Last week we had another of our days when we extend our experiences by visiting an area where we do not usually work. This time it was to Whitehaven and Ennerdale in the west of the county. Chris, the Trust’s ranger for that area, was running a volunteer day and a guided walk. He took us walking around the Haig Pit area and the reclaimed land from the coal-mining industry that was centred there until 1988.
|Chris - National Trust Ranger|
|Reclaimed industrial land.|
Natural vegetation is now colonising the area and you can see from the pictures that it is rich in species including bee orchids. (Bee orchids are named for their distinctive bee-like appearance and are predominantly found on sunny, well-drained grasslands low in nutrients.)
You can find out much more about this area at:
And you can download a walk guide here:
We then moved on to Monks Bridge on Coldfell near Calderbridge.
This is the oldest packhorse bridge in Cumbria. It was built for the monks of Calder Abbey , originally Savigniac monks and then later on Cistercians from the larger Furness Abbey in the south of Cumbria. It would have been an important part of the route for transporting iron ore from Ennerdale across Friar Gill to be smelted at the smithies on the fells.
Unfortunately a tree had taken root so near to the bridge that its roots were threatening to cause damage so we had to cut it down. We dragged it away from the bridge for burning and took the opportunity to have a barbecue. Once again, Chris had organised a great day – two great locations, some essential work carried out and the weather allowed us a barbecue!