12 April 2013

The end of an era ...

So far this year we’ve been exceptionally lucky with the weather. We had one day where we ended up building the drystone wall in the ‘Outdoors indoors’ room (see 26th March entry) at Wray Castle due to heavy snow preventing us getting to the real wall we were intending to go to, but apart from that it’s been fine every time we’ve had volunteers out with us.
Not a usual walling problem - fitting stone next to a skirting board!
So this run of decent weather (ie not raining) has meant we’ve been able to get back down to our ongoing project putting the new path in on Wray Bay, just down from the castle. We started work on this way back in August 2011 and have been plugging away, working towards the castle ever since them.
Landing party! Brathay Trust arrive at Wray Bay .
In a first for us, the weather was so good that on one of the days the group we were working with arrived by canoe! They were all local young people staying at nearby Brathay Hall and working with us as part of a Princes Trust project. They’d all never done anything like this before and were all saying they would be bringing their families back to look at their bit of path. The National Trust’s new director general happened to be at the castle on the same day so the group also got to give her a lesson in how to use the power barrow – which we think was probably a first for her too!

Dame Helen Ghosh with her power barrow tutor ...

It’s been great having a big project like this to work away at, but it’s coming to and end now. A recent day working there with Littledale Hall Therapeutic Community, a residential rehabilitation centre from near Lancaster, saw us put the final turf in place on the side of the path. Quite emotional really ….

Littledale Hall putting the final turfs in place

There’s a couple of days work left to do yet, laying the rest of the gravel path surface and tidying the site up. But it’s very satisfying to look back on the completed path and remember all the many different volunteers who’ve put their bit into the project. This path is a true testament to the statement 'we couldn't have done it without them' .....

 By Rob Clarke, Community Ranger, High Wray Basecamp


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