Land Manager's Diary: Read it here>

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Phew, Candlemass Day.  For many people this has a religious significance, but for many rural dwellers it is simply about marking the halfway point between Christmas and Easter. It marks that tipping point from darkness towards light and new growth. After months of storms and dark nights it is a real lifting point. One of hope and optimism for the spring to come. 

Extreme walling 

After a really wet day at Dam Mire last week, we hoped some of this optimism for a good, dry day would turn into reality! Like trains, the Mazonwath Christmas work party in December was delayed due to snow and ice, the January work party delayed due to snow, so third time lucky….. 

Perhaps we were a bit optimistic, as we had to tackle some extreme walling. Gale force winds, rain and thick mud. It was tricky to stand up in the end. The mulled wine at the lunch break was very welcome!

It was sad to see one of our oldest ash trees had been snapped off in the winds since Christmas as well. 

New jobs on the go 

Richard and Rachel were in the slightly less windy corner that abuts the common. The cows are always knocking the wall down, and their challenge was to build a wall with a corner! Fortunately they had lots of good stone with square edges.

The rest of us also had a new challenge. We have several old sycamore and ash trees and over the years they have grown towards and into the wall, causing it to collapse.

We had a new gate stoop put in recently which we moved further away from the trees, so we now have to take down the original wall and completely reset it several metres away. Unfortunately we were not so lucky with the stone, piles of hearting or fill material, but virtually no footings for the base. Still, by the end of our session you could see the start of the new footings and line of the wall so that was quite satisfying.

Join us 

We promise the conditions usually improve and we do get to enjoy some great weather days! Everyone is welcome to our work parties. Find the next one here. It's on the 27 February at High Borrowdale.