Land Manager's Diary: Read it here>

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We were back down at High Borrowdale with the volunteers on wed after an absence of a couple of months. We were delighted to be joined by the top team at Rohan who had come to join us as part of a three day team event away from the head office in Milton Keynes. It was fantastic to talk to them about the site and then harness their enthusiasm by helping us with our volunteering tasks.

Pictured: The Rohan team join us at High Borrowdale

Thanks Rohan, we hope to see you again! 

As we drove down along and down Shap summit it was really obvious that there had been heavy rain all night. The Borrowbeck was brown, fast and furious and flowing at a high level. This is a beck that goes up and down rapidly, sometimes rather scarily as it turns from a tranquil beck to a raging monster in a very short time. It’s headwaters are several miles to the west but what was once a landscape of bog, scrub and/or woodland, is now rather barren and bare. This means that the landscape cannot hold the water and slowly release it, hence the beck rising quickly. Increasingly, land management is looking at a catchment scale.

Pictured: Borrowbeck in spate at High Borrowdale

We cannot solve issues of the high spate of the beck causing our land to erode on our own, we need all the landowners and managers in the catchment to do join in and each help with interventions. Given our endeavours with tree planting however, what these interventions should be in a landscape that is so harsh even trees struggle is difficult to say. Hopefully our work planting trees, allowing rougher vegetation, planting hay meadow species with longer routes and putting in hedges will help slow the flow from our land and have some impact downstream, albeit it small. Meanwhile, with our fingers crossed the dry weather when we set off continued, we got to work.

Pictured: Wall gap repairs at High Borrowdale

Rohan helped us do some tree staking, tube removal and hedge plant staking and two of our experienced wallers headed up to the top wall to fix a gap that had appeared.

Pictured: Cakes for the workers!

The rain caught up with us in the end, pelting and sheeting us as we worked on the hedge, but the beck looked a little less angry as we walked out of the valley at the end of a productive day. 

Looking forward, we have lots of exciting things to get involved in. Our Buttermere Fell Care Day on 17th Nov is booking up fast, but there are still some spaces if you want to join us. Book via our website>

We have just placed an order for wetland plug plants to put in at Dam Mire Wood at Threlkeld on 22nd Nov, so if you fancy a bit of autumn planting, please join us with your trowel. Book via our website>  

Looking even further ahead, we are on with working up the dates for the workparties for 2024 which will be up on our website in the next few weeks. An early event will be planting a willow den at Dam Mire Wood with the kids from the local school, and there will be plenty of other tasks and events for you to join. Can’t wait!!