27 April 2012

Once more unto the ... shore

Muddy volunteers, certainly not disappointed!

Towards the end of last summer we started work with our volunteer groups putting a new path by the side of Windermere, through the field between Wray Castle and the Red Nab bridleway. This lovely walk has become increasingly popular with the opening of Wray Castle and the Windermere Reflections project promoting visits to this side of the lake. All these extra feet have caused the grass to become quite badly eroded, hence the need a for a path that’ll stand up to this level of use.

It's a muddy job though, which isn't a problem (in fact lots of our volunteers are positively disappointed if they don't get a good covering) but does mean we couldn't carry on through the winter. It'd make too much of a mess and the grass wouldn't get a chance to recover, so we've had to wait before we could go back to it.

However, with the onset of spring the waiting is over and we've been down there again with our first group - the Northumberland National Trust volunteers.

Northumberland NT volunteers get us started for the year ahead.
What we’re particularly proud of is the fact that most of the people who’ve worked with us as volunteers on this project have little or no experience of this kind of work and yet we’ve managed to produce a really high quality path. Many of our volunteers have commented on how proud they feel to have been involved with this and plenty have said they’re looking forward to bringing their families back to show them what they built. One of our volunteers, Ayesha, was working with us as part of her gold level Duke of Edinburgh award and said that she’d walked lots of paths whilst doing the award but had never realised how much work went into making them. She had just sort of assumed they were always there.

Using the 'Whacka plate' to level it off.

Quite a distance between gravel piles unfortunately ...
So we'll back there through the summer with many different groups and if you happen to be walking past please feel welcome to stop for a chat about our work. You'll know it's us as we'll be the ones with the happy and (if they're lucky) muddy volunteers!

 By Rob Clarke, Basecamp Community Ranger