Monday, 13 October 2014

Apple Day at Acorn Bank.

"Apple Day" at Acorn Bank, Temple Sowerby is an annual event that began in 1994. Over the years its popularity has grown to the extent that yesterday, Sunday the 12th of October, more than 2,500 people came along to enjoy all that Apple Day has to offer!

 Acorn Bank and South East Lakes and Morecambe Bay staff put on and run the event with assistance from National Trust properties throughout the North West.

Staff  from Central and East Lakes were involved mainly with marshalling the car parking and running the Apple Shy. 

A view of a cloud inversion over Brothers Water on the way to Acorn Bank on Sunday morning. Looked like a glorious day was on the way!

A big area of parkland at Acorn Bank, but it soon filled up with cars.



The Apple Shy.


Punch and Judy.


Longest Apple Peel Competition.

Bill and Abigail, National Trust Recruiters, Central and East Lakes.


Acorn Bank.

More images from Apple Day.

A great event made even more special by the beautiful autumnal

Monday, 6 October 2014

Windermere Temperature Inversion.

Spectacular temperature inversions are particularly likely to form over valleys with large bodies of water.

 The image above, taken from St. Catherine's at 8 am on October 2nd, shows a temperature/cloud inversion over Windermere, England's largest lake.

 This image of the inversion is taken from the Footprint Building at St. Catherine's with a wonderful view of the Langdale Pikes, Great Gable, and Bow Fell.

These inversions usually occur on still, quiet nights prompting cold dense air to sink down, displacing warmer less dense air, hence the term..inversion.

The effect of the surface cooling down produces condensation in the air above and low clouds form.

A closer view of the cloud cover above the lake... still trapped by the warmer air above that acts like a lid!

Long cold and still nights not only cause temperature inversions, they are also ideal for the formation of ground frosts.

By 8.15 a.m heat from the rising Sun and a strengthening breeze has dispersed most of the low cloud and the ground frost has all but gone.

This image, taken at 8.30 a.m from the Grove Farm near Common Wood, shows the last traces of the inversion over Windermere below Claife Heights.

This image, taken at 1 pm, is an attempt to show how clear the air is after the inversion has lifted. Perhaps a better camera was needed to show the breathtaking clarity of the Langdale Pikes, but hopefully this will give some indication!

Inversions and ground frosts typically occur in Autumn; the exceptional "Indian Summer" enjoyed by so many in the Lake District must be nearly over!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Help from the Outward Bound Trust

Help from the Outward Bound Trust

During the summer the Rangers at Ullswater have been carrying on path improvement works throughout Aira Force.

There was a particularly bad section of path at High Force that needed some remedial work undertaking on it.

This picture shows the old path leading up the left hand side to a very rocky and eroded section. The grass and soil have gradually been washed away over the years, which has exposed the bed rock; this has become extremely hard to walk on which in turn leads to people walking on the edges of the path; these edges eventually erode away and expose more bed rock, which over a number of years leads to the path increasing in width.

The plan was to re direct the path up to the right, avoiding the bed rock. The idea was to dig a metre wide channel into the soil and then lay some gravel down to provide a hard surface to walk on.

This sort of work is extremely labour intensive, so it was very useful to be able to work in partnership with the Outward Bound Trust.

On four separate occasions we were joined by groups of young adults. The first three days we were joined by a mix of European and UK students, on a three week course, learning different life skills.

They all worked extremely hard and at the end of the three days the new path had been dug and filled with gravel.


On the fourth day we were joined by a younger group of students; this time the plan was to landscape the old path in so that people weren’t inclined to still use it.

Soil that had been dug up was used to cover the old path, and stones where dug in so as to deter people from following the old route.

Grass seed was then spread over the soil, so hopefully by next spring/summer the old path will no longer be visible.

Thanks again must go to the hard work all the students put in over the four days. A job that could have taken a couple of weeks to complete was finished in half the time.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Team day at High Close

On the 19th September various teams from local properties got together at High Close for a day of team building. As well as spending a morning helping speed along one of several footpath improvements the day was a chance to share ideas amongst colleagues, discuss projects and learn about each other's properties so that we can share this knowledge with our visitors.

The house and gardens at High Close date back to the mid-1800's when they were purchased by Edward Balme Wheatley-Balme, a Yorkshire merchant and philanthropist, and planted up with many rare trees and shrubs from all around the globe. The estate was left to the National Trust in 1953 and the house was leased to the Youth Hostel Association shortly afterwards. Much of the garden has been in disrepair for many years but recently a National Trust volunteer group has taken ownership of the garden and cleared back areas of rhododendron and unearthed much of the original path network.

The first job was to put a wooden edging to the sides of the pathway, ready for gravel to be put in at a later date. This involved measuring out the pathway at each point, using a mattock to level the ground and then digging posts into the ground to attach the wooden rails to.

Meanwhile, another team worked on invasive species control by uprooting and burning rhodedendron and cutting back the bramble to allow the area to be landscaped, in keeping with the history of the High close estate.

After a lunch "talking shop" and ensuring we don't reinvent the wheel at each property the team were given the chance to bond over an archery lesson - many thanks to Millie from the YHA for being such a great teacher. It's fair to say we weren't natural archers, but we took great delight in the small progress we did make!

A great day was had by all, morale was kept high and some great ideas shared. High Close estate is always open to visitors and the YHA run a small cafe - look out for a blackboard on the road entrance for opening times. There is limited parking available free of charge.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Improvements to the View Point Area, and the path at Aira Force.

Work was needed on the path leading down from the small National Trust car park on the Dockray Road to a view point close to Aira Force. The viewpoint area itself was due to be resurfaced. 

The small wooden bridge that crossed the beck was old.
 For safety reasons it was removed and a concrete pipe was put there in its place. 

Aggregate from Threlkeld Quarry was used for resurfacing 
over the pipe.

Kevin Tyson was contracted to do the excavating, and to fill the power barrows from the aggregate pile dumped at the car park...the nearest practical point. 

The power barrow on its way from the car park to the site down the steep narrow path.

Nic, explaining to interested members of the public,
about the next stage of the work. Kevin was to level out part of the area prior to it being entirely resurfaced. It was a tricky job as Kevin had to reach over the railings with the excavator arm.

A lot of concentration needed!

 Digging out the turf which the digger couldn't reach.

Power barrow coming into its own, yet again, to take the turf away in order to landscape the area around the newly installed pipe.

Resurfacing inside the viewing area.

A "wacker plate" was used to firm up and compress the new surface.

The new surface. Within a short time, it will weather to match the path surfaces elsewhere at Aira Force.

The path above the newly installed pipe.

The view, taking in Place Fell, St Sunday Crag and Glenamara Park.
(Ancient Wood Pasture) See post ...Glenamara Park... on this Blog Site.