• 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.

    Join now

Stephen Gorton

Stephen Gorton

As a child, Stephen spent many holidays in Hartsop and later moved there permanently. He remembers how the land used to be farmed, using traditional methods, and the types of birds and flowers that used to be found in the hay meadows. He was a member of the Patterdale Mountain Rescue team, and has seen the rescue teams become much more professional over time. Also a big fell walker and cross country skier, Stephen has been organizing the annual Patterdale parish boundary walk for many years.
Stephen remembers how birdlife on the fells has changed, particularly Eagles, Peregrines, Ring Ouzels, Lapwings and Skylarks. As industry has changed, he's also seen the number of miners and farmers decrease and the number of tourists grow. This has brought many changes: increasing numbers of cars, holiday homes and people on the fells, and the consequent erosion of the footpaths. Tourism has created many jobs, but the downside is the damage to the fells, and he feels there have been cultural changes, such as the loss of local dialects.