The team that tackled the Cat Bells drain runs

The team that tackled the Cat Bells drain runs

A team of volunteers recovered from an early morning setback to complete their tasks clearing rubbish and restoring paths as part of a mountain festival.

Friends of the Lake District staff arrived at Crow Park in Keswick on Saturday to find its marquee had taken flight in strong winds overnight.

But more than 60 people overcame the challenging conditions in strong winds and driving rain to carry out the equivalent of 245 hours’ work healing the flood-damaged landscapes around Keswick.

The conservation charity said the 51 volunteers’ and 10 volunteer leaders’ efforts were rewarded with afternoon sunshine and cake.

Ruth Kirk, Fell Care organiser said: “To be greeted on Saturday by a mangled mass of metal that the day before had been 18 sq metres of beautiful exhibition space was certainly a shock.

“We may be Friends of the Lake District but the Lake District can be a fickle friend to us even when we are trying to help heal it.

“Nevertheless, out hardy volunteers arrived at our makeshift signing-in table before setting out to pick litter by canoe and foot, learn the skill of drystone walling and help Fix the Fells on the upland paths of Cat Bells and Walla Crag.

The canoe clean-up volunteers

The canoe clean-up volunteers

“We are so grateful to them all for their tremendous efforts which salvaged our soggy Saturday morning spirits.”

Among the festival Fell Care Day successes were 7.5m of drystone wall rebuilt in Crow Park; seven bags of rubbish collected around Derwent Water; 9km of upland path cleared on three Fix the Fells drain runs on Cat Bells and Ashness Bridge; 24 bags of rubbish plus piles of timber debris collected from around Bassenthwaite, and 84 pieces of cake eaten.

Friends of the Lake District’s next Fell Care Day takes place at Glenridding and Patterdale on Wednesday 6 July. Details are on the Friends’ website. More information is also available by emailing Ruth Kirk.

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