Tackling erosion in the fells of the Lake District is a never-ending task and there is much more to do than the teams can possibly cope with. If it wasn't for volunteers we would struggle to keep on top of the maintenance of existing path work let alone undertake new projects.
There is one group of volunteers that is particularly close to our hearts; the 'Fix the Fells Lengthsmen'. A 'lengthsman' is a traditional term for someone who looks after a right of way.
This group of volunteers is involved in upland path work all year round and in all weathers. We frequently work with them and have got to know them fairly well. In fact two of our current team were first involved in upland work as volunteers under this lengthsmen scheme.
|A work party with Fix the Fells Lengthsmen last summer on a |
path project up Fairfield. A lovely day!
|Lunchtime with lengthsmen: sheltering last week with a few volunteers on a|
work party near Blea Tarn. Not such a nice day !
They are also involved in project work which might include repairing or building new drains, pitching sections of path with rock and landscaping to define the main path and remove shortcuts. Much of this is done in work parties with the upland path teams and some mini projects are carried out independently.
|Lengthsmen building a drain on a route up Coniston Old Man.|
|A section of erosion developing on a path by Raise Beck.|
|Fix the Fells lengthsmen hard at work on the eroding section.|
|The results of the work party - a much better looking section of path.|
Today the South Lakes Upland Ranger team are out on a drain run with some of the lengthsmen and some potential new recruits, who will hopefully enjoy this "taster" day.
More information on volunteering for 'Fix the Fells' can be found using the following link:
The focus of this blog has so far been our main group of upland footpath volunteers that we have got to know (& love) over the last few years. We are also fortunate to work with lots of other volunteers.
We sometimes have individuals who wish to work with the team, it might be just the odd day or other times a few weeks, perhaps using holidays.
|Two volunteers from the Netherlands helping us with our |
Fairfield path project last summer.
|Volunteers from a rehabilitation group working on our Blea Moss path project|
|'West Runton' helping on the Blea Moss path project.|
(A group that have been coming to High Wray Basecamp for many years)
|Kendal Fellwalkers helping us on a drain run up Browney Gill in January|
(Weather looks nice here....but not for long....)
|Our working holiday group on the Fairfield path project last September.|
(Probably some of the worst weather we had on the fells last year.)
It has only been possible to include a selection of volunteers that we have the pleasure to work with. However our message is the same to all volunteers:
"Thank you !"
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.
Posted by: Nick, Upland Ranger