Monk Coniston was the home of James Garth Marshall who created Tarn Hows, what's less well known is that he landscaped the grounds, created a network of footpaths and planted a collection of specimen trees.
Over the years the views have been lost and the specimen trees buried under more and more rhody - you can't see the (specimen) trees for the woods!
Before -rhody spilling down the bank
After - rhody cleared and burnt
Helen & John who manage the site for HF Holidays (NT tenants) gathered their volunteers and split them into 4 groups, each with a separate mission clearing paths, clearing the old Ha-ha, clearing views - each group did so much clearing that by dinner there were 4 large fires to burn the waste.
Regenerating sycamore was also removed
Another load for the Ha-ha bonfire
Stoking the 'car park' bonfire
Once the areas are cleared the rhody can be managed more easily and Helen's regular garden volunteers can keep on top of the bramble and other vegetation.
Rhody hiding the trees behind
Views of the trees opened up
John and Helen said "The formula absolutely works - everyone involved brought tons of enthusiasm and worked tirelessly during the day...... the level of gardening input was only matched by the volume of conversation at dinner in the evening! The weekend is a fantastic blend of hard work and sociability"
I suspect that after the day's work that all the volunteers put in that they all slept really well no doubt helped by the fact that Barngates brewery donated a barrel a 'cracker' for the evening!