It would be easy to think that for some of our outdoor work here in the Lake District we might often be isolated from other people for much of a day. In reality, a lot of our work is about improving and maintaining access for people. So, no matter where we are working, whatever the weather or season, it would be unusual if we didn’t see someone out and about. Which is as it should be because the National Trust was founded with the aim of saving our heritage and open spaces for ever, for everyone.
Last week was definitely a time of meeting people and having opportunities to talk to them about what we do. One day was spent with my volunteers in an area named The Ings on an Ordnance Survey map but commonly known locally as Dirty Wood. This is close to the lake on the path around Derwentwater. We were replacing the hand-rail on a small wooden bridge. Surprisingly, the old one had been vandalized and we like to fix problems like this as soon as we can. This is a walk that is used by a lot of people with limited mobility including those who are not always steady on their feet. So, although it is only a short stretch, we like it to have a hand-rail to give all users confidence in using it.
This was one of those days when we had immediate feedback about our work. Many walkers stopped to talk to us and were full of praise for what we were doing. It’s gratifying to know that people do appreciate our efforts and it reassures us that we are doing what the Trust was set up to do.
At the weekend I met many more people at the Borrowdale Shepherds Meet, a very traditional shepherds meet that takes place annually. As the name suggests, it is predominantly about sheep with judging of sheep in a range of categories. The main focus of course is on our local Herdwick sheep – an ancient breed of hardy, fell sheep that probably came to these islands with the Vikings.
We were there literally flying a flag for the Trust and chatting to locals and visitors alike about our work and plans. We also had a wild-life identification quiz. The show is something I’ve been doing for a while now and it is always enjoyable to meet people who share my love of the Lake District and who want to know more about our job and our way of life here.
Daisy here. I've been playing in Dirty Wood. It's great. You get sooo... dirty!