March: Spring into action

early morning view of Tarn Hows looking north west

Looking after special places is what we do best, from litter picking and tree planting to repairing dry stone walls.

But sometimes we have to go that extra mile to make sure our places are given the best care.  Tarn Hows is one of the many outdoor sites you can explore in the Lake District, and is set to host a rather special visitor soon…

We'll be visited by a horse-logger who will be safely removing felled timber from around the tarn, helping us in the partial restoration of the landscape back to the original vision of James Garth Marshall, who designed Tarn Hows.  Marshall’s vision involved clumps of trees planted in a carefully considered way, highlighting rocky knolls and including the iconic Stickle Pike. Many species of trees were planted, such as redwoods, and then conifers were planted to nestle around these specimen trees and protect them as they grew. These were always intended for removal, but Marshall died before his vision came to fruition. Tarn Hows is now a densely wooded landscape, so we will gradually be removing some trees, opening up views and revealing some rocky knolls.

Tarn Hows is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, or SSSI, meaning it’s important that we work carefully to protect this habitat at every stage of the project. This is where the horses come in! 

It is often difficult to get logs out of woodland, as using heavy machinery can cause damage to delicate ecosystems. Though still a rare sight today, horse-logging is increasingly recognised as a fantastic way to manage woodlands. Many conservation organisations are using this ancient technique to bring their woodlands back to life, saving the craft of horse-logging from being lost all together.