15 April 2016

Moving on with the year

With the weather starting to improve now and more groups arriving the team here at the volunteer centre High Wray Basecamp is starting to spend more time outdoors now. We always look forward to this but with the miserable weather we had to put up with over winter we are sometimes quite pleased that we scale back on the amount of time we spend outdoors over the darker months. There are very good reasons for this as there is lots of wrapping up to do of the year just gone, planning to do for the year ahead and more importantly, maintenance of the site itself.

Preparing the walls for repainting, goodbye to gloomy Terracotta
Getting the new Pistachio colour scheme on - sophisticated!

This maintenance occuppied us fully for a couple of weeks as we once more hosted the ‘Basecamp Blitz’, a week long barney of painting and DIY. Being a volunteer centre, we didn't do this on our own and had the help of some very hard working volunteers keen to get going with brush and roller.
Do you like what we've done with the place? The Longland with the first coat on

Now all we need is the roulette wheel - The 'Casino Brown' in full force
Once the walls were complete, we moved on to the floors and laid new carpet tiles down in the Longland block. The old ones were starting to wear out and had so many corners peeling up it was becoming a full time job sticking them back down again. It’s great to have replaced them, even if the new ones have the perhaps inappropriate colour name of 'Casino Brown'!

Now complete we have a lovely fresh feeling to welcome our many groups in for this year - it is a nice thought that improvements that will benefit many volunteers over the coming years have been wrought by volunteers themselves. 
But it wasn't all indoor work over the winter and early spring. Part of the aforementioned planning  involved heading up to the hills to look at some of our upland footpath jobs for the year ahead. We got lucky with a rare sunny day for a site visit to Gummer’s How, above Windermere, but weren’t so lucky with a trip up Far Easedale a week later where it seemed winter had returned with a vengeance. Whatever the weather these trips are important as we need to have a very clear idea of the jobs we’ll be tackling with volunteer groups – it’s no good arriving on site and then trying to work out how to tackle a problem when you have 15 volunteers keen to get cracking!

Lucky! The view from the top of Gummers How

Not so lucky! Chilly and wet conditions for the trip up Far Easedale
Since I wrote the most of this blog we've been out tackling the dreaded job of bag filling. Working with the South Lakes upland path team and the Fix the Fells lengthsmen we've been helping each other collecting enough stone for this year’s scheduled upland jobs. The stone is loaded into 1 ton bags ready to be lifted into place by helicopter, always a daunting proposition that we’re pleased to have completed. Finishing this normally coincides with the improvement of the weather and a full move from planning to action, a time of year that can’t come soon enough!

See, it is fun! the lengthsmen mid stone collection

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