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Wow, sunshine and isn’t it just wonderful! We kicked off our 2024 work party programme with a trip to Gillside and Tongue Gill woods at Grasmere. The weather over the festive period has been atrocious with not a single dry day. Of course now we are back at work and school the sun comes out and very welcome it is too! The joy of everyone who joined us was absolutely palpable as we soaked up the sunshine, laughed and made new friends. 

Pictured: Volunteers greeted with signs of spring

It is often hard to get motivated at this time of year with long hours of darkness and not much happening outside. But look a bit further and there are things to notice. The owls are noisy right now as they are calling to attract mates and there is some bird song. The male foxes are widening their territories as they look for ladies. The red squirrels are at their most tuftiest if that is even a word, and the early bulbs of snowdrops and daffodils are pushing through the wet and frosty ground.

At Gillside whilst we did not see any red squirrels about even though they live in the woods, we did notice many of the trees were budding and the catkins were out...

Pictured: The catkins are out at Gillside

We even got hot walking up and down slopes removing more tree tubes!

Pictured: Lots of work removing tree tubes at Grasmere, sees off the cold

Pictured: Volunteers find time for a well earned cake break

A couple of wall gaps were fettled and we found a very attractive intruder who also wanted to soak up the sunshine by the wall and not move, a Herdwick from the fell. We could tell she was older as she was nearly white, the younger ones of course being black and getting paler as they age. Now the trees have grown so much there is little damage she can do in the wood, so she can remain there a bit longer!!

Pictured: An attractive intruder soaking up some welcome sunshine

Next week is Mazonwath dry stone walling week, weather permitting.... You can book on here>