2018 Landscape Training Workshops for Leaders

Friends of the Lake District are running a variety of landscape training sessions throughout spring and summer this year, 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.

Workshop programme

16th April - Geology

The Westmorland Dales is the area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, within Cumbria, that lies to the north of the Howgill Fells with the Orton and Asby fells at its heart. It is also the focus of a Heritage Lottery funded landscape partnership scheme which seeks to engage people in revealing, conserving and enjoying the hidden heritage of this unique area. One of the projects, Revealing the Foundations, is focussing on the area’s geology.

This walk will look at how the landscape has been shaped by it its underlying geology, principally carboniferous limestone, then sculpted by ice, rain and people over thousands of years into the landscape we see today. The area boasts classic karst scenery, with some of the best limestone pavements in the country, fantastic fossils and evidence of the glaciers that once scoured the landscape.

The walk will be led by Dr Elizabeth Pickett, an independent geologist who has worked in the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales, and recently produced an excellent report on the area’s geology. It will also look at the link between geology, biodiversity and the built heritage of the area, not least its dry stone walls and other man-made landscape features.

Trainer: David Evans - Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Development Officer
Dr Elizabeth Pickett - Independent Geologist Lake District Walking

2nd May - Birds & habitats of the Lake District National Park

A large number of different habitats exist in the Lake District, from high mountain to deep lakes. .This means that the variety of wildlife found among them is also wide. This session walks two transects through differing habitats typical of the Lake District and looks at the birds found within them. The session also helps with simple bird identification, habitat guides and birdwatching techniques which can be incorporated into walks or guided activities within the Lake District. Participants should learn more about the birds and habitats that they are likely to encounter in the National Park.

Trainer: Stephen Mott

22nd May - Landscape & cultural history (bringing the landscape to life)

The present-day Lakeland landscape has been created through centuries of change and development. Since the medieval period people have settled the land, working the woodlands and clearing land for farming. Many of the villages in the Lake District have ‘thwaite’ names, meaning a clearing in the woods. A classic example is the South Lakeland village of Finsthwaite, where the settlement is embedded in an historic field pattern, surrounded by woodlands.

One of the projects in the Rusland Horizons Landscape Partnership Scheme has researched field and woodland names. These names tell us a lot about the physical and cultural heritage of the land. Using a wide variety of sources, local communities have volunteered weeks of work and the fruits of their labours are now available on an interactive map (which will be demonstrated).

A mixture of guided walks and talks will bring the landscape of Finsthwaite to life. It will serve as a great example of how some quality research can yield huge dividends in explaining the view in front of your eyes, and will make you think differently about the landscape and how it has developed over the centuries.

Trainer: Sophia Martin (local historian)

6th June - Wildlife of the Cumbrian fringe

The hinterland of Millom was once a thriving site of the iron industry. When the industry closed it left both problems and opportunities. Wildlife took to the many sites and the area is rich in flora and fauna. We shall explore the wildlife of these sites formerly regarded as derelict.

We shall also look at the national park from outside the boundary and consider how we came to have national parks and designated landscapes. The writings of Millom poet Norman Nicholson will also feature during the day.

Trainer: Ian Brodie – Open Spaces Society

12th June - Woodland management & industries (Then & now)

In the past the woods would have rung out with workers cutting and cleaving, weaving and charcoal burning. Force Knot Wood is ideally placed to illustrate this industrial heritage with the old bobbin mills and forges very close by and a long history of timber use.

A coppice regime is being reintroduced here and swill basket makers Owen Jones and Lorna Singleton are working in the woods to produce the timber they need for their craft, with side lines of peeled oak for the tanning industry and charcoal and firewood. Jack Holden has also been working in the woods and specialises in cleft oak fences and gates. All these modern uses will be on show on this special working woodlands themed day.

Trainer: Woodland workers: Lorna Singleton, Owen Jones and Jack Holden
Rebecca Oaks of the Skills and Swills programme for Rusland Horizons

27th June - Hayeswater Hydro

This session is to show how the National Trust are developing renewable energy projects within sensitive landscapes as part of its commitment to generate 50%of all its energy requirements from renewables by 2020.

The Trust will talk about the challenges of developing hydropower within such a volatile and sensitive landscape but also how some of these challenges can be overcome and what the opportunities are for further schemes in the lakes.

The visit will take us to the largest National Trust hydropower scheme in the lakes (250 kW) where we will be able to see the turbines in operation and hear about its performance to date.

Trainer: Garry Sharples – National Trust Lead Consultant
Renewable Energy Investment Programme (Hydropower Projects)

10th July - Flood Resilience

Post Storm Desmond, there has been a heightened focus on flood resilience, catchment management and natural flood management. Using FLD’s High Borrowdale as an example, we will explore :
  • How can we make communities and landscape more resilient to floods?
  • How can catchment management help?
  • What is the role for natural flood management techniques v hard engineering?
  • What is the science behind a lot of the new techniques?
  • What is currently happening in Cumbria?
  • What compromises to the landscape may we have to make?
Trainer: Dr Lois Mansfield, Principal Lecturer, Centre for National Parks & Protected Areas, Department of Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies, Lake District Campus, University of Cumbria
Jan Darrall – Friends of the Lake District Policy Officer

14th August - Glenridding: Balancing multiple land use on a lakeland common

Glenridding Common rising to the summit of Helvellyn is an iconic location for many in the British uplands. It is visited by tens of thousands of people annually; it is part of two local farm enterprises and is one of a few strongholds in England for its Arctic alpine flora and other important species.

The balance between recreation, farming and conservation can be a challenge, especially in hostile upland environments, but that is the focus and aim of the John Muir Trust who have a management lease on the land. Cultural, recreational and environmental issues will be discussed on a walk from Glenridding across the common to Red Tarn.

Trainer: Pete Barron John Muir Trust

26th September - Fix the fells and mend our mountains

The British Mountaineering Council’s Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million campaign is a call to action to everyone who values the hills, mountains and landscapes of Britain. It aims to galvanise mass support for things we all use: the paths, bridleways and bridges which underpin our experiences in the great outdoors. Through a year-long appeal they aim to raise £1 million in total for a range of vital projects within the UK’s entire family of 15 National Parks.

Fix the Fells is the upland path restoration programme in the Lake District National Park. Heading up Brown Tongue (which will be a beneficiary of the Mend our Mountains campaign) Richard Fox, Fix the Fells Ranger, will be discussing the impacts outdoor recreation and weather have had 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.

Trainer: Richard Fox – LDNP Ranger
Carey Davies – BMC Hill Walking Development Officer

2nd October - Rewilding: The 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.

Trainer: Rachel Oakley – Partnership Officer


Click on the hyperlinked workshop titles for more information about each session.

To book on any of the FREE sessions please email (tel. 01539 720788)

Lake District Leaders Landscape Training