Saturday 28 November 2009

Lake District Storms Update - National Trust Letter/E-Mail

Dear Hadriana,

I’ve just spent the day with Jeremy and the team at Wordsworth House looking at the impact of the floods here in Cockermouth and in the wider Lake District.

The damage in the town is shocking – I really feel for all the families and residents, some of them our staff and volunteers. And the stories of heroism are still coming out – everyone working to help each other. We’re still putting together a roll call of all the damage. Incredibly luckily the water stopped just a few inches short of the main rooms at Wordsworth House. But the cellar and shop were flooded, exterior walls are down and the garden is coated in silt and criss-crossed with wool.

Aftermath of the flood at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth. (See photo.)

We went to Coniston and around Loweswater and met our farm tenants, the Beards, who told us about the time they’d had. We’ve lost paths, bridges and stone walls that will take months to rebuild there and in Buttermere, Borrowdale and Ullswater – and there’s more to be discovered where we’re still waiting for the floods to recede.

What’s impressed me so much is how our staff and volunteers right across the Lakes have joined the big clear-up effort helping us, our tenants and neighbours start getting back to something like “normal”. This is messy, depressing work but everyone’s smiling despite it all. And we’re already planning how we’re going to get repairs done – we’re going to need lots of help. But the countryside is open for business now – I heard one of our staff in the south has just booked a holiday cottage for this weekend! – brilliant. And we’ll be opening Wordsworth House as planned on March 13, the team are so determined.

Many of you have already asked how you can offer donations or volunteer help. You can find all the information you need, as well as regular news updates, at National Trust Lake District Floods

We’ve already had loads of wonderful support with people from all over the country offering to come and clear up or giving money to the Lake District Flood Appeal – we really appreciate this. Despite it all Cumbria remains buoyant and ‘business as usual’ is the message I took home with me. Come and visit not only to show your support, but also to enjoy this special place – it needs you.

Thank you for your support,

Dame Fiona Reynolds
Director General
National Trust


Expat mum said...

Worra bliddy mess!

Maggie May said...

We have all been very saddened by this catastrophe. Was pleased to see the army starting to put up a bridge to connect the two sides of Cockermouth.

Nuts in May

Yorkshire Pudding said...

If we decide to revisit The Lake District, how many sponges should we put in our luggage and are there more lakes than there used to be? What are they called? A good name for one of the new lakes might be Lake Hadriana though its banks - newly created by Cumbria's flooding - will probably be unhelpfully insubstantial causing this bright new lake to dribble away.

Tim Atkinson said...

Glad to see that there's a bit of British 'stiff-upper' in the attitude of Lakelanders. And that a railway station can be created in a mere six days! Why do we always seem to need a disaster to pull together?

Anonymous said...

It's been an absolute disaster hasn't it. So much aftermath to sort out too.

CJ xx

Rick Cooper said...

It's important to get the message accross that, although the floods were (and are) awful for those affected, (and especially in Cockermouth), the overall effect on the Lake District was limited, ane we still need visitors! One unfortunate side effect of the media coverage has been the cancellation of holidays and a very high drop off in visitor numbers over the last 2 weeks. Give or take the the odd bridge closure, and the (very odd) flooded hotel, much of the Lakes is back to normal. Please fell free to come and visit!

Sandi McBride said...

It was shocking to see all the damage to this beautiful country. We are pretty much used to the hurricanes and floods and though we like it not we pick up and start over...just as y'all are doing, and will do. We never know how strong we are till we've been knocked flat. It's pulling yourself out of the mire that builds that strength. My prayers and highest regards for you all.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Yes...Cumbria is very much open for business!

Hopefully the county and the country will take stock over this.

Floods are going to be on the increase all the time now (all over the UK) and we should be as prepared as possible. (If possible!) Hadriana xx

Hadriana's Treasures said...

As always, thank you everyone for some very pertinent comments! Hxx