Hello, my name is Daniel Simpson and I am the guest blogger this week while Roy is away. I am a member of the Ranger Operations team based in the North Lakes covering an area from Borrowdale round to Ennerdale. A major part of our work includes the practical jobs such as: dry stone walling, fencing and hedgelaying. We also spend time working at events such as the recent Keswick Mountain Festival, plus anything else which is asked of us from the other departments.
On Tuesday myself and Jack from the Operations team spent the day working in Ennerdale. Jack and I work with the Wild Ennerdale volunteers several times during the year helping them with a variety of tasks. Tuesday saw a great team effort with staff and volunteers from Wild Ennerdale, the National Park, Forestry Commission and the John Muir Trust all working together. But before the work began we met at the Ennerdale Scout Camp where Rachael Oakley the Wild Ennerdale Project Officer fuelled us with tea and cake.
|Tea and cakes.|
The large group of staff and volunteers were split into three work forces. Jack and I joined the team who were cutting down small spruce trees.
Jack cutting down a spruce tree.
|Line of cut spruce trees.|
These trees would then be attached to large larch poles that will create an embankment on the edge of the River Ehen therefore reducing the amount of sediment that is washed into the river. If sediment continues to be washed into the river the young freshwater pearl mussels will be smothered and will not be able to receive the oxygen they require to survive. This job is just one way in which the severely endangered freshwater pearl mussels are trying to be saved by the Pearls in Peril Project. At the same time as we were cutting down the trees; the rest of the work party were removing a redundant fence as well as planting up a new woodland.
The following day I led a group of primary school children who had been staying at the Borrowdale YHA on a farm walk around Seatoller Farm. Whilst they are at the farm the children will hopefully gain knowledge of where their food comes from and how farming has helped shape the landscape.
They seemed to be fascinated by the way Shepherds used to count their sheep using the traditional method of “yan, tan, tethera…” and the hefting system that exists in the Lake District fells which means the sheep know where to go when they are up in the fells. The hefting system is the way that a female sheep takes its lamb to the same area of fell that it was taken as a lamb for the first time.
|Children get the chance to touch a herdwick lamb.|
|The hefting system is explained to the children.|
The next couple of days will be taken up with ensuring the car parks are presented to a good standard in time for the busy summer season by strimming the grass. As well as carrying out some drystone walling on the Dunthwaite part of the property. All in all this blog summarises how mixed a week for the Ranger Operations team can be.