18th May 2022: A Beautiful Day in 'Old Lakeland' Land Manager's Diary: Read it here> It was another first for Friends of the Lake District yesterday and what a beautiful day it was to hold our first ever workparty at our newest property, Middle Bleansley, near Broughton in Furness. This 16ha site is half native woodland and half grazing land, currently used by a nearby Herdwick farmer. We were joined by 11 employees of Trans Pennine, all from the Manchester Office and working with us as part of their one day a year volunteering allowance. We were working in the large area of native woodland which slopes up from the valley floor up the fellside and opens up to a lovely open area on the top with views across the Duddon and patches of bluebells and billberry. This part of the Lake District genuinely feels like unspoilt old Lakeland. Tranquil and calm, no traffic noise, no commercial development and not overrun with tourism. The woodland was single handedly planted up by the Friends of the Lake District member who owned the land and gifted it to us. He worked on the land every year, adding more trees, the feat all the more amazing given the slopes and fact that he used nothing more than his wheelbarrow, spade and mallet, no commercial contractors, no quad bike, etc. The wood has grown rapidly and our two tasks were to clear the right of way that runs up through the wood of fallen trees, branches and bracken; and to clear the piles of tree tubes that were littering the wood. It is a daunting task that is going to take a lot of workparties. However, it is always exciting to explore a new property and begin to get to know it, thinking through new opportunities it may hold for us. We even found time to do a mini dry stone walling tuition session to wet the appetite for future tasks. Trans Pennine were tired but hopefully happy, they enjoyed their day and were full of promises to go back and ask their bosses for two volunteering days a year! That’s what we call a result all round!