Intake field before hedge laying

This is the jewel in the crown. Semi-natural grassland on almost chalky soil because the water flowing out of the springs is calcium rich and leaves tufa where ever it flows. We even get completely white molehills. In spring it is carpeted with cowslips with butterfly and early purple orchids.

Start of hedge being laid

This was a huge but leggy hedge, mostly wild plums. It is rejuvenated now and fenced providing a huge crop of Scotch thistle for bees, fritillaries and finally gold finches – we have flocks containing over 100 gold finches.

First hedge being laid

This is Westmorland style hedge laying, the stems are laid very flat on the ground. Our huge old hedges have often been so wide and then thin in the centre that when we have tried to stay faithful to the original hedge line we have struggled to find anything to lay.

Cowslip time in Intake

It is hard to get a sense of Intake when it is at its best with the cowslips in flower, they do not stand out well in photographs. In the background the hay meadow is on the left, Barley Meadow on the right and Clerk’s Paddock with its woodland in the distance.

Butterfly orchid in Intake

Greater butterfly orchids appear in all the fields.

Stream flowing through Intake

Sandy beck forms from springs above the reserve and flows through Intake producing large outcrops of tufa. The water must run in caverns and streams under Scouts Scar, other becks such as Buttery Well flow from the other side of the scar into Kendal.

Lapidarius shows an interest in the cowslips

Bombus lapidarius is the most frequent visitor to clowslips.

Late summer flowers in Intake

In late summer Intake is a mass of knapweed, hawkbit, scabious and bedstraw. On a sunny day there are hundreds of pollinating insects.

Bonfire at the end of hedge laying

The final hedge of the first cycle being laid in Intake. Brigsteer village, the Lyth Valley and the western Lake District fells behind.

Two Gipsy Cobs with Mark

This is Mark with Becky and April. April is on the left and Mark is on the right. As a scale object, Mark is 6’ 7”. Becky and April are Gipsy Cobs and were only allowed into Intake for a few days. They are here to graze the reserve over winter; they spend most of their time in Barley Field and Plumtree Field.