad when it’s snowing. I love running in the snow.


Thursday, 14 January 2016

A tale of two bridges!



As most of you will know from news bulletins, here in the Lake District we have been affected by exceptionally heavy rain which caused pockets of flood damage. Our first priority work-wise had to be making sure that anything dangerous is repaired or signed as quickly as possible. If we put a danger sign in place, it is because it IS dangerous to use. I’ve had my fencing barrier at Watendlath packhorse bridge taken down twice and have had to use valuable time to put it back when I could have been using that time to be building a new bridge. That’s not only frustrating but it actually delays my being able to complete a new bridge for walkers to safely use.



My brother works for the National Park Authority and they’ve had fences and warning signs taken down in places where walkers think there is no danger. They are putting themselves at risk when they do this but, what is worse, is that people who follow later no longer have the warning signs and may be at risk because of the actions of others.



There are not many stretches of damaged paths and we are making them accessible as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, please do not ignore or remove warning signs and barriers. They are not forgotten and are there for everybody's safety. Before Christmas we built a footbridge alongside the damaged Watendlath packhorse bridge. This is one of our oldest built structures within Borrowdale so we have scaffolding in place at present to brace it and support it. It will take some time but it will be repaired or rebuilt.








Daisy here: I’m sick of the rain!




Friday, 25 December 2015

Gallery 2015



I've been having a busy time in the aftermath of storm Desmond but have finally put together a selection of pictures that illustrate some of the work we have done this last year. There is more heavy rain forecast but we just have to hope it isn't as bad this time.





















Sunday, 20 December 2015

The after-effects of storm Desmond.


I’m sure you will be aware from news reports that we had large amounts of rain last week in the Lake District. It caused quite a lot of isolated pockets of damage including a number of landslides. Fortunately most of the valley withstood the deluge remarkably well. At the head of the valley where the underlying rocks are the very hard Borrowdale volcanics, there has been minimal damage. The land slips have occurred mainly in the part of the valley where the underlying rocks are the softer slates.

Path washed away

More path damage

Our new footbridge survived ...

... but the path will need some repair.
We are working as quickly as we can to have everything repaired and made safe for access. Some of the Trust guys from Wasdale have come across to help and they are doing a sterling job. It won’t be too long before we are back to normal.

Some of the damage on Catbells.
Repairs underway
















Culvert firmly in place
Bridge at Watendlath - closed as it is dangerous.

It’s sad to see the people of Keswick, Braithwaite, Cockermouth and indeed county-wide who have had their homes flooded yet again. Some, including my brother, have had this happen three times in recent years. It could have been so much worse though but the emergency services and community flood action groups did fantastic work to keep people safe.

Work underway to clear beck above Braithwaite.

The calm (and some snow) after the storm!


Daisy here: 


Everything’s changed on the lake shore. My favourite walk is not the same but it’ll be OK.