Clearing up after December floods in the Lake District
Over the weekend of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 December, Storm Desmond swept across the North of England, affecting many of our places in the Lake District. The met office confirmed a record rainfall in Cumbria with 341.4mm of rain in just 24 hours. Since then, we’ve been out and about assessing the impact of the floods and supporting the local community with a major clean-up operation.
We have had fantastic support from volunteers since the floods, with clear-up days taking place all over the Lake District. On 2 February we held a work party in Hartsop, where dozens of volunteers and National Trust staff got stuck in to clearing debris out of the fields and fences.
Audrey Riordan was one of the members of staff that helped out, she said: “We had a great day out volunteering at Hartsop clearing stone off the fields & experiencing what it’s like to be a ranger in the Ullswater valley. Loads of fun, a great workout & a good cause too.”
We’ve been busy at Fell Foot working hard to get our buildings back in tip top condition. Our amazing team of volunteers joined us too. We’ve cleaned and scrubbed and tidied the tea room and shop, gathered all the wood from the lake shore and raked thousands of leaves from the pathways. The park has emerged shaken but resilient and we are open every day for beautiful walks and stunning views. The effect of the flooding on our boathouses will take a little longer to resolve as they are still drying out and won’t be open until the end of March.
Urgent repair work in the countryside
Our Ranger teams across the Lakes have undertaken lots more urgent repair work to footpaths, bridges, fences, drystone walls and other countryside furniture. The good news about this is, wherever possible, we’ve kept popular footpaths open so that people can walk the usual popular and iconic routes.
Rangers in Borrowdale worked flat out in torrential rain to build a footbridge in 6 days, so that it was in place before visitors arrived for the Christmas holidays. The footbridge is a temporary alternative to the damaged 800yr old packhorse bridge at Watendlath.
Published 14 January:
Wordsworth House and Garden
" Sadly, the damage to William’s childhood garden looks to be worse than in 2009, even though the water level was lower. Although, this time, it didn’t bring down any walls or the terrace where William and his sister Dorothy loved to play, we’re expecting to lose more of our heritage plants."
Fell Foot, Windermere
At Fell Foot on the southern tip of Lake Windermere, our shop and cafe were completley submerged.
Keswick and Borrowdale
The team used their forestry tractor to get rid of fallen trees, tree stumps and even wreckage from caravans off the sports field. Due to its dexterity, the hydraulic arm had a much greater impact on the speed of clearing up than a larger machine.
Cat Bells path
Roy and Daisy the labrador and a team of rangers repair one of our most iconic paths. Take a look at the video.
Our rangers have also been out and about in the community - here they're helping some of our locals who were cut off by the water levels surrounding their home. Take a look at the video.