Friends of the Lake District- 2017 Landscape Training Workshops for Leaders

FOLD LogoFriends 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.

28th April- Esk Ghyll - Continuing the use whilst minimising the damage

Esk Ghyll is a challenging ghyll scramble at the head of the Esk Valley and is getting more and more use. With this increased use, the impact of the users upon the environment and the farming community is becoming more and more visible. Through working with a range of outdoor providers, Institute for Outdoor Learning and the Association Heads of Outdoor Education Centres the National Trust has led the development of a Voluntary Users Code of Conduct.

This FREE workshop aims to look at the landscape that the ghyll runs through, the challenges to the farming community and the impact to the environment from ghyll scramblers. We will aim to go through the code of conduct and explain the thinking and rationale behind it.
Lake District Walking

12th May- Fix the Fells Upland Path Restoration and Impacts of Storm Desmond

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 in recent years, the need for their repair and maintenance has never been greater.

Heading up Boredale Hause from Patterdale and onto Place Fell, 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.

23rd May- Geology: An Introduction to Rocks and Landscape Interpretation (Session 1)

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.

21st June- Flora & Fauna of a Traditional Farmstead

High Lickbarrow Farm has recently been given to the National Trust. The farm has been managed organically for many decades and has been managed in very traditional ways. Much of the land is designated SSSI. We shall look at the flora of this farm. On the farm and nearby are some interesting small tarns and, should the weather be suitable, an introduction to Lakeland damsel and dragonflies will be given.

The decision on whether or not the Lake District will be given World Heritage Site inscription will be made this summer. We will discuss the potential implications of such a decision. We hope also to have a debate with you about the issue of dogs in the countryside.

27th June- Restoration of Upland Hay Meadows in the Extended Lake District National Park

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 last year it finally became part of the Lake District National Park. Further east, a large area of the Orton Fells and Howgills, at the same time, joined 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 as well as being incredibly beautiful places to spend time. 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.

In addition, FLD have been busy planting 5,200 new trees at High Borrowdale this winter and we will discuss whether trees can play a part in flood alleviation schemes.

11th July- Structural geology and the relationships of the rocks of the Eastern Lake District

This session follows on neatly from the Geology workshop on 23rd May, but it is also designed as a standalone workshop.

The Windermere Supergroup of rocks occupies the southern half of the Lake District National Park and crops out roughly south of a line from Shap Wells to Millom and taking in the Howgills. The course will examine in more detail the structures (folding, faulting and sedimentary structures) of this group of Ordovician to Silurian-aged rocks at two localities and will also examine the unconformable relationship of the group with much younger strata just inside the National Park at Shap Abbey.

The session will require some driving between locations in one half of the day followed by a hillside transect carried out on foot in Longsleddale in the other half.

26th July- Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site Bid

Bids for World Heritage inscription for the English Lake District were made as long ago as the 1980s and although they were deferred for further consideration, in 1992 UNESCO created a new category of World Heritage site – the ‘cultural landscape’ – on the basis of the English Lake District’s case. In 2014 the government agreed that the English Lake District would be the UK’s World Heritage nomination in 2017 as a World Heritage cultural landscape. The Nomination Document and Management Plan were prepared in 2015 and submitted to UNESCO in January 2016 and UNESCO will make a decision on the bid in July 2017.

The case for World Heritage inscription for the English Lake District is based on three themes of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’: the harmonious beauty of the natural landscape as modified by farming and industry; the inspiration of the landscape for the Picturesque and Romantic movements; and the emergence of early conservation initiatives to protect the Lake District landscape - which led to the creation of the National Trust and UK National Parks. These themes are intertwined and inseparable and together make a unique and compelling case for the English Lake District to be a World Heritage site.

The day is designed to explain these three themes and the physical and associative attributes in the landscape which support them. These will be discussed during a walk from Grasmere to Rydal which will include a stop at the Wordsworth Trust to see the current exhibition ‘Wordsworth Country’, which explores the ways in which Wordsworth's words began to draw people to the landscape that inspired them, and shows how the Lake District became so inextricably linked with its most famous figure.

8th August- The Hidden Landscapes of the Westmorland Dales and Cumbrian Commons

The limestone area to the north of the Howgills, which is crossed by the Coast to Coast and other long distance routes, is part of the recent extension to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This area, known as the Westmorland Dales, is also home to a new partnership that is seeking to reveal its fascinating hidden landscapes. The day will involve a walk from Sunbiggin Tarn on Little Asby Common up onto the top of the limestone scar that overlooks the upper Lune valley. We will explore the rich natural and cultural heritage of the area, and the importance of the common land to its conservation and management.

Join us to find more about this unique habitat and how Friends of the Lake District are protecting and managing this special part of the Cumbrian landscape.

24th August- Red Squirrel Conservation and Woodland Management

The future of the Red Squirrel in the UK is the prime test or ‘indicator’ of how British society understands, accepts and deals with invasive species damage to the natural environment.

The unchecked, exponential rise in the grey squirrel population is not only eliminating the native red squirrel from the UK but is also responsible for the increasing problem of ring-bark damage to trees. This damage, in addition to imported infections of native trees, is dissuading investment in tree planting which will further reduce the UK’s already lowest percentage of woodland cover compared to every other country in Europe.

If the Government and people of the UK fail to solve this serious, but manageable, invasive species problem there is little prospect they can deal with more difficult invasive plant, aquatic and biological introductions now affecting the UK. History will not be sympathetic to such failure. Find out from the Grasmere Red Squirrel Group what is being done about the problem and how success can be achieved.


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

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