Working Party! Volunteers Head Out to Fix the Fells
When you are out walking do you ever wonder who made your footpath? Or do you imagine it has been there since the beginning of time? We checked out a National Trust conservation project in the Lake District that aims to ‘Fix The Fells‘ after people like you and I have made our mark on the landscape…..
Are you a vandal?
Are you a vandal?
Are you sure?
No? Are you sure?
Do you ever go for a walk in the countryside?
You probably are..
Then you probably are.
And it’s people like this who volunteer to spend time clearing up after people like you.
You may not know it but every step you take leaves its mark on the land. And in busy places a thousand steps adds up to more than a footprint, more like the mark of a giants clodhoppers.
Every footstep leaves a mark
You probably don’t even know you are a persistent offender. We all take the countryside for granted don’t we? We all wander off paths from time to time, or just walk beside them. But every time your foot strays from the path or squelches in the mud it erodes the very beauty you have come to enjoy.
Luckily for our fragile earth, there is a silent army of people, working all year round to repair the damage you inadvertently do. They toil tirelessly to lay hedges, repair upland paths and restore woodland areas. They shovel gravel. They cut hinges in turf and pack it with soil. They fill damaged peat bogs with sheep’s wool to build paths across them. They haul rock around fell. They measure things with a stick and eat cake in the rain.
Think of these folk who help fix it
So when you are eating your cake in the rain, think of him eating his cake after doing this….
Or even this…
You can join in too
When you are stomping out a new and exciting route, think of how much work others may have done to allow you to do it and what they may have to do in your wake. Or think about joining them.
The people in these pictures have come together as part of Fix the Fells; a partnership involving the National Trust and a collection of organisations who have an interest in protecting the landscape and educating people to walk responsibly. If you live or visit the Lake District, you can volunteer to help too; joining them for a day to do your bit, or a week’s working holiday camping on the fells to really make a difference.
Paths don’t make themselves
But this project isn’t unique to the Lake District. Wherever you are in the great outdoors, there will be visible signs of those invisible volunteers. A path doesn’t make itself. The countryside can’t protect itself. If you are one of nature’s ‘vandals’ then why not minimise your impact by walking responsibly, using existing paths. Or pick up a shovel and get stuck in. If you are local to The Lake District and would like to help then get in touch with the National Trust’s High Wray Base Camp ranger Rob Clarke through their Facebook page.
And please don’t make the excuse that the dog ate your wellies. The world is full of wellies.
Have you taken part in any conservation work? We’d love to hear about it. Click comments below and join the conversation.
This post is part of our Family Adventure Capital Season. We’re exploring different ways families can adventure together in and around Cumbria, sharing ideas and inspiration to encourage families to get out, get active and adventure together.
Got some ideas for things we should try? Let us know.
You might also like these other posts about adventures in Cumbria:
- Finding tranquillity in busy places – Roving Tai Chi around Windermere
- “What is an Adventure Capital?” we asked Cumbria Tourism
- Climbing the Walls: Ever tried family climbing? Keswick Climbing Wall
- Bushcraft survival expert Woodsmoke shows us firelighting
- A special proposal for Leap Year: 29ers in Keswick
- Counting Sheep.. in Cumbrian: Yan, Tyan, Tethera..
- Lake District hills with no sweat and no tears… Electric Bike Network
- Our blue sky, go green, 10 point, Go Lakes travel plan!
- Helen Skelton at Keswick Mountain Festival
- In a tent with Chris Bonnington at Keswick Mountain Festival
- Adventure! on the timetable in Cumbrian Adventure Schools
- Night hiking on Catbells to light a Jubilee Beacon