Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ullswater Fell Care Day

team brief at Glenridding Village Hall
Thursday was the Ullswater Fell Care Day, an event run by the Flora of the Fells project to show interested members of the public some of the work done by volunteers.  

There was the opportunity to take part in various activities including dry stone walling, litter picking, making bird boxes as well as a number of drain runs organised by fix the fells.

The fix the fells team were out in force, from the choice of routes on offer, I asked to do one of the harder routes and was assigned to the route from Mires Beck up to Red Tarn returning by the Greenside Mines.

After a quick talk about the day in the village hall, we headed to the car park to divvy out tools.  We had a large group with us, including some National Trust rangers.

tooled up

enforced tea break
As we headed up the path, there was an opportunity to talk to the people who had come for the day about the various tasks involved in a drain run.

Obviously, one of the most important items to cover was the obligatory 11am tea break.  I did have to insist quite firmly that we did actually stop for the tea break.  The people I was with were quite keen to carry on.

I got talking with a couple of fell runners, one of which, Penny, is planning a Bob Graham Round next year.  I think they were a bit surprised at the easy pace of the drain run, expecting harder work.

I explained that, with such a large group, things would tend to move slower and that some drain runs consist of two people or even solo drain runs on some of the shorter paths.

Tanya's white jacket
After a little bit more work, we were at Red Tarn and ready for a lunch break.

It was at this point that I realised that Tanya, who is the programme manager for fix the fells, had been suffering on the way up from attempts by others to get her pristine boots, jacket and trousers muddy.

Chief instigators seemed to be Sarah and Martin.

As we set off, and crossed over Red Tarn Beck, I saw Martin with an evil grin on his face.  He was obviously up to no good so I quickly scurried up the other side of the beck out of harms way.  This also proved to be an ideal place to capture the attack.

Martin, waiting to add an extra stone to the crossing

Tanya demonstrates poise and calm, holding tightly onto her lady spade during the attack

on the way down looking back up towards Red Tarn and Helvellyn

The path on the way down was in a pretty good state of repair.  I somehow managed to swap my spade for a brush which was not particularly useful so I did a lot of directing and 'managing'

We did eventually get to a steep section of pitched path that needed a good sweep off.  As the only person with a brush, I was put to work.

Before long we were back at the village hall where there were plenty of refreshments available.  Hopefully everyone who took part had a good time and maybe we persuaded a few more people to volunteer.

There is another fell care day in Windermere on the 25th October for anyone who wants to have a go.


  1. Hilarious! Glad you captured the "splash" moment. It was a great day and I laughed a lot. My boots still stayed remarkably clean! I did notice your "supervisory" role whilst you were carrying the broom... :-)

    1. Thanks Tanya, another great day out. As you noticed, I am an experienced 'supervisor'