The environment is an essential part of life in the Lake District and like most popular areas; it needs constant care to maintain the beautiful surroundings. Freddie Tedstone, a student from the Wirral, has been challenged with the question ‘Who should care for the environment?’
The Lake District is renowned for its breath-taking scenery, including the traditional towns and villages that are centres of regional culture and history. The lakes can provide stunning reflections on a still day yet are used for sailing when there’s a breeze. There were more than 1.2 million boat cruise passengers in 2012 which shows how well-used these wonderful resources are. Along the mountains of the Lake District National Park are many of the UK’s best walking routes and are used all year round come rain or shine. If these valuable natural sights are used by so many, who should look after them?
Laura Ticehurst, Receptionist at The Wild Boar found herself donning wellies and taking to the Inn’s new and freshly dug vegetable patch earlier this year. A novice gardener, Laura shares her successes, failures and one or two tips for getting rid of those pesky slugs …
At the beginning of spring 2013 I knew nothing about gardening and had no particular desire to know anything about it either……..that was until it was suggested that as a Green Champion it would be great if I could become involved and “help out” with the vegetable patch at The Wild Boar. Little did I know that the word “help” would be interpreted as “be solely responsible for”. So being thrown head first into the world of home grown vegetables has made for an interesting year with many successes and one or two failures. I’ve learnt what to do and what not to do and have also created and refined my own gardening tips!
At the start of spring I eagerly planted peas, carrots, beetroot, different varieties of lettuce and rocket, courgettes, French beans, shallots, red onions, spring onions and radishes as well as sweet potatoes and marrows. The radishes were first to grow and after I had completed the back breaking work of thinning them out once they had grown into seedlings; they soon grew to be big juicy tasty accompaniments to the salads chef put on the specials menu. This success though was met by a failure with the beetroot crop. After I had thinned the beetroot out they didn’t take too kindly to the extremely hot weather we had over the summer and therefore didn’t grow much bigger than the size of a marble. The rocket was growing by the bucketful and we had so much that chef dreaded my daily visits to the kitchen with the days harvest so the staff ended up taking some of it home too!
Slug (Photo credit: Marj Joly)
My biggest battle this year though has been with the gardeners arch nemesis; The Common Garden Slug! Not wanting to use the toxic slug pellets in the garden for fear a poor dog might eat one I was left with nothing but the more alternative methods of deterring these pesky creatures. I used tubs of beer in the hope the slugs would be happily distracted as well as wool on the soil which they are supposed to dislike crawling across. My dear mother also shared one of her old wives tips with me, which was to put slices of cucumber on a tray of aluminium foil and dot these about the vegetable patch. Surprisingly I think it worked as they weren’t too much trouble after this. Although it may also have been the combined effort of all my strange slug repelling methods including mixing used coffee granules in amongst the soil and strips of copper along the bottom of plants which is supposed to give off an electrical charge when the slugs crawl across it!
My biggest success of the year; of which I am quite proud has to be my Marrows. I have tenderly cared for them through out the year, feeding them according to a strict timescale, watering them at a particular time of day, on certain days of the week and gently placing straw under the growing marrows to stop them rotting upon contact with the soil. (This is no easy feat, the leaves and stalks of marrows are covered in thick sharp thistles which cut and scratch you) My dedication was rewarded with a plentiful bounty of the biggest marrows I have ever seen. For several weeks I would have a generous harvest of marrows to provide the kitchen with and chef created several delightful dishes from them which featured on our daily specials.
Overall I would say this years crop has been a success and we hope to be a bit more adventurous with what we grow next year as well as planting vegetables that are ready at different times of year so that the kitchen are not overwhelmed with vegetables. I’m also determined to continue my marrow success and grow one bigger and better than this year’s 90 lb marrow winner at the Hawkshead Show. Green Fingers Crossed!
It seems appropriate that on World Toilet Day, Howard from our Maintenance Department is hanging photographs of 16 toilets from around the globe in our ladies and gents toilets within the English Lakes family of hotels.
Tim, Dan and Howard hanging the new toilet twinning certificates at Low Wood Bay
1. What’s in a Name?
The name ‘Windermere’ is made up of two words, ‘mere’ the Old English word for a body of water and the old Norse name ‘Vinandr’. We do not know who this character Vinandr was, but presumably somebody with a rather large ego who looked out over the lake one day and decided it belonged to him. Guests at Low Wood Bay and Waterhead can readily enjoy Vinandr’s view in a more civilized way over a nice glass of Chardonnay!
Windermere, Lake District (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2. Fluffy grey sheep
Another inheritance from our Viking forefathers are the grey sheep that you will see dotted around the fells. These are the now native Cumbrian Herdwick sheep prized for their robust health and their ability to live solely on forage. The wool quality has unique qualities relating to durability – thick bristle type fibres forming a protective barrier layer in blizzards. They have been known to survive under a blanket of snow for three days while eating their own wool! Continue reading
Bluebells at Barbooth Lot
Research has shown that visitors to the Lake District want to contribute to the beautiful environment that keeps them coming back time after time.
“Tourists in the 21st century are likely to base their choices in travel and tourism on environmental protection and social responsibility” British Tourism Framework Review.
We love where we live and work. Our family of hotels are all located in beautiful corners of Lancashire and Cumbria, with either stunning Lake views, ancient woodland, the Trough of Bowland on the doorstep and on Morecambe Bay an area of outstanding natural beauty. Continue reading
Ben and Tim Berry with Shirley the Sheep
As a family company we really enjoy being in business. It also gives us a long term view to invest in the future and build a sustainable business. Unfortunately Shirley the Sheep is not an investment we are making; it was a light hearted April Fools joke and I hope we got ewe!
Although we aren’t making investments in Eco Sheep we are investing in new Green Technologies for Low Wood Bay and our other fantastic venues. The biomass boiler at The Wild Boar is keeping the inn toasty warm whilst reducing our carbon footprint, so much so we are looking at a further two biomass boilers across the group. Continue reading
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Hundreds of wind harnessing “sheep” set to secure the green energy solution for Lake District National Park
This innovative solution to energy production has been invented by an Uncle and Nephew team, Tim and Ben Berry, both of Windermere. Continue reading