October 2018

Welcome to the October newsletter
Wildlife, winter offers, and job opportunities.

Welcome to the wonder of the day.

Potential new staff member? Winter offer? Well, more specifically, one of the beautiful moths found in the hostel grounds, named Merveille du Jour. We hope you enjoy looking at the pictures.

Please read on for news of winter offers and job opportunities at the hostel, as well as badger sightings and Nat’s last Wainwright.

Winter offer
Forty per cent off dormitory beds and rooms.

After such a fabulous summer, it’s hard to think about winter. However, we have a great winter discount available for early bookings, with beds and rooms available on most weekends and plenty of space over the New Year period.

This year we have a plentiful supply of seasoned firewood, all ready for cosy evenings by the fire. We hope you can join us.

Book before 31st October 2018 to stay with us during November, December, January and February and receive 40% off dormitory beds and private rooms, by using the promo code Winter18.    

Bookings must be made online at www.derwentwater.org using the promotion code Winter18. There are a limited number of beds and rooms available each night, so this offer is not available for groups. However, group leaders can email reception@derwentwater.org or ring us on 017687 77246 to enquire about winter prices for group bookings.

Barrow House Badger Watch
We've seen some badgers with a night-vision camera.

With the help of our new motion-activated night vision wildlife camera we’ve been able to see more of the wildlife in the hostel grounds, badgers in particular. We’re used to seeing red squirrels and deer, but nocturnal creatures are more elusive.

However, with the wildlife camera we’ve identified three badgers that walk the same tracks through the grounds, each at roughly the same time each night, squeezing through gaps in walls, hopping over streams, and visiting their latrine. Then they leave the grounds, apparently using the same exit point each night.   

We would also like to record deer movements. They tend to stay on the fells during the summer, but as the winter draws in we see them cross the grounds, and a well-positioned camera may give us more information about their behaviour. We’d also love to see local owls in flight: we’ll keep you posted!

Merveille du Jour
A beautiful moth with an excellent camoflauge.

No, not an article by our French staff member, but a beautiful moth, found by Alex in his moth trap. It truly was the wonder of the day. Alex placed it on a lichen-clad log, near the trap, so that you can see (just about!) the effective camouflage.

The scientific name Dichonia aprilina (Linnaeus, 1758) does not refer to the time of appearance, but to the colour of the wings, which resembles spring leaves. Dichonia means 'doubly', from the two whitish lines on the hindwing (Emmet, A.M., 1991. The Scientific Names of the British Lepidoptera - their history and meaning  p.207). 

Nat's last Wainwright
If you've been following the progress of staff member Nat, then hopefully you'll enjoy reading the story of her final Wainwright-bagging excursion. Congratulations Nat! Read more...

The End of an Adventure, by Nat (hostel assistant)

After the great progress I made in spring and early summer, my Wainwright bagging slowed down considerably in August and September, mainly due to poor weather on my days off. However, I tried not to let that stop me and, in consequence, spent several weekends plodding on drenched ground, testing the waterproofness of my equipment, taking pictures of summit cairns engulfed in clouds, and enjoying very little of the invisible scenery.

This hard work paid off though, as I got to finish my bagging earlier than I expected, on Monday 1st October. The last hike took me from Honister Pass up to Fleetwith Pike, Haystacks, High Crag and High Stile, my final Wainwright summit. The morning started crisp and cold, with the high clouds slowly floating away to make room for bright sunshine. The path from Fleetwith Pike to Haystacks was particularly enjoyable, with beautiful views over the Buttermere valley along the way. On reaching Haystacks, I had a quick thought for Wainwright as his ashes were scattered here, this fell being his favourite.

After a fun scramble down to Scarth Gap, I started the strenuous but straight-forward hike up High Crag. The clouds had come back with a vengeance, and as I turned to enjoy the extensive view over the Southern Fells, I could see that Scafell had already disappeared. I slowly made my way to High Stile, an easy stroll along the ridge with dramatic views of the lake down below, framed by the rocky cliffs.

As I reached the ultimate summit, the clouds finally closed in around me and the sky decided to congratulate me by turning the light drizzle into proper rain, making it impossible to even take a celebratory picture. However, more satisfyingly, I came across three hikers trying to find their way to High Crag and I was able to help them (High Crag and High Stile can be confusing in poor visibility). Thanks to Wainwright, I know those hills now! I am an expert fell-walker (even though I can't seem to remember the names of half the fells I've climbed).

I cannot say I have a feeling of accomplishment. Mostly, I am wondering how I should keep myself busy on my days off, now that the bagging is done. Maybe I should finally read Wainwright’s books…

Hostel job opportunities for 2019
Hostel assistant jobs available from March 2019.

We expect to have one or two vacancies for seasonal live-in hostel assistants in 2019, starting in early March and working through to the end of October. If you, or any one you know, would be interested in joining us, please get in touch with me, Tim Butcher (Hostel Manager), at tim@derwentwater.org.

Please include your CV and let me know why you would be suitable to live and work in a hostel. We can then send out further information about the roles available.

Derwentwater Independent Hostel
Barrow House
CA12 5UR
Telephone: 017687 77246
Email: reception@derwentwater.org

Thank you to Geoff Williams, Rebecca Laff, Fiona McCarthy, John and Sam Snyder, and KTA for generously providing inspiring photographs.
Thank you to Lisa Bamford at Stoats and Weasels for designing our website, and to Sam Snyder for building it.
© 2013 Derwentwater Independent Hostel. All rights reserved. Registered charity: 1145368