Romans on parade – Well not exactly on parade but our gazebo was the sign that Ambleside Roman Fort had come to life for the day on the 14th September. Erected amongst the Fort foundations and the current occupants (cows J) we drew a crowd of both accidental but willing participants (passing walkers) and those who had consulted the Heritage Open Day brochure and arrived on purpose. Our new easy access gate allowed wheelchair users and push chairs to access the event which was all about showcasing the work our volunteers and National Trust workforce have done to consolidate the Forts remains over the last 2 summers. We were also introducing the history of this site, important to Romans in the North West, to those who were unaware. On show in addition to a Windermere Reflections display and the current on site interpretation were the results of a partial geophysical survey carried out this spring. This survey will later be presented at the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. Over 40 people enjoyed a tour of the site and fed in their thoughts about how best to interpret the site in future, which is what our attention is focusing on this coming year.
(Based on an article written by our Roving Reporter Alison Ewin)
Woodland Crafts and Tales – On a very wet September Sunday (the 15th) we were joined by locals and visitors for a fantastic day of woody craft and activities at Stott Park Bobbin Mill (owned and run by English Heritage) near Newby Bridge. We celebrated all things woody – the importance of woods to catchment management, woodland products and woodland heritage. Visitors enjoyed having a go at creating traditional woodland products like oak swill baskets, carving spoons, broom making and making artists charcoal; all while listening to tales and stories from the woods. For 3 days and 3 nights prior to our event the Coppice Association Northwest were tending a traditional earth burn which was opened up on the day of our event to reveal a huge pile of charcoal which will be on sale at the Bobbin Mill next year. We also enjoyed a visit from the Lake District National Park Young Rangers who came along to learn woodland skills from the experts. Visitors were also able to enjoy a tour round this historic mill to hear about and see the still working bobbin-making machinery in action. Thanks to English Heritage, Stott Park Bobbin Mill staff, wood craftspeople (Tracy Shaw, David Praties, Lorna Singleton, Gareth Thomas) the Coppice Association Northwest and storyteller Ian Douglas.