Latest team news

  • What are you up to this summer?

    14:29 16 July 2014
    By Jo Day

     Thursday 24th July 2-4pm Creatures of the Estuary
    Use pond nets to fish for a variety of weird and wonderful sea creatures in the Duddon Estuary at Low tide. Nets and trays are provided.

    Monday 28th July 1-4pm Family Beach Events Day
    A variety of fun family events run by the National Trust, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Love my Beach. Activities include beach-combing, pond dipping and a sand sculptures competition. Come along at any time between 1pm and 4pm
    Thursday 31st July Stream Dipping
    Explore the fascinating under water world of a stream using pond nets to catch all kinds of weird and wonderful mini beasts.  

    Thursday 7th Aug 2-4pm Mini-Beast Safari
    Take a journey in to sand dunes to explore the hidden world of mini-beasts.
    Thursday 14th Aug 2-4pm Sand sculptures
    Show off your artistic talents by creating natural sculptures from sand and shells on our lovely beach

    Thursday 21st Aug 2-4pm Wildlife Explorer Trail
    Bring your detective skills with you as you investigate what lives amongst the dunes

  • Ongoing Touch Me Not Balsam and Netted Carpet Moth conservation.

    09:27 16 July 2014
    By Ben Knipe, Dave Almond, Dave Jackson, James Archer, Neil Winder, Roland Wicksteed

    Pulling out brambles at two National Trust sites has given a much needed boost to the numbers of a scarce annual native plant known as Touch Me Not Balsam. Its main stronghold is in the Lake District but in quite limited numbers.
    Pulling out brambles at Parson Wyke. Disturbing the ground and reducing competition from brambles will hopefully allow more Touch Me Not seeds to germinate in the Spring.

    An image of the site at Parson Wyke this impressive stand of Touch Me Not where brambles were once dominant.
    A close up of one of the flowers.
    Volunteers help to pull out and cut back brambles at Millerground in March. This has had the  benefit of allowing 2200 bluebells to be planted; when their season is  over, Touch Me Not should appear in greater numbers in late spring.
    Success with the Bluebells at Millerground....
    and later on with the Touch Me Not!
    As mentioned in previous posts, Touch Me Not is the only food source for one of the rarest moths in the UK....The Netted Carpet Moth; its caterpillars (see image) are utterly reliant on this plant. Good numbers of plants are needed to maintain annual moth populations.
    A Netted Carpet Moth spotted on July 11th. These moths were extensively collected by Victorians and for quite some time the moths were thought to be extinct from the 1900s, until "rediscovered" in the 1940s at a site near Windermere.
    At Millerground invasive non native Himalayan Balsam is a constant threat. It is pulled out regularly to prevent it from displacing the Touch Me Not stands.
    Weeping sedge grass {Carex Pendula} is spreading at an alarming rate and is starting to take over some of the Touch Me Not sites. It likes similar conditions. ie damp shady woodlands.
    A small Touch Me Not almost smothered by Carex Pendula. It is sometimes referred to as a "Thug Plant" because it is potentially highly invasive. A concerted effort will be taking place to deal with it soon or otherwise some Touch Me Not stands will be completely overrun.
  • Upland Tarns.

    06:57 13 July 2014
    By Clair Payne, Craig Hutchinson, Glenn Bailey, Ian Griffiths, John Atkinson, John Moffat, Luke Sherwen, Matthew Allmark, Nick Petrie, Paul Farrington, Paul Kear , Richard Tanner, Rob Clarke, Sam Stalker, Sarah Anderson, Stuart Graham

    The word ‘tarn’ is derived from the Old Norse ‘tjorn’, which was used to describe any small body of water. It means ‘a small lake’ or more poetically ‘a teardrop’.

    Tarn is a regional term used largely, but not exclusively in the Lake District, which along with many other local names, originated with the Viking invaders who settled in Cumbria in the tenth century.
    The tarns in Cumbria were formed as a result of glacial action, when the glaciers and ice sheets finally receded some 10,000 years ago, scouring the landscape, allowing water  to be trapped and contained. Many of the highest and most spectacular tarns occupy corries (from Scottish Gaelic coire meaning a pot or cauldron) scooped from the fells by ice, some are surprisingly deep.

    Bleaberry Tarn.
    Bleaberry tarn and Buttermere looking down from Red pike.

    Lying south-west of lake Buttermere, Bleaberry Tarn (meaning blueberry tarn) is a fine example of hanging valley and corrie glacial scenery. The tarn lies between Chapel Crags, Red Pike and the tough scree of The Saddle. The outflow of the tarn flows into Buttermere via the quirkily-named Sour Milk Gill.

    Grisedale Tarn.

    Grisedale Tarn is surrounded by the high ground of the summit of Fairfield itself, Dollywaggon Pike and Seat Sandal. In the past, the tarn was a welcome watering hole for traders on the packhorse routes that used to move goods through the Lake District.
    Grisedale tarn looking towards raise beck from Fairfield path, can you spot the shed!
    There are a few other historical stories associated with it. Legend has it that the last king of Cumbria, King Dunmail, was killed in battle at Dunmail Raise and buried under the large stone pile at the top of the pass. The kings’s surviving warriors are said to have threw his crown into the waters of Grisedale Tarn.

    Red Tarn.