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Friday, 16 November 2012

Up, up and away....

There is not a lot you can do when Kinder has ‘got it’s hat on’ but at 8:30am the call came through to get on over to Edale as it was clear enough to fly. After waiting weeks for a break in the weather we were finally able to lend a hand to the National Trust Estate team working on the Kinder restoration project. Kitted up with plenty of warm clothes, flasks and wellies we arrived at the National Trust office for our safety briefing with Steve the team supervisor and then joined the rest of the guys and headed over to the lift site at Dalehead. Within minutes the helicopter appeared on the skyline, it landed in the field so we grabbed our gear and were directed in by Steve while the ground crew set up. Then we were up and away, leaving the green Edale valley for Kinder. Flying over the blanket bog the scale of the damage and the need for restoration was obvious.
Some of the first bags of the day to be dropped

Damage has created a dramatic landscape of erosion gullies, where bare peat is being washed away. The aim of our mission was to fly stone up to Kinder and build dams within these gullies to slow down the flow of water and to trap the peat. This will slow down the erosion giving plants such as cotton grass a chance to colonise with the long term aim of stopping the erosion once the vegetation has recovered.
Steve showing Harriet the volunteer how to guide in the helicopter
Within minutes Chris the pilot was back with the first load of stone which he dropped off guided in by Steve. Each load is just under half a tonne and they are dropped by markers which had already been placed by Steve and the team. We then started emptying the bags and building dams, normally one bag does one dam. The turn around time for the helicopter is short with just 4 minutes between drops, needless to say our dam building didn’t keep up to that pace. Over the day we managed to get 50 bags dropped off and about one third of the dams built. By 3:30pm the sun started getting low so Chris and Steve decided it was time to call it a day. We gathered all our gear and hopped back into the helicopter for a lift back down to the valley, a brilliant 2 minute trip which would have taken us an hour to walk. We had a brilliant day with the team learning about the work going on up there as well as being able to contribute a bit of labour, once you get shifting stone you soon realise you don’t need quite so many layers on!
For more information on the work the National Trust are doing on Kinder visit

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