Friends of the Lake District- Landscape Training Workshops for Leaders

Lake District WalkingFriends of the Lake District are running a variety of landscape training sessions throughout spring and summer, specifically designed for outdoor leaders. Gain a deeper understand of Cumbria's upland ecology and understand some of the issues and pressures of outdoor users on the landscape, wildlife and habitats.

Looking at your ‘office space’ with a heightened awareness and understanding may inspire you to think and work differently, to enjoy, protect and respect our beautiful but surprisingly fragile upland landscapes and to pass on this knowledge to those with whom you work.

All sessions are booked on a first come first served basis. Please bring: a picnic lunch & clothing/footwear for all weathers.

27th April- Fix the Fells, Flooding and Climate Change Impacts

Upland paths in the Lake District receive a tremendous pressure of use from fell-walkers and climbers and combined with heavy rainfall events like those we’ve seen recently, the need for their repair and maintenance has never been greater. Richard Fox, Fix the Fells Ranger will be discussing the impacts outdoor recreation and weather have on our surprisingly fragile upland landscapes, the whys and wherefores of path repair and maintenance and ways those who use the fells can help keep them fighting fit for the future. As heavy rainfall and flooding are apparently occurring more frequently we will need to find ways to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Environmental scientist, international conservationist and FLD President Sir Martin Holdgate will be discussing the issues.

10th May- Rewilding – The Wild Ennerdale Project

The remote valley of Ennerdale on the western fringe of the Lake District National Park offers a spectacular landscape of mountain ridges, extensive woodland, dynamic natural rivers, a glacial lake and highly valued flora and fauna. For over a decade, a nature-first restoration approach by a partnership of landowners has been encouraging the evolution of a wilder landscape for the benefit of people. The balance of wilding, access and engagement is a sensitive one. The day will focus on practical management, philosophical approaches and views from you as outdoor practitioners.

24th May- Cumbria’s Most Unwanted! - Invasive Non-Native Species and Land Management

The day will focus on the current risks and threats towards water quality around the River Brathay catchment. The session will focus on 3 topics for discussion:
  • The presence and control of riparian invasive non-native species in the catchment and further afield in Cumbria and the threat of those on the counties boarders.
  • The presence of the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, its habitat, requirements and life cycle and identifying the primary pressures and issues this species face.
  • Elterwater – issues with the lake and history of water quality decline, the effects on ecology and the current remediation works taking place.

15th June- Lake District Landscape Character, Flora & Wildlife

The area covered is part of the Lake District National Park extension which becomes effective in August this year. There is a wealth of wildlife and access on this walk which, incidentally, is almost entirely on land owned by the National Trust. The focus of the day will be:
  • What is a National Park and how does land qualify to be included?
  • Limestone grassland wildlife and landscape
  • Native woodland – management for wildlife
  • Wetland creation for wildlife
Orchids may feature on the walk. The value of such places, undergoing active conservation, for people will be a significant issue of discussion.

29th June- Haymeadow Restoration & National Park Extensions

High Borrowdale is part of the ‘other’ forgotten Borrowdale and someone is always about to plunder it. It was left out of the Lake District National Park in 1951 as it lies just to the east of the then busy A6. However, after years of campaigning by FLD, on 1 Aug it will finally become part of the Lake District National Park. Further east, a large area of the Orton Fells and n Howgills will at the same time join the Yorkshire Dales National Park. We will explore landscape designations, what they mean and whether this will make a difference to the future of this hidden and delightful valley and surrounding area.

FLD own High Borrowdale and we strive to trial new and different ways of management. We were one of the first organisations to successfully recreate a new upland hay meadow. Upland hay meadows are in decline but are hugely important for biodiversity and landscape. We will explore why they are declining, how they can be restored, how management differs to other habitats and if they are something to be worried about.

15th July- Sustainable Catchment Management

The RSPB have taken the tenancies of two upland farms, Naddle & Swindale on the United Utilities owned Haweswater Catchment. With their associated commons, these two farms form a significant proportion of the reservoir catchment, which is the source of drinking water for 2 million people in the north-west. The RSPB are now working in partnership with United Utilities to manage these farms to deliver improved outcomes for raw drinking water quality, biodiversity and other ecosystem services, whilst continuing to run a working hill farm.

The visit will focus on Swindale, taking in restored hay meadows, developing plans for river restoration works and areas of tree planting and other works associated with the sustainable catchment management programme (SCaMP).

12th August- Lake District Common Land, Cultural Landscape, Flora & Wildlife

The area of this walk is largely on common land, owned and managed by the Lake District National Park Authority. It includes a diverse area of lakeshore, tarns, mires surrounded by bracken and heather clad fellsides with rocky outcrops. It is an area popular with visitors.

The focus of the day will be to examine the role of common land in the landscape, the wildlife of upland Cumbria and their relationship with the cultural landscape of sheep farming. The bid for World Heritage inscription for the Lake District will be a constant theme. Subject to the weather, we shall look for some iconic Lakeland wildlife and flora.

23rd August- Geology- An Introduction to Rocks & Landscape Interpretation

The course will look at the hard rock geology of Borrowdale and the story of its formation. It is the story of volcanoes, islands arcs, plate tectonics and earthquakes. Some context will be given so that the story can be appreciated as part of a longer history of the Lake District’s evolution.

Alongside the hard rock story, the course will look at the reasons behind the current shape of the landscape. This is the much more recent story of the Ice age shaping the volcanic rocks into the crags, fells and valleys we see today and for which the Lake District is justly famous.

TO book on any of the FREE sessions email ruth-kirk@fld.org.uk (tel. 01539 720788)