The installation of the yellow line in Wasdale, running from the Wasdale Oak all the way into Wastwater (a steep slope of almost 120 metres) has been a long time in the planning:previous blog here. Now it’s happening. We have gathered all the materials and a willing group of volunteers, and chosen a day when rain is extremely unlikely.
The material we’re using is a strong twill, and the yellow colour matches the bright yellow of the gorse flowers that are abundant in Wasdale at the moment. The 120-metre length is cut into four so that we can carry it in with minimum back-ache, and it has been pierced with eyelets every 50cm. We’ve packed 450 very strong pegs to hold the material in place and all our tests suggest that it’s going to stay exactly where we put it. We’ve had a poem printed onto the material in segments so that it will begin at the oak and end in the water.
Last week we were with the oak, checking the ground to ensure that the installation of the cloth won’t inhibit any plant growth. We’re going to have to cut around a few birch saplings and one or two very young oaks, but apart from this the way is clear – we have trimmed back brambles so we don’t get scratched, and marked out a clear line over grass and rock.
The ideal place to view the line is from the opposite shore of the lake. You’ll find a board explaining the installation and showing the poem that’s written onto the cloth on the shore of Wastwater close to the black-and-white signpost midway along the lake-shore road (Grid Reference 152055).
So here we are. It’s Sunday. The car is packed and we’ve checked the packing-list several times. This time tomorrow the line should be in place. It will be there for two weeks. Our hope is that it will cause people to pause and notice this environment, perhaps in more detail than they might have otherwise, and ponder: what makes this place so special, what feelings does it arouse, and what attention and care does it need from us?
Planning something like this takes a long time and the involvement of a lot of people. We couldn’t have done it without the support of the farming community whose Herdwick graze this particular bit of land; the National Trust and particularly the rangers from Wasdale; Jon Revill at Castle-Embroidery who printed the poem onto the cloth; and KBT Fabrics in Birmingham who provided the right type of cloth, the friends and volunteers who offered to help us put it in place, and the continuing support and encouragement of our partners.
We’ll post a blog later in the week to reveal the poem and give an update on how the line is settling into place.