• Hay-Day Walks

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    Discover more about Cumbria's upland hay meadows and the work being done to restore them on the Hay-Day walks.

    Hay-Day Walks

  • Protecting Wildlife For The Future

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    Help Cumbria Wildlife Trust conserve the wildlife and wild places of Cumbria for the future.

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Rodney Key

Rodney Key

Rodney Key was born in Brockstones Farm, Kentmere in 1933 where his father was a farm manager. In 1942 the family moved to Brunt Knott farm where Rodney worked alongside his father for several years. He remembers the hard winter of 1947.

Rodney recollects his early working years as a farm hand, and the difference it made to farmers when electricity finally came into the Kentmere Valley in 1952.

Rodney also recalls his role in building the OS cairn on Brunt Knott Fell (1,400 ft); taking the materials up the fell by pony in 1948.

Rodney remembers playing in the high bracken before the clearing began in the area. He tells of the MAFF schemes in 1948 for land improvement on the fells and the effect this had. He recalls the bracken-spraying by aeroplane in the 1970’s.

Rodney observes the effect that the recent loss of sheep on the high fells has had on the vegetation cover. His daughter and son-in-law now continue the farming tradition.

“Well, just in that valley area, before you get to Kentmere, there’s only one working farm now, whereas when we first went there was, er, [counts]one, two, three, four, five, six… there were seven farms in that valley…."