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" The Paddock Transformed "

Date & start time:     20 - 26 th February 2018.

Location of Start :    By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :         The newly acquired bottom field.

Walk details :             Back and fore, back and fore.

Highest point :           Pulling the plug out . . .

Worked with :           John Lowe and Craig, Bill and myself.

Weather :                    Cold and dry after a wet spell . . . getting colder as the week progressed.


A few old photos of Loweswater and the view from our cottage.

These first two were dated from before we moved up !

Gillerthwaite Farm House and the view up the valley to Great Gable . . . last century if not before !

The gate in the pictures is now the bottom entrance to our lower garden . . . in the photo it's a sheep field with an entrance from the lane.

Again an older view of Gillerthwaite after some building and renovations.

[ Note the new roof line and larger windows.]

Between our garden and next door is a small field separated by a rickety fence.

Over time it has been incorporated into the larger grass field to the left . . . this is what it has been like for most of the last fifteen years.

A sheep shelter strangely adorns the field just beyond the line where the old fence used to be.

- - - o o o - - -

I had the opportunity to buy this small package of land and fancied developing a small wildlife project.

Firstly, our new neighbour renovating the house next door kindly let me have some hardcore free of charge.

It also avoided him carting it elsewhere and incurring expensive dumping charges . . . a win-win situation.

Now to think what to do with it !

- - - o o o - - -

The Plan.

We have opened a new gate into the lane

which allows us to get in and work on the field.

The stream that currently flows down the wall on the right

would look a lot better if it was "meandered"

to form a pond.

Plant a hedge for the birds, a few fruit trees for ourselves

and hey presto . . . the Wild Loweswater Project was underway.


- - - o o o - - -

Burning off a load of garden brash . . . now I have the chance to clear the garden rubbish and dead blackberry canes.

The contractor came to build a rather nice fence across the gap . . . courtesy of Mark . . .  and Jackson Hope at Corn How Farm.

The two fence larger fence posts are for a gate should we need one in the future.

That will keep the sheep and occasional cows out . . . but not the rabbits.

The day after we took possession . . .
. . . the wall fell down !
It's my neighbour's wall . . .
. . . but best fixed a.s.a.p.

An interesting little project and a useful one too . . . now to get the rest organised.

- - - o o o - - -

Tuesday of last week the heavy mob turned up . . .

Man and a digger . . . man and a dumper . . . courtesy of John and Alison Lowe Landscaping

Scrape the top soil back and drop hardcore on the base . . .
. . . replace the topsoil and we have a kyst (bank) for a hedge.
Two recently planted trees were highlighted for their protection.
A plum tree (left) and a recent gift of a small weeping willow.

Loading some of that hard core into the dumper to save multiple journeys across the field.

Same idea again with the stream . . .

clear the top soil off, layer in some hard core and replace top soil, forming a curved bank.

The dumper was used to move hardcore and to compress the finished earthworks.

The existing stream ran down along side of the wall.

Time to build a diversionary wall . . .

Now for the big moment when we'll divert the water . . . but that will have to wait till the morning.

- - - o o o - - -

Next day John filled the gap and backfilled the short wall with soil . . . and the stream is diverted around into its new meander.

Adjust the outflow depth to get the required water level . . .

- - - o o o - - -


Our first reflection in the "Reflection Pool"


Craig, John's excellent digger driver,

adjusts the last of the bank to get the levels right

and then place enough topsoil so that the grass will grow back.


Hopefully the pond will be about knee-deep,

thigh-deep if you are a dog !


- - - o o o - - -


A final run around to flatten the bumps and fill in the hollows.

The sieves (reeds) will be bashed about but will need regular strimming to finally remove them.

End of day two.

- - - o o o - - -

Day three of this landscaping work . . .

There's a man down there shovelling something . . .

Just a quick visit by John to drop off a trailer full of topsoil to cover the top part of the hardcore ramp.

He's off to his next job . . . the rest is up to me now !

I've been growing some daffodil bulbs in pots . . . ready for the time I could plant them here.

That's why they look a bit "instant".

- - - o o o - - -

Over the weekend Sherran and Bill came to stay.

We've placed a few poles to estimate where our fruit trees will go.

John has delivered the hedge plants . . .
. . . which Bill and I planted out on the bank.

Now we just need twelve deep holes to plant the twelve trees.

Ann and Sherran (with the camera) walk the dogs while the workers get to work . . . thankfully the weather is perfect.

Bill worked like a Trojan for the two morning of his visit for which I'm eternally grateful.

[ We all managed time out together for afternoon walks  . . . which will be documented shortly.]

Keswick Codlin Apple . . . a really local variety.
Conference Pear, hopefully with a rabbit-proof sleeve fitted.

The fruit trees were specially selected by Whitehaven Garden Centre to suit this cooler location.

Hopefully Stewart's choice of varieties will prove "fruitful".

Now to protect the hedge plants in a similar way.

A few architectural rocks in the stream beck . . . that will replace the need for a bridge for the moment.

Time to record most of what we have done . . .

so as enable us to identify the position and type of fruit in years to come.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous walk - 21st February 2018 - Low Fell, Fellbarrow and a Run

A previous time here - November 2002 - Oak Cottage Renovations

Next walk - 24th February 2018 - Binsey with Sherran and Bill