The most recent one was at Gosling Sike Farm and last year I did a couple of work parties at Eycott Hill.
On the 10 February I headed out to Gosling Sike Farm for the first time and as there was a few of us in the group who had never been here before, we started the day with Sophie, the Assistant Reserves Manager who gave us a tour of the site. As we went round we took some WD40 and gave some of the new gates a bit of lubrication. It was nice to see locals using the paths for a gentle stroll or a dog walk. Gosling Sike Farm is a small working farm with some rare longhorn cattle still bred by the resident farmer Susan Aglionby, who gifted the land to Cumbria Wildlife Trust. It is a lovely site with some ponds and a small woodland. There are also educational days run for children here, which is great.
After our tour we set to work. It was nice to see some familiar faces from other volunteer work parties and some new ones too! Some of the volunteers went to move a post pictured below, some went to put up new information signs and two went off to fix the new path to prevent further erosion. Meanwhile myself, Angus who is on an apprentice scheme (I think!) and a young lady called Monan originally from Anglessey set out to erect a small fence to prevent the cattle eating a section of reed bed.....
|Gosling Sike Farm sign that was moved|
|Fixing the path at Gosling Sike|
|Initial stages of the fence|
|Fence strainer post aligned and ready|
|Me with my fence post - very proud!|
Eycott Hill is one of my favourite reserves and it is great news that Cumbria Wildlife Trust have now secured funding to purchase the site and begin their restoration project to return this land to an upland area that is correctly managed with regulated grazing and the restoration of trees and plants. It is a site that is both interesting for its geology and diverse flora and fauna. If you are interested there is more information on Cumbria Wildlife Trust's website, have a look at Eycott Hill. And even better get out there yourself for a visit - it truly is an amazing and tranquil place.
|View of Blencathra from Eycott Hill|
Unfortunately I missed the tree planting at Eycott Hill due to work commitments. However, I did on a work party towards the end of last year when we went back to help the windblown trees and to protect the boxed trees which appeared to be getting nibbled by rodents!
|The windblown newly planted trees - Eycott Hill|
|Volunteers in Action - Repairs to the windblown|
|Some older trees demonstrating the wind direction|
|Tree protection - Eycott Hill|
|A Cumbria Wildlife Trust Shrew Skirt|
|Getting ready for work again after lunching in the sun|
|Weeding the juniper - Eycott Hill|
|Devils Matchstick - Eycott Hill|
|Scarlet Waxcap - Eycott Hill|
|Stunning Views - Eycott Hill|
|Eycott Hill in the snow|
As a start point have a look at Cumbria Wildlife Trust What's On page
or RSPB volunteering
and that is just a start - there are lots of organisations you can volunteer with.