Posted: 26/02/2012 12:42:56 by Nigel Nixon

A Tree which stands in a Lake District wood is the tallest in Cumbria and could be the largest in the North West.

The 57.8-metre giant grand fir in Skelghyll Wood, Ambleside, has also been recorded as the tallest of its species in England, breaking the previous Cumbrian record of 55 metres, which was held by a conifer at Thirlmere.

National Trust ranger John Pring got the idea to get the tree measured and recorded by the National Tree Register charity when driving through Ambleside.

He said: “I’ve driven on that main road (A591) in Ambleside for a long time and I just thought: ‘That really is a very big tree, I wonder how big it is?  We were surprised just how tall it was when we measured it. There are some very big trees in the area but we didn’t realise how tall it actually was. This is just one of the thousands of big old trees the National Trust looks after in the area.”

Mr Pring, who has covered Windermere and Ambleside for 20 years, is now encouraging nature lovers to go to Skelghyll Wood and see the true scale of how tall the trees are for themselves and the grand fir, which was planted in 1860, looks set to continue growing and could push the 60-metre mark unless there are any accidents such as a storm blowing it over.

The tree was measured by tree climbers Mark Sigrift and Mick Lupton of Aspen Tree Management in Witherslack by dropping a long tape measure and using a badminton pole to attach a tape measure.  “It just shows that the tree is happy with the climate there,” said Mr Pring. It’s only 160 years old so it is still growing.”

 

Tagged with: Tallest, Tree, Fir


Posted: 19/07/2011 11:06:21 by Nigel Nixon

ORGANISERS of the Lake District's 11th annual air extravaganza, taking place on July 23 and 24, have revealed their display line-up.

The Windermere Air Festival kicks off on the Saturday with the breathtaking acrobatics of the Breitling Wing Walkers, performing a sequence of manoeuvres and handstands whilst strapped to the top wings of the team's Boeing Stearman biplanes.

First day visitors will also be treated to the RedHawks' air show act with a slow, gentle and graceful four-minute, three-dimensional aerial ballet performed to soothing music by a pair of 42 year-old, wooden, high-efficiency aeroplanes, designed by French musician, artist, ceramicist and sculptor Réné Fournier.

Another Saturday highlight will be the RAF Falcons parachute display team, now in their 50th year.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will grace the skies above Windermere on both days with special flights from the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster Bomber.

The RV8tors will be flying their remarkably fast Vans RV-8's with powerful smoke systems, performing an exciting and memorable display.

Combining close formation aerobatics with speeds up to 230 mph, the display makes large manoeuvres that fill the sky and leave big smoke trails.

Also appearing at the festival will be the RAF Tucano and the RAF Hawk.

Both spectacular in their own right the Hawk display team will demonstrate the professional excellence of the RAF while the Tucano display consists of 21 manoeuvres including an offset barrel roll, stall turn, oblique loop and reverse wingover.

On Sunday, the Twister Duo will create a display of formation barrel loops, rolls and gravity defying zoom climbs.

The highlight of the weekend is set to be the renowned ambassadors of the RAF and everyone’s favourite – The Red Arrows.

Having missed last year's Lakeland air show, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, have been confirmed to headline 2011's festival.

Appearing at the air festival is a welcome return for Squadron Leader Graeme Bagnall.

Graeme, who is Red 10, is the team’s commentator and on the ground safety supervisor.

He was educated at nearby St Bee’s School, in Cumbria.

Mr Bagnall said: “We are really looking forward to displaying at Windermere.

"It’s a stunning location and will definitely be a highlight of the display season for me.

"I can’t wait to meet the crowd when I’m on the ground at the show doing the commentary for the Team.

"You get a real buzz from seeing how the audience reacts to the displays.”

The RAF Red Arrows have been wowing audiences since their first season in 1965, they have flown over 4,000 displays in 52 countries.

Today the Red Arrows are renowned throughout the world,acting as ambassadors for Great Britain when displaying overseas.

They also support UK industry by demonstrating the capabilities of British equipment and expertise.

Lucy Bennett, a director of the air festival, said: "It’s such a coup for us to host the Red Arrows this year.

"They put on such a fantastic display and really add some excitement to the programme.

"The highly acclaimed displays are filled full of twists, turns, drama and excitement - they are definitely not one to be missed."

Attractions on the ground at the Air Base include the military village, battle re-enactments and flying simulator, new kids have-a-go activities plus face painting, circus skills, music and great local food stalls.

The Windermere Air Festival 2011 takes place on Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24. The Air Base is located on the Glebe in Bowness-on-Windermere. For further information, click on the website below.

Tagged with: show, Winderemere, air


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