Wednesday, March 30, 2011

From Surveying to Building Bridges

Yesterday we were back at Ennerdale on a work party to finish off a footbridge that had been built by volunteers (not us we were away when they started it). The jobs to do were to fit 4 brackets to secure the bridge to the abutment, sand down the bridge & build up the sides of the path with rocks to stop the soil being washed away. Bernie drilling holes in the bridge whilst Andy is sanding away Karen is let loose with the power sander Dave, Steve, Karen & Bernie The lads collect big stones And like with the stone walling picking the best one for the spot Nearly finished Gareth came up to inspect our work & took the next two pictures of us all Bernie, Steve, Karen, Dave & Andy Steve has been with us for 3 months working hard for both Wild Ennerdale & the National Park work parties, but sadly this was his last work party as he is returning to St Albans next week, all the best Steve & hopefully we will see you again one day. (Appologies for the layout of the three posts we have put on today but it seems Blogspot is having a bad day!)

Footbridge Surveys In Broughton

On Monday we set off south to the parish of Broughton (near Coniston) to complete three footbridge surveys. Two of them were ones we did the last year, the other we should have done but couldn't park close. This time we parked up just over 1/2mile away from where the footpath meets to road & walked to it from there. The roads in this area near Broughton Mills are the narrowest we have come across so far with lots of hills & very few passing places. Looking across the valley with Caw in the distance Lind End farm, a steep descent down to it & the footbridge was at the bottom of the valley where the tree line is Lind End bridge A grand old bridge Looking up the River Lickle And down to a whirlpool under the bridge We then drove a short distance to walk to the next two. We are not sure why these have come up in March as we only did them in October, but they have. The Knott, when we were here before it was misty, but today was lovely The walk is 2miles on forest tracks Walna Scar we were surprised it is only a Wainwright outlier & not one of the main fells as it is 621m high Our next bridge And a suitable lunch spot And lastly Natty Bridge Karen stayed the other side of the fence with Crag as it is a steep drop off at the bridge Looking down those stones may well have been an old stone bridge that crossed lower down
It was a 4mile round trip to the bridges & we were soon glad to be back driving on the "big" roads again.

Marsh Fritillry Butterfly

Last Friday Andy went to Mirehouse farm in Ennerdale to help plant 400 Scabious plants. These plants are the only thing that the caterpillars will feed on. Several years ago the last surviving Cumbrian pupae were taken to Scotland to try and save them but it was found that the gene pool had got too small and they could not survive. They were crossed with the Scottish butterfly and have gradually being reintroduced into Cumbria. This information was given to Andy by a member of the butterfly conservation group that were there on the day (Steve and Mollie). The trays of Scabious plants that we had to plant, the field that we were doing this is in is boggy , ideal habitat for them. Steve, Mollie & Sarah doing some planting. As is Bernie. We think this is a common lizard of which we saw a few in the field.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tarn Crag, Sergeant Man & Blea Rigg

Today in glorious sunshine we headed back over to Grasmere to walk three more fells that were new to us, we left early & were walking out of Grasmere at 9:20. We walked from the car park via a new route to the centre of Grasmere & passed over the millennium bridge.
Our route started on the Easedale Road as we had when we went up Helm Crag
But this time we carried on up the Far Easedale valley & were surprised to see this monkey puzzler tree
Helm Crag is the fell you can see the slopes of to the right with Gibson Knott in the middle & Calf Crag to the left
As we climb up looking across to Helm Crag
Looking back at the path we have come up, we followed the wall up & turned to come up Tarn Crag
We started in trousers & fleeces but in the valley stripped down to shorts & t-shirts & stayed like that all day
Easedale Tarn comes into full view, the fell just to the right will be our third of the day & we will drop down to the tarn to return to Grasmere
Looking up to the summit
The last section
The path has disappeared so we pick our route up
The Langdale Pikes
We have reached the summit, we will be heading off towards the cliff face then taking the path to the left of it to the ridge line.
Wainwright drew this of the view at the summit Not surprisingly it really hasn't changed
It is starting to get a bit hazy, looking back to Grasmere
Tarn Crag (550m)
Codale Tarn, we will get close but not quite down to it if we contour our route right
We try to keep as much height as we can as we drop down
Lang Crag (the cliffs we could see from Tarn Crag summit)
Looking back to Tarn Crag
Codale Tarn as we start climbing again
We meet up with a group of three walkers who are just doing a circular walk taking in our third summit Blea Rigg
Yes Andy was throwing a stick for Crag, he was quite happy to keep running up & down this slope
Looking back at Tarn Crag as we reach the ridge which will take us to Sergeant Man (the only part of the fell walk we repeat on the return from the summit)
Sergeant Man looks quite imposing from here
Again a bit hazy but some last snow on Bowfell, the Scafells & Great End
Great Gable
Windermere in the distance
Sergeant Man (736m) the highest point we will be at today & also our lunch spot
We are heading for our last summit above the cliffs below us
Codale & Easedale Tarns
As we move along the ridge Codale Tarn with Tarn Crag behind
Easedale Tarn
It is a really easy walk to Blea Rigg as it is downhill all the way until the last bit which is only 20m of climb
Blea Rigg (541m)
Sergeant Man is the summit in the centre
There isn't an official right of way down to Easedale Tarn from the summit so we pick our way off between the crags (only the sort of thing we would do in these clear, dry conditions)
Quite a steep descent on the grassy banks
Tarn Crag towering over the tarn
We then descend down the very well used route to Grasmere, some of the waterfalls on Sourmilk Gill
And looking back at the cascade
We had a lovely 10mile walk (800m+ ascent) in the glorious sunshine, one more walk from Grasmere & two more fells & we have completed the Central Fells