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Allen tarn

John Ruskin HS Freshwater Activity Day

July 12th, 2018 by Kath Smith

Year 7 students from John Ruskin High School spent Monday 9th July learning about freshwater invertebrates and sampling two becks that flow into Coniston Water. Prior to the day I spent time creating a PowerPoint presentation for the first session of the day as well as planning the day out with the lead teacher Mrs Mallett, looking at risk assessments and organising volunteers to help. I also designed a worksheet for the students to use on the day. Amy, who’s…

Slate Shards and the River Crake

June 25th, 2018 by Kath Smith

One of the conservation activities of the project concerns slate shards in the River Crake. In the 1700s and 1800s  a variety of materials were transported from Coniston to Greenodd via Coniston Water and the Crake. As well as copper, charcoal and iron, one of the commodities was slate. It was unloaded at the southern end of the lake, before being moved to Greenodd by road. There were several unloading points including a quayside approximately 50m south of Allen Tarn,…

Yew Beauty! – A LDNPA Volunteer Led Guided Walk

June 13th, 2018 by Kath Smith

Once again I joined volunteers from the Lake District National Park Authority, this time Jean and Stephanie, on a guided walk through Yewdale Woods. It was a warm, sunny day and we were joined by 6 adults on this short, circular walk from Coniston. Jean, Stephanie & I shared our knowledge and interests with the group and each other as we passed trees, stonewalls, becks that just about had water running in them and a lime kiln. The normally flowing…

Mayfly Mayhem!

May 31st, 2018 by Kath Smith

We paid another visit to Spark Bridge and the River Crake during half term. The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny and due to the recent good spell, the river wasn’t running fast or high. There was a good turnout, some of whom had joined us before so it was nice to see familiar faces. Four brilliant volunteers helped with dipping and identification and throughout the morning we found lots of lovely minibeasts including stoneflies and mayflies which tell us…

Save our Soil

May 14th, 2018 by Kath Smith

Soil is currently being destroyed 10 times faster than it is being created. This is not only putting the farming sector at risk and costing England & Wales £1.2 billion a year, but it is also negatively affecting the health of our rivers.  A new report by WWF, The Rivers Trust and The Angling Trust shows that spending approximately £10 million a year on soil protection measures would ensure a future for agriculture and reverse the decline of our rivers. This…

A Tell and Show at Water Yeat

April 24th, 2018 by Kath Smith

Following some feedback from residents in the Lowick and Blawith area of the catchment Kath decided it was time to give an update on how the project was progressing. Chatting with one of our volunteers Anne Cleaver, we settled on an evening talk to be held at Water Year Village Hall.So the next thing to do was to decide what to talk about… Hmm…… I thought it was time to do something other than the usual 45 minute PowerPoint presentation…

Walking with the LDNPA Volunteers

April 10th, 2018 by Kath Smith

Last Sunday Kath joined up with the Lake District National Park on one of their volunteer led guided walks. The walk started from Torver schoolroom and headed onto Torver common, taking in Torver Tarn and Beacon Tarn. Lindsay Harrison was an excellent guide, pointing out the history behind archaeological features and the more modern slip trenches. Kath also talked a little about the project aims, the de-culverting work at Water Park and the beck naturalisation at Thurston. On the return…

Creating fish refuge sites

March 23rd, 2018 by Kath Smith

Project Officer Mike continuing work along the River Crake, ably assisted by SCRT’s newest team member Matt,allowed out on his third day! Large Woody Debris (LWD) or engineered woody structures (EWS) are used to create fish refuge sites.  Selected trees are felled at the bank-side and anchored closely into the side with steel cable. This mimics natural processes but in a controlled way. These are particularly beneficial on straight sections of river adding shade and briefly changing flow. They are also good…

Great skills on show!

February 19th, 2018 by Kath Smith

The nest box workshop held in Coniston as part of National Nestbox Week was well attended with fantastic box making skills on show. A variety of boxes were made; those with a hole in the front were for blue tits, great tits and tree sparrows. Open fronted ones were made for robins, wrens and spotted flycatchers. Special boxes for bats were made too. It was great to see so many joining in the making and others for showing an interest…

Brilliant Nestboxes!

February 16th, 2018 by Kath Smith

Year 9 students from John Ruskin school spent a morning learning about the project, in particular the work to improve biodiversity and habitats for birds and bats. The students, who are working on the their John Muir awards, found out for themselves how hard it is to make a nest out of natural materials – just using a beak or in their case tweezers! The session was rounded off with the making of 10 nest boxes for birds that will be…