Land Manager's Diary: Read it here>

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What a great turn out at High Borrowdale this week, with 12 of us dodging the showers and enjoying the sun. The hay meadows surprised us by being out early this year, perhaps a couple of weeks earlier than expected. There also seemed to be more ox eye daisy than in more recent years, giving us a wonderful blend of white and yellows. Not much purple as yet but that will follow on.

Pictured: Upland Hay Meadow

We are immensely proud of our hay meadow restorations, being one of the first to trial upland hay meadow restoration techniques in 2005, and compare with similar and techniques in 2013. If you have time or are able, do take a wander down over the next few weeks, it really is delightful down there. It was so noticeable the difference in insects and pollinators flying over the meadows compared to the other areas on the property, lots of little black chimney sweeper moths darting around! 

We had an action packed day with people all over the land working away. Tony and Mary started on a wall fix behind the cow shed, always a dodgey wall as it is on a slope, poor stone, and being right under two big sycamores, always slippy. The brave and energetic crew set off up the fellside to do some tree staking and bring down any unused tubes. We managed to bag up a whole dumpy bag full of tubes and get them in the back of the truck.

Pictured: Volunteers on the way to another job

Working with our friends at the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and the Forest Plastics Project, we hope to begin our journey on recycling as many of the tubes as we can. We continually offer them for re-use to any other organisations or groups needing tubes, but we still have lots left. Many tubes cannot yet be recycled, but YDMT have set up a couple of collection days in august at the j36 auction mart where people can take bags full of Tubex tubes which will then go on for recycling. So we will give it a go to give us an idea of the logistics and feasibility by taking down this bag from High Borrowdale and perhaps a couple of bags full off the Helm. If the venue works, YDMT hope to use it for more collection days in future.

Richard spent a really worthwhile day fixing our watergates. Always a point of weakness as they flex and move with the waterflows, they needed re-adjusting and some more planks adding in order to keep out the sheep.

Pictured: Watergate in need of repair

We also dealt with a sudden outbreak of willow herb and got to it before it flowered. So as ever, always lots to do to maintain our land, much of it mundane, but incredibly enjoyable due to our amazing volunteers, their sense of humour and stories and incredible energy and willingness to get stuck into any task, and of course the famous array of Friends of the Lake District cake on offer. Seems to be a bit of a run on frangipane tarts at the moment!

Pictured: Beck and Sheepfold

Anyone and everyone are very welcome to join us on our workparties, no skills or equipment needed 😊