Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Replacing the fence at Stickle Ghyll

Since finishing our work on Helm Crag we've spent much of our time replacing the stock fencing around one of the plantations at Stickle Ghyll.

The original fence was put in around 1984 with the help of the Manpower Services (a Government scheme set-up to help people into employment) to help stabilise the scree around the footpath. After we replaced the pitching next to the plantation in 2009 we planted up a few more trees, with the help of the Fix the Fells volunteers, but as time went by it's become easier for sheep to get in and graze on the trees. We therefore decided that the fence should be replaced and all the materials were flown to site earlier on in the year. Long-term it's hoped that once everything is properly established the fence can eventually be removed.

The first job was to work out exactly where the fence line should go. With the ground being extremely undulating with lots of large boulders and trees to work around it took a bit of time to decide on the best line.

Finding the best line

With this done it was time to start digging the hole for the straining post. A hole is dug to a depth the height of a shovel, the post is placed into the hole and rock is compacted tightly around it. This makes sure they are solidly in the ground as the wire fencing is strained off these posts so there's a lot of force on them, and you don't want them moving.

Finishing the hole for the straining post

With the post in the ground, a single wire is tightened between two "strainers" to give a straight line between the posts. A strut is then added to give the post even more strength, this strut runs parallel to the wire. A section of wood is then chiseled out of the straining post that the strut neatly fits into. The other end is dug into the ground and again tightened using rock.

Putting in the strut

With the post properly secured the next job is to knock in the fence posts at equal intervals along the length of the wire. Once this is done the Rylock stock fencing is stapled to one of the strainers and then strained from the other.

Attaching the fence

Once we were happy with the tension in the fence it is stapled to the other straining post and all the fence posts in between and "hey presto" you've got yourself a nice new section of fencing.

Nicely strained fence

Monday, 15 October 2012

FREE guided walks from Sticklebarn over half term

Come along for a guided walk with National Trust ranger James and Mountain Guide (and Fix the Fells voluntary lengthsman), Malcolm. There will be chat about Langdale’s history, geology and archaeology along the way and ranger James might even point out a few hidden gems for you to explore if you’re lucky.

All Walks start & finish from the Sticklebarn in Langdale LA22 9JU (Grid Ref: NY295 065).To make a booking ring James on 015394 63808

On the day, meet from 9am for a 10am start. Coffees & teas are available (and pack Lunches available for purchase).

Stickle Tarn
Stickle Tarn

A wet weather walk option that takes us around the valley will be available if the weather is not suitable for the high level routes on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday.

Monday 29th October: Stickle Tarn and Tarn Crag via Stickle Ghyll

Distance 3.3km, total ascent 399m, total descent 399m, total walking time 2 hours. Grade: Medium. Walking mainly on footpaths.

Join us for a great little walk that packs a big punch.

We will walk up alongside Stickle Ghyll to picturesque Stickle Tarn where we can view the valley far below, and the lofty pikes of Pavey Ark and Harrison Stickle above. From here we will cross Stickle Ghyll and walk around the tarn until we start our route back via Tarn Crag down to Sticklebarn for well earned refreshments.

Tuesday 30th October: Langdale Pikes

Distance 6.8km, total ascent 723m, total descent 725m, total walking time 3.5 hours. Grade: Hard. Steep walking in places but no exposure.

Join us as we conquer the iconic Langdale Pikes.

Following a route up to Stickle Tarn we will skirt the eastern edge of the tarn before climbing the east side of Pavey Ark. We will then visit Harrison Stickle and Pike of Stickle before crossing Loft Crag and ticking off our 4th Wainwright of the day. We descend via Pike Howe past a couple of peat houses on the way back to Sticklebarn.

Wednesday 31st October: Pike O’ Blisco

Distance 7.2km, total ascent 619, total descent 623m , total walking time 4 hours. Grade Hard steep walking in places but no exposure.

Join us as we venture to the summit of the lonely Langdale Pike.

Set apart from its neighbours Pike O’ Blisco offers arguably the best views of all the Pikes.

This walk will take us up the valley of Oxendale and up to Red Tarn via the Browney Ghyll path. From here we will make for the wonderfully rocky summit of Pike O’ Blisco before descending down the path via Red Acre Gill.

Thursday 1st of November: Langdale Pikes (as Tuesday).

Friday 2nd November: Stickle Tarn and Tarn Crag via Stickle Ghyll (as Monday).

Wet Weather Option

Cumbria way to Elterwater.

Distance 8km, 3hours walking time (approx) mainly level walking on Public Rights of Way (but can be wet and rough). Taking in Farming, Quarries and Woodlands.