Friday, 7 March 2014

Path repairs at Dora's Field

Since our last update we've been busily working away in Dora's Field, at Rydal, just outside Ambleside. Our work was replacing some old slate steps with something that would be easier to walk on, would be in keeping with the garden and would also last indefinitely.

 The original path

We decided we'd use the same technique as we had in High Close gardens at the end of last year. We set to work digging in the large slates to form the front of the step, and filling in the back with smaller pieces of slate.

 After just over a weeks work

The idea was to get our work completed before the main show of Daffodils started to appear. This would cause the minimum amount of damage to them and give plenty of time for things to settle down before the National Gardens Scheme open day at the end of March (Details of which can be found here... Link).

 New section of path

While working there we actually spotted the first Daffodil coming into flower, along with a few Crocuses and lots of Snowdrops. There were still plenty more only just breaking through the soil though, so there should still be plenty in flower if you're planning a visit in the coming few weeks.

 Getting the levels right

The work was quite slow going as each stone had to be individually shaped by hand and the levels needed to be regularly checked to make a good surface to walk on.

Filling in the gaps

Once all the stonework was completed we filled in the gaps with a dry-mix of sand and cement to add extra strength to the whole path. This was later covered over with some soil to help everything blend in a little better.
 The new path before landscaping

Once this was all done, it was just a matter of tidying things up, we removed all the surplus stone and levelled off all the soil that had been dug out. Then finally we removed the tracks we'd created where we'd accessed the site with the power barrow. The whole project took us a little under five weeks to complete.

We're planning to return to Dora's Field next year and carry out some similar work on the other side of the path to complete the short circular route. This will make the site more accessible to a wider range of people to come and enjoy Wordsworth's Daffodils each spring.

Tidying up and landscaping

Much of the material costs for replacing the steps were paid for by a kind donation so we'd like to give our thanks. If you'd like to donate money towards our work in the Lake District just follow this link...Lake District Appeal. To discuss donating to a specific project such as our work at Dora's Field please contact Liz Guest on 015394 63806 or email