Our second mass-volunteering 'Fell Care Day' event of the year took place at Grasmere yesterday (Wednesday 26 November), and proved a great success, including a visit from the Government's Forestry Minister.

Despite a rainy start to the day, a total of 190 volunteers, task leaders and staff turned out for the day, ranging from 5 year olds primary school children, to holiday makers and active retirees.

During the day 403 trees were planted, 8km of upland paths were cleared, 27m of boardwalk built, 80msq of woodland was thinned, 30m of path repaired, 3000 native bulbs planted and 30 bags of rubbish collected. Volunteers also ate 540 pieces of cake!

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for water, forestry, rural affairs and resource management, Dan Rogerson MP, planted a tree at the Friends' new woodland at Gillside Wood, one of 403 new trees planted there yesterday.

A guided Sky Ride bike ride took cyclists around the new cycle path around the lake.

Canoe litter pickers pulled 18 rubber ducks, watering cans, beer cans and glass, antique bottles, a compost bin, a drainage pipe, pots and a tyre from the lake, while walking litter pickers were pleased not to find too much litter but still collected several bags including rubber gloves and a pair of fisherman's waders.

Volunteers planted 3,000 wild daffodil, snowdrop and native bluebell bulbs at High Close.

Children from Grasmere Primary School got stuck into clearing the riverbank of overgrown bramble and snowberry to allow access to a seat. Children and volunteers also took part in a red squirrel conservation and monitoring walk around Allan Bank to learn about action to protect the squirrel and help its recovery by recording sightings for a national database project.

Four volunteer groups went up to higher ground to clear paths and drains around Grasmere with Fix the Fells to prevent erosion.
Volunteers thinned out beech saplings and scrub in woodland at Butharlyp Howe, to improve the woodland structure and create more room for other native trees to grow.

Ruth Kirk, Fell Care Day organiser said: "I am bowled over by the monumental effort and spirit of goodwill that so many volunteers put in at our Grasmere Fell Care Day. People joined us from such a diverse range of organisations who all wanted to be part of the Fell Care Day. And with such a wide spread of ages , from 5 to 75, (and above!) it just goes to show how much our spectacular landscapes mean to so many people and how keen they are to help protect what is so special about them. And this of course, is what Friends of the Lake District is all about."

Friends of the Lake District worked with partner organisations the National Trust, Lake District National Park, British Cycling, Woodmatters and Grasmere Red Squirrel Group to deliver the day's activities.

Cakes were donated by volunteers and local businesses, Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread, The Daffodil Hotel and Dave Willan Fine Foods.

The organisation plans to run more large scale volunteering events in 2015, the next one, Wasdale Fell Care Day, will be in June. Stay up to date with the Fell Care Days on our Fell Care Days page. 

See more photos of Grasmere Fell Care Day on our Facebook page.