Following a month of heavy rainfall, the full force of Storm Desmond hit Glenridding on the afternoon of Saturday 5th December 2015. Frantic efforts to protect homes and businesses proved fruitless as the full devastating impact of the storm hit. Glenridding beck burst its banks in the village in the early evening and the next morning it was flowing freely down Eagle lane, across the car park, and right through the Glenridding Hotel. It also brought with it thousands of tonnes of silt, gravel and stone, carried down the fells from landslips all the way up to Helvellyn. The village was now cut off – the lake road was impassable and the road between Glenridding and Patterdale was to remain underwater for three days.
It wasn’t just Glenridding that was ravaged by Storm Desmond. In Patterdale, Grisedale Bridge burst its banks, causing landslips up the valley, ripping up the road outside Patterdale Hall and flooding all the properties at Grisedale Bridge. Goldrill Bridge was underwater. Landslips on Place Fell narrowly avoided crushing houses, instead leaving a trail of mud, debris and stone on the roads to Rookings. Further up the Dale there was a landslide at Noran Bank which blocked the main road, the beck bank was washed out at Lanefoot in Deepdale and in Hartsop the road was again under water by Cow Bridge, with devastation to the walls and fields from Kirkstone down.
From the very first day the community rallied to recover from the devastation and quickly set up a Community Flood Group to coordinate the recovery efforts. An appeal was also launched to raise much needed funds to assist with the recovery. So far over £20,000 has been raised from individual donors and the community are very grateful for all the support they have received.
The fund raising is still ongoing as the community still have much work to do, both in terms of recovering from December as well as resilience measures to ensure they are more prepared for future events.
One of the current biggest challenges is the restoration of Jenkins Field, which will take many months of hard work. Over 20,000 tonnes of gravel and stone was removed from Glenridding Beck following the storm and it was all put on Jenkins Field.
Jenkins Field is home to numerous events throughout the year which brings many visitors to the Glenridding and Patterdale area. It is also the home of many an activity for younger children, from playing football on the grass to orienteering and learning about the lake and the wildlife from the numerous information boards that were placed around the field. In the height of summer you would often see families picnicking on the edge of the lake or resting on a park bench and taking in the peaceful view of Ullswater.
The community flood group are now focusing on the removal of all the storm debris and then restoring the field to its former glory.
Epic Kidz have donated £500 of the funds put aside to help out communities following Storm Desmond to assist with the restoration of Jenkins Field.
You can find out more about the community flood group HERE. The best ways to help the local communities is to go and visit, enjoy the views, stay in a local B&B or visit the local businesses. You can also make donations via the community flood fund website or even sign up to be a volunteer.