18 October 2013

Path Project Progress

The Upland Footpath team have recently come down from their main work in the fells and are starting their winter work programme. It is not practical to work in the fells all year round due to the shorter days and the weather can make upland work unsafe and unproductive. There is also no shortage of work that the team can help with in the lower level countryside of the South Lakes.

Now seems like a good time to re-cap on our main upland project this year, which we recently completed.  This project was on a path from Grisedale Tarn up Fairfield and has featured in previous blogs, such as 'Itching to do some Pitching...' published in June.

The main section of work was on a nasty erosion scar that had been developing and the solution involved constructing around 100 metres of stone 'pitched' path. There was also loads of landscaping work to do to help blend the path into the surrounding uplands and to encourage people to keep to this path.

The sequence of photographs below, each taken from a similar location, shows the development of this section of path.

April: Erosion Scar before work commences
April: Stone collected from a nearby scree moved to site by helicopter

May: Work on a few stretches of stone pitching has started

June: Initial sections of stone pitching have joined up & work has moved higher up the fell
July: Work continues to progress, also helped along by work parties & volunteers
September:  Path nearing completion
The team have enjoyed this project and are pleased with the path. The stepped stone pitching has created a sustainable path surface and is an improvement on the erosion scar which was only going to deteriorate.

If you would like to know more about the daily work of the South Lakes Upland Ranger team they can be found on Twitter @NTLakesFells.

The team also recently featured in a series 'Inside the National Trust' currently on ITV. Some of our work appears in episode 1 and, at the time of writing, is still available via

Posted by: Nick, Upland Ranger