Land Manager's Diary: Read it here>

It has been a strange week… autumn is definitely here with the bracken on the fells turning brown, our local communities busy with harvest festivals, and the badgers very active whilst we sleep. These activities have gone on in rural Lakeland for decades if not centuries and it gives us a strong sense of time depth and security to experience them. 

But some things are very different. Over the past week Lakeland has been hit by heavy rain and flooding. There are heartbreaking news stories of a Borrowdale farmer losing 50 sheep as the rain that fell in four hours caused flash flooding. Unfortunately we have had more flooding since and climate change predictions are for more storms and more intense events. These kind of events are more common and beginning to have time depth.

On Wednesday we were out with the volunteers at High Borrowdale, probably the Friends of the Lake District property which has suffered most in recent years from storm damage and the Borrowbeck was certainly raging. Despite being small at 44ha, we have aimed high with what we wanted to achieve for the landscape and nature and its future. This has included the hay meadow restorations, tree planting, wall restoration and earlier this year new hedge planting.

Whilst the impacts of all this maybe fairly local we hope we are creating a more resilient landscape. One where rain in storm events runs off more slowly and where nature and animals can find more shelter and a place where they can expand and explore. Todays task was the final session of plug planting, adding Greater Burnet and Wood Cranesbill.

These will add more diversity, food and shelter for insects and pollinators and longer roots to help soil health and water uptake.

Looking at the narrative around environmental matters that has emanated from the Government over the past four weeks, we are all becoming increasingly worried that there appears to be such a lack of concern for the climate, environment and our precious landscape. So, it may only be a small thing but in a week of damage from storms, it felt like a positive action and that at least we were doing something, however small.