November

 

Position

In November our focus for walking and camping will be the ten-eleven o’clock segment (300 – 330 degrees from the centre). Browse the map to explore the November segment.

Landscape

This segment begins closest to the Under Helm Sycamore with Greenburn Valley, and the high point of Ullscarf, before the land dips to the Borrowdale Valley, a valley known for its old oak woods, pollarded ash trees, and old walled field systems. It also has a reputation for getting more rainfall than most places, but makes up for this with the richness of its spring and summer greens. If you’re an avid reader, you could do worse than read Hugh Walpole’s Herries Chronicles, set in Borrowdale. The valley is rich in history, with an iron-ore smelting dating back to the middle ages, and coppicing and charcoal making preceding farming and tourism as the main industries. 

Further to the northwest, the segment opens out to embrace the high ridges of Grisedale and Codale fells, among others, and the 330-degree line cuts through Derwent Water and dissects Bassenthwaite Lake. There’s a watery theme to this segment, not least because of the impact of heavy rainfall on the multitude of streams that snake from the high fells: recent floods in Keswick and Cockermouth have had severe consequences. 

Weather

November can be a golden month: and if there’s moderate rain without strong winds, the autumn leaves can give a wonderful show.  We’re looking forward to strolling through a wide spectrums of yellows, oranges and gold as oak, ash, birch, lime and elm trees, but will also be ready for the first of the winter’s snows.

The November Issue ~ Water 

Water is at the heart of this region: the collection of lakes, tarns and ‘mosses’, wetlands, waterfalls, bogs and becks is what makes this the ‘Lake District’. There’s a beauty and a wonder to the behaviour of water in its many guises, throughout the year. There is much to celebrate, and there’s the wider story of how water is used and managed. Some of the ‘lakes’ here are reservoirs and millions of people rely on these for drinking water, but water clarity and quality are linked to the landscape, particularly to soil erosion in the higher fells. How does the area cope with demand for clean water? And how does it cope with flooding? In many parts of the UK, episodes of extremely heavy rain in recent years have had massive effects on landscape and communities. In the Lake District, hundreds of homes and businesses have been affected by flooding in the last decade. Hydrologists, earth scientists and environmental modellers are considering actions that could improve the situation; these include increased planting of trees around rivers and higher up the valleys, reducing restrictions on the flow of rivers in the valleys, and reconsidering the way flood plains are incorporated into a system of farming. It’s a complex issue and there are many points of view. We’ll be delving into this subject and as part of this will be swapping some of our walking for journeys on water.

Walking, Camping & the Canvas

For more detail on where we’ve been walking and camping, who we’ve been talking to, and the November Canvas, check the map and the November blog posts.

Walking up towards Steel Fell from Greenburn.

 

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