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Monday, 22 July 2013

a new house and some new steps, all in the summer sun

My friend in Leeds, who now has leave to remain, or as she and other people in the same position call it, 'status', has now moved from her temporary accommodation into her 'forever' house. It was a  very hot day when I and a kind volunteer with a small old van loaded up her stuff and moved it across the city. She is going to be renting a house in a refurbished area of Leeds, where once joy riders raced there are now road narrows and intimidating (to them) metal bollards. Many thanks to LASSN and Solace two local charities who have given her the strength to carry on her pursuit of safety. Also many individuals who prefer not to be named, if you are reading this you know who you are. A week later she tells me that most of the house has already been re-painted, mostly by her, but some friends have also helped.

all the wood and tools
were carried across
the beach

now walkers know which
way to go.
Then to the new steps, here they are, above Runswick Bay; at first they went no where, but we returned a few weeks later, put in more steps and some direction signs. The first time was quite warm, the second time was very warm, and everything had to be carried from the car park and across the beach. This is the same place where we got caught out by the tide last year (see November 17th). This year we kept our feet dry, although a swim might have been nice.

Partly cleaned up
In between this step building Coasties had started to clean up the board walk at Forge Valley. This might seem an unnecessary cosmetic task, but the damp vegetation and blocked drainage will make the boards rot and eventually collapse. So we hoed and swept and made it look better and last much longer.

Saturday I did a Voluntary Ranger patrol. Fortunately there was a lot of cloud cover so walking was much easier than it would have been earlier in the week. I had been asked to patrol the high moors and check that there were no fires. The hot dry weather has put the Moors on high fire risk and there were warning signs in many places. There were no fires and surprisingly few walkers, perhaps the threat of high temperatures had put them off. However I did see these strange fungi.
my foot shows you how
big they were
And now to finish off the photo gallery with some bog cotton, which seems to have liked the long cold spring and is flowering in profusion across the Moors.

Each Tuesday I have been placing people in Short Stop, the urgency seems less in the hot dry weather, but what ever the weather the streets are not a good place to spend the night. LASSN the organisers, PAFRAS the usual referring agency.
Off for a few days to a family birthday, back next week.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

two old ponds and a Fairtrade stall

Dragging mud and debris out,
the banks will green over
Last month I reported on a day in the cold and the wet fencing off a series of new ponds for the National Trust, well last week it was ponds with them again. However this time we were in dappled sunshine in the beautiful woods at Hayburn Wyke and we were continuing the clearance of some long forgotten, probably Victorian ponds. Two ponds, full of mud and tree debris, one below the other, with an overflow from the top one linking to the lower one. As we scrapped out the mud we came across the remains of stone surrounds and even, with some imagination, perhaps the remains of a stone cascade. We cleared ditches (which led springs into the ponds), found tiny little stone bridges and pushed branches under some of the bridges to clear decades of mud and twigs.
Poking around under an old stone bridge

It was wonderful towards the end of the afternoon to see water flowing into the top pond, out and down into the bottom pond and then out again and eventually to the sea. A group from a large local firm had started the work, we did a lot more, but there is still more to be done. We discussed what records there might be of how the woods were originally laid out, but at the moment, sadly, no-one either knows or has the time to find out.

yummy chocolate

At the end of the week I was, fortunately as it rained all day, indoors at Ryedale District Council offices. We had our regular Fairtrade stall, doing a roaring sale in chocolate. We also sold quite a lot of craft items, children's toys being a favourite. In fact one crocodile was so popular that we took orders and will deliver them next week. As usual all the goods from Fairer World in
some of the craft items

If you live near York, you can see a much wider range of Fairtrade food and crafts at the shop in Gillygate.

Our local group met earlier in the week and started the discussions on ensuring that we maintain our Fairtrade town status, more of this to come.