27th November 2023

 This Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3, 10-4pm, Rydal Mount and Rydal Hall’s joint Christmas Fair takes place, with local arts and crafts, seasonal food, live music and much more, adults £5, parking and children free.

Next Saturday, December 9, 7.30pm, is Ambleside Parish Centre’s fundraising Ceilidh with Striding Edge band, adults £15, children free.

From Everly Brothers and Elvis to George Ezra, the popular Elderly Brothers Band rocked their way through the decades last week at Ambleside’s Zeffirelli’s, to the delight of faithful fans and followers. Founded over 20 years ago, the Elderly Brothers are even older now, and still winning enthusiastic applause, with their versatile combination of historic hits and humour. Lead singer and bass guitarist is Tony Rothwell, with Tony Farren on vocals, guitar, harmonica and mandolin; Nigel Hutchinson on rhythm and acoustic guitar and vocals; Martin Tomlinson on keyboard; and Will Sutherland on electric drums. Their next concert will be at 7pm, Saturday December 9, Water Yeat Village Hall.

Work which is expected to take two weeks has started at Waterhead LDNP car park, to replace the drainage system. Parking was unavailable during the Christmas Lights switch-on day due to safety concerns, and accumulated flooding also had left EV chargers inaccessible for several weeks before. The car park is being jet-drained of water and the charge points isolated before work gets underway. However, contractors hope that parking should be possible most of the time while the new drainage is installed.

Statistics from the police recorded a 16.3% drop in crime in South Lakes last month compared with the same period last year. Arson and criminal damage was down 57% and sexual offences down 42%. The only small increases noted were in public order offences and violence against the person.

More than 67,000 invasive Himalayan Balsam (HB) plants were uprooted between May and October this year in the vicinity of Ambleside by Dr Nigel Riley, with a team of volunteers. The task of uprooting them was carried out over 69 days throughout the five-month period. This weed has rapid growth early in the growing season, causing harm by creating a dense, compact canopy which shades out native plant species. In winter the plant dies back, leaving the ground bare and vulnerable to erosion, to the disadvantage of other habitats, particularly along water courses and river banks. HB is extremely vigorous and spreads very quickly, producing thousands of seedpods which explode and burst, dispersing up to 800 seeds per plant as far away as 4m from the parent plant. HB on riverbanks send seedpods downstream, and the moving water spreads it even further in floods Once areas have been cleared, HB can still thrive even after extensive hand-pulling and use of weed slashers and brush cutters, and locations cleared in previous years need revisiting to maintain control. The responsibility for the control of Himalayan balsam rests with the landowner or tenant and Dr Riley welcomed news that more landowners are planning to deal with their infestations themselves next year, reducing the workload for volunteers.

However, the extent of infestation surprised volunteers after a couple of relatively clear years, despite clearance upstream having reduced the number of seeds flowing down Stock Ghyll. HB has spread from Rydal Road car park across to the Kelsick Field, and was also found near Miller Bridge, and by the Bronwen Nixon footbridge as well as along A591 shoreline, from the Low Wood to the Samling. Evidence of it was also in a field behind Hayes Garden World, and in the University campus nature reserve, as well as by Rothay Park and spreading up the riverbank near Waterhead Close.