More Updates

Take a look at some of the other work we have been doing in the central and south-east area of the Lake District.


Lake District route improved for all abilities

Date: July 2017

People of all abilities can now enjoy a smoother way to take in spectacular views across Windermere, thanks to National Park rangers upgrading a new path at Bowness.

Lake District National Park (LDNP) has worked with its partners, United Utilities and the National Trust, to improve the path, allowing wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs to get through with little effort from the Glebe to Cockshott Point in Bowness-On-Windermere. Bi-directional gates were installed making it possible for people to easily open the gates both ways. Locals and visitors can benefit from this 600 metre path, which now qualifies as an accessible for all Miles without Stiles route.

Graham Standring, area ranger at LDNP says:

“It’s very important for us to keep people safe when enjoying the outdoors and provide routes for all abilities. We took the opportunity to improve this alternative route, with minimum disruption, when United Utilities were laying new sewage pipes under an existing nearby path.  The path is now complete so we want people to come along, try it for themselves, and enjoy the superb views of Windermere.”

Walkers enjoying the Glebe to Cockshott Point path.

For more information visit: http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/thingstodo/walking/mileswithoutstiles/mws5


Flood Recovery update

Date: April 2017

Since Storm Desmond struck in December 2015 it would be fair to say we’ve been very busy!

Immediately following the floods, we quickly surveyed and prioritised those areas most affected, and found:

  • missing or damaged bridges were in need of replacement or significant repair
  • public paths had surface damage, undercutting or were lost to river action
  • paths had damaged pieces of access furniture, such as gates, stiles, and signposts

All of this left us with a repair bill of £5.8million!

Wain Lane near Troutbeck

After a great deal of preparatory work we were delighted in November 2016 to announce a £3 million grant for ‘Routes to Resilience’, our 21-month flood recovery programme. This funding has come from the Rural Payments Agency’s ‘Cumbria Countryside Access Fund’, using funding from the European Rural Development Programme.

In the Central and South East area we certainly have our fair share of work. In 2016 we carried out vital repairs to a few of the most important sites, such as replacing the Badger Bar bridge at Rydal, at a cost of £23,000 (of which £11,500 was kindly donated by the Friends of the Lake District).

Dipper Bridge at Rydal

Since then we have been costing, writing specifications, seeking consents, writing work programmes and taking on, and training, new staff to deliver this project. You will now start to see them working in the areas of the National Park most badly affected, and we will post regular updates to show the work in progress.

For more information see our web page: Cumbrian floods


Lime Kiln Clearance

Date: April 2017

Our Archaeology volunteers have recently carried out clearance work around two of the historic lime kilns that are dotted around the limestone areas of the Lake District.

The kilns were used to produce the chemical compound lime which has had a major role in shaping the Lake District, by sweetening acidic soils and improving fertility so fells could be turned into farmland. It was also used to whitewash houses, bind and render stonework and to decorate walls and chimneys. There is more information here: Limekilns

The two kilns, both near to Witherslack, had become very overgrown with ivy, and young trees. Without intervention, the stonework would soon have been damaged, and eventually the growth would cause the kiln walls to partially or totally collapse.  

Both the kilns had also become nearly invisible from the adjacent footpaths, but they are now visible and once again a clear reminder of this historic process.

Cat Crag lime kiln before vegetation clearanceCat Crag lime kiln after vegetation clearance

Castle Crag kiln before and after our volunteers cleared the overgrown vegetation - what a difference!


Elleray Wood and Orrest Head Access Improvement Project

Date: February 2017

We have recently completed the first phase of a project to improve access to Orrest Head, one of the Lake District’s most iconic viewpoints.  This spot was much loved by the famous writer Alfred Wainwright, as it gave him his first-ever view over the Lake District mountains.

Work was carried out on an old carriageway that winds its way up through Elleray Wood and was originally used by horse and cart to take Victorian tourists to near the summit. This carriageway was completely buried by soil and leaf litter so we have cleared it off and have now re-surfaced around 700 metres of the route, and designated it as a footpath. The route has a low gradient – horse and carriages don’t like steep hills - so re-instating it will enable less-able walkers to access Orrest Head by missing out the existing steep and rocky footpath.

The work has been carried out in partnership with Windermere Town Council, South Lakeland District Council, and thanks to the kindness of an agricultural tenant who gave up a piece of his land  for the route. Ultimately, we hope to be able to continue the route all the way to the summit which would provide a rare opportunity for less-able users to get to the top of a Lakeland fell. We will continue to work to secure the necessary landowner agreement and funding.  

If you wish to donate to help us complete this route you can do so via this link: Donate to Orrest Head and Elleray Wood access improvements project (opens in a new window)