22 November 2013

A Few Highlights From My Internship

My time Ranger Intern is nearly up, Along with Leila and Stu I’ll be finishing at Christmas, with the new batch of Interns starting sometime in the new year. I’ve had a great 8 months working alongside the South Lakes Ranger team, so for this weeks blog I thought I’d share with you some of my highlights.
A few more memorable jobs I’ve helped out on:
·         The Blea Tarn Fence. Working with Sam and Stuart I helped on the fence that reaches out into Blea Tarn. A tricky spot to fence in as digging the posts in wasn’t possible due to Blea Tarns SSSI status. In the end we drilled holes into big boulders and rolled them into tarn. We inserted metal poles into the holes and secured them with resin. We attached posts to the metal poles and continued to post and rail as normal. An interesting day, at the end of which we all had wet feet.
Stuart and Sam securing the posts and rocks.

The finished fence.

·         Writing a Woodland Management Grant.
One of our Intern projects was writing a woodland management grant for the Colwith, Tilberthwaite and Little Langdale woodlands. This involved spending a few days walking around the woodland sites (brilliant days “work” for a tree hugger like myself!) looking at the species within and deciding how best to manage them, before trying to get our heads around the application form.

Hugging the Veteran Scots Pine in the Woods Behind Blea Tarn.
·         Footpath Work.
I spent 2 weeks with the Upland footpath team which I wrote about in an earlier blog. Despite the early starts and later finishes I enjoyed working with the team, learning how to pitch and landscape, and even started to enjoy the long walk to the top of the fells (mainly because I knew I could have a second breakfast when I got to the top). 

My Completed Section of Pitch on Fairfield.
·         Working with Basecamp.
It was excellent experience to get to work with basecamp, and the varied volunteers who stay there. Working on the path from the Ferry to Hill Top was a couple of great days with enthusiastic volunteers who managed to get a huge amount of work done.

The Ferry to Hill Top Path in Progress.
·         And a whole load of other jobs including building a style, surveying touch me not balsam for netted carpet moths, working with the South Lakes Conservation Group, strimming and the restoration of the Monk Coniston Cold Frames.

Standing on my Completed Style.

The Intern House and Commute to work.
One of the great things about this Internship is that accommodation is provided at a house in Low Yewdale. Although there have been a few issues to sort in the beginning, it really has been an experience in itself living in what feels like the middle of nowhere. The kitchen window looks straight out onto one of Bob’s field, and during the summer it took a while to get used to the cows looking straight back at you! It is the perfect base for walking or sitting and watching the world go by.
Our House at Low Yewdale.

Our commute to work is probably the best commute I’ll ever have, a 15 minute walk along a track, hedgerows on either side, the fells behind you and Herdwick sheep looking at you as you pass by, it’s amazing we managed to make it into the office every day!
Our Commute to Work.
Jed and Fin.
I couldn’t write a reflective blog without mentioning Jed and Fin, Jed is Richard’s spaniel and Fin is Stuart’s fox terrier. A surprise to me when I first started is that sometimes, dogs come to work with their Rangers. While working with either Stuart or Richard I will admit to spending “some” of my day throwing sticks or playing tug of war. I will definitely miss incorporating fetch into my days work.

And last but not least;
The South Lakes Ranger Team.
A big THANK YOU to all the Rangers for making us feel welcome, being patient, teaching us new skills, and not laughing too much when we (mainly me) asked silly questions.

New Interns, You’ve a lot to look forward to!

Kimberley Goodall
Ranger Intern.