June

 

Position

The five-six o’clock segment (150-180 degrees from the centre). You can look around the area with the interactive map.

Landscape

The June segment begins in the north by taking in Grasmere (both the village and the lake: ‘mere’ means water) and Loughrigg Fell. This lovely, low and rambling fell rises above Grasmere, giving views from its summit north to Dunmail Raise and the Helvellyn Range; it looks down over Dove Cottage, where William and Doroty Wordsworth once lived, and west to the very distinctive almost knuckled cluster that’s the Langdale Pikes. To the south, Loughrigg slopes down to meet Elterwater and Skelwith Bridge, and the beginnings of a more wooded landscape. This is the place to find bluebells carpeting the floor of ancient woodlands in Spring, or to walk beneath golden beech woods in the autumn. For larger tracts of forest, there’s Claife Heights, overlooking Windermere, and, beyond the village of Hawkshead, Grizedale Forest, a working forest internationally renowned for its open air sculpture collection.

The water of Windermere heads southwest from the end of the lake at Newby Bridge, skirting Finsthwaite, where an old bobbin mill reveals an industrial past, to snake its narrow course towards the coast. Southeast of the lake, you’ll find the village of Cartmel, with its 12th Century priory. Beyond the National Park boundaries, the Cartmel peninsular is a spread of undulating, open land, its ruffled edges meeting the waters of Morecambe Bay – a good place to find wading birds wandering along the sands with each retreating tide. The railway line tracing this coast connects Carnforth to Barrow, and then runs up the west coast of Cumbria, circling around to Carlisle.

Weather

June embraces the year’s longest day and what’s generally called ‘midsummer’ because of the extensive light, but it’s not always the warmest month. We’ll take what we get, and will certainly spend longer days out to enjoy the light. 

The June Issue ~ Trees, Woods and Forests

We’ve chosen to focus our thoughts on trees in this month for two reasons. Firstly, this is one of the more wooded areas of the lakes, and secondly, this month marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Forestry Commission. We’ll be talking to foresters about their response to the challenges of tree diseases and a changing climate, and policies that aspire to increase both tree cover and biodiversity. We’ll also take some wanders around the beautiful Rusland Valley, and find out more about the woodland work, tree planting and hedge laying that has been happening over the last few years as part of the Rusland Horizons project; and we’ll spend time in ancient woods where coppicing and the practice of swill making ensure the continued growth of thousands of oak trees. Taking our our lens wider, we’ll consider broader issues about trees across the UK, and we’ll be joining discussions and artful imaginings at the Evolving Forest symposium in Dartington. 

Walking, Camping & the Canvas

For more about our walking routes and nights out, the conversations we’ve had, and June’s Canvas poetry, check the map and the June blog posts.

Looking down into Grasmere from Silver How
Looking down into Grasmere from Silver How

 

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