13 August 2012

Fun and Fungi at Wray Castle

John gets his instructions

Well what a great week we have just had, the sun has been shining and we have had some great events and some great visitors.

Countryfile visited
Last Friday we were visited by the cameras from the BBC Countryfile team who were filming in the area
  looking at the varied and interesting life of Beatrix Potter. Beatrix as well as writing the famous small books was also a very distinguished painter of fungi and lichens which she studied scientifically. John Malley one of our National Trust colleagues and keen amateur naturalist spent an afternoon with "Countryfile's" Julia Bradbury looking for and identifying fungi in the grounds of Wray Castle.

At first we thought John  was planning a bit of shopping or perhaps a picnic but he said he brought his foraging basket with a few samples he had picked that morning just in case we couldn't find anything. He needn't have bothered as walking in Beatrix's footsteps round the grounds of Wray Castle we soon found some brightly coloured fungi in the grass.

John and Julia getting a closer look
Checking with the book John identifies the fungi as Wax Caps and even finds a drawing by Beatrix of the species.

The film crew also visited our newest farm tenants who had just taken on the tenancy of one of the farms Beatrix left to the National Trust near Hawshead. Beatrix was very keen to support the small family farms in the area and bought them with the proceeds from her book sales to save them from development. Julia and the team were keen to meet up with the family in their new home. If you want to check out all the action tune in to BBC 1 this Sunday the 19th and hopefully all will be revealed

Fun Friday got into boat building
While all this was going on some of the other Rangers were busy at Wray Castle getting involved with the Victorian weekend and promoting the "50 Things" campaign, which is encouraging children to get outside and in touch with the countryside. This time we thought we'd go 'industrial' and get into boat building with scraps from the joiners shop. The idea went down well and there were over 300 boats built of various designs and complexity and we even had a mini regatta on the lake with modifications made to improve stability.

Luke and Matt assisting the budding Brunells
Lets hope the sun keeps shining for the rest of the month and we get to enjoy a late summer.

John Atkinson


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