Watendlath, the home of Judith Paris of The Herries Chronicles. My friend and I read the stories in girlhood and were captivated by the romance. Re-reading them when I came to live in Cumbria on the cusp of the new millennium I was disappointed, finding Walpole pedestrian and laboured. The loveliness of these fells endures, the secret places, not Watendlath itself but thereabouts. Even on a summer's day in the holiday season we find solitude. We are quite alone on that long hot slog up through high bracken to Joppelty How and for the magic to work let there be solitude.
Coming off Joppelty How, on a wet fell-side, we came upon more bog asphodel with a few yellow-star flowers and developing seed-heads. And common spotted orchid.
On the watershed in the direction of Dock Tarn there's a mass of bog myrtle in leafy green. Come here in April and bog myrtle is at its loveliest, with bare red stems and catkins of pink and gold. The fragrance is wonderful. In winter, there's more colour-contrast and dry stone walls show up distinctly. Over seasons, over time, in this way a place takes hold in the heart.
Radio 4 BBC Inside Science on 11 August 2022 has its final item on the restoration of Hardknott Forest and native oaks. Scientists working on the project have discovered that it can be between 5-7 degrees cooler in a wood. It's due to EVAPOTRANSPIRATION, a process whereby water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces, and by transpiration from trees. So woodland is a cooler place to be in the extreme weather of August 2022.
Planting young trees is not an instant solution to the loss of mature trees. It takes twenty years for evapotranspiration to bring about that significant localised cooling of between 5-7 degrees.