Last week was one of remarkable contrasts for me.
Firstly I attended a National Trust Rangers Conference at Speke Hall in Liverpool. Speke Hall is a Tudor building situated beside Liverpool airport and that in itself is a startling contrast.
The conference was excellent. With rangers from many different types of properties to meet and some very good workshops there is always a lot to learn. To keep costs to a minimum, we were all asked to camp. I took our camper-van. As you can imagine, it was a noisy night with planes taking off & landing and grass-cutting beside the runways throughout most of the night.
I then returned to the Lakes and spent a night on the high fells helping to marshal a challenge event for the Youth Venture Trust. Two of us camped up there overnight. It was a clear night with fantastic star cover and silence. It could not have been more different from the previous night beside an airport.
Those two nights illustrated perfectly that the National Trust has an amazing range of experiences to offer you.
I also returned to do some more work on Friars Crag. You might remember that our foresters felled some trees and we used them to cover some old, decaying gabions that were protecting a stretch of shore from erosion. We then covered them with material from our dredging operation that keeps the landing stage on Derwent Island usable. I have now raked the top soil and seeded it. Once the planting is well-established, we hope it will provide the necessary erosion control and will also allow visitors to walk along it. We could have done the job with a dry-stone wall but that option would have cost about £15000. Doing it this way means we have used our Trust manpower and local materials from other essential tasks.
Ideally I would have preferred to do the planting earlier in the year to give the plants a good start but the weather forecast is good for a while so I’m hoping they will be sufficiently established before we have any storms.
My exam was cancelled. I got all excited and it didn’t happen. But I’ve been told it will soon and I’ve got a special jacket. I’ve been swimming in the lake. I swam too much and I’ve got labrador tail again. Sigh!