A Holiday in the Hills probably sounds like a lovely idea, however it is worth noting that this holiday involved 5 days of Upland Footpath work. (Perhaps not everyone's idea of lovely.)
The first working day was a Sunday, the participants having arrived the day before and settled into the bunkhouse at High Wray. As an introduction to footpath work we took the group on a "drain run". This involves checking an existing footpath route emptying the drains and clearing loose stone from any "stone pitched" sections of path.
The group, including one from Australia and one from Belgium, got stuck into this task and did a thorough job. Unfortunately it was quite a harsh introdution as the weather was not kind with wind and icy rain throughout the day. Although it was a good time to see how the drainage was working.
|Grim introduction: A drain run on a cold wet & windy day|
|Early morning warm up by the Three Shires Stone|
(Much nicer weather too)
|Before: Path widening and erosion scar developing|
|During: Group working to remove side routes|
|After: Section of "hump & hollow" landscaping complete|
The rock used has an interesting background as it came out of the ground lower down Tongue Gill during excavations for a hydroelectric power scheme completed this year. The owner of the scheme generously donated the rock to Fix the Fells .
|Group get cracking building "Stone Pitching" on the Tongue Gill path|
|Eight happy volunteers with their completed sections of Stone Pitching|
The National Trust runs a range of Working Holidays all around the country. An opportunity for like minded people to meet, have a holiday and carry out conservation work with experienced staff. The costs are fairly modest and cover accommodation in a bunkhouse, food during the holiday and transport between the bunkhouse and work site. More information on working holidays can be found using the following link: Working Holidays
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