Monday, 22 August 2011

National Trust Working Holiday at Mickleden

Over the last week we've had a group of volunteers on a National Trust Working Holiday helping us out with some path repair at Mickleden. We had a group of ten, who were all stopping over in accommodation at the National Trust High Wray Basecamp, four miles outside of Ambleside.

On the first day we had to carry all the tools up to the work site, so we shared out mattocks, shovels and crowbars between everybody and headed up towards Rossett Ghyll where we would be working for the rest of the week.

Volunteers starting work on the first day

The group was split into pairs, and each pair given a section to work on, and with four staff at hand it meant we could give everybody plenty of help and guidance. The first day is always the hardest, as it takes a lot more digging to get the first course of pitching in the ground, and the stones you start with are always deep ones. By the end of the day everyone had made a good start and had their first few stones in place.
As the week went on everyone started to get the hang of things and began to get more of an eye for how the stones should fit together.

The path starting to take shape

Unfortunately, as is becoming usual for August in the Lake District, the weather didn't remain dry throughout the week and there were lots of heavy showers about. Even on Tuesday when the weather was particularly bad, everyone remained in good spirits and kept up the good work.

Working hard through rain, and shine

By the end of Thursday everybody was making good progress and several of the sections only needed another course, or two, to join up.

Not much further now...

On the final day we managed to get each of the sections joined and most of the landscaping completed too. Everybody had a really good time, although a few people had said it was much harder work than they'd imagined it would be. As with previous years the standard of work was fantastic.

A job well done!

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