The first weekend in May I was caught in a snow storm on Scarth Gap on the way up Haystacks. On the second Sunday we had to turn back towards Hopegill Head as it was too windy to stand up and by the last week we were basking in glorious sunshine and temperatures in the high twenties! What a month!

In May there are lambs everywhere and they provide much entertainment with their vertical take offs and the way they charge round in little gangs looking for high spots! There’s always the odd adventurous ones, of course, who find their way through the fence or over the wall and then can’t find their way back and bleat pitifully for their mothers to rescue them.

On the bird front, I heard the first cuckoo in the woods on May 3rd, and since then I’ve heard them most days; they are very vocal this year! The blackbirds have successfully raised young in their nest in the clematis in the courtyard, both house martin boxes are occupied and the swallows are trying to rebuild the nest that collapsed last year over Buttermere Cottage’s window. No-one yet has claimed the nest by Loweswater although several have looked! The woodpeckers have been very much in evidence on the feeders and I am looking forward to seeing the young very shortly. I’m beginning to sound like Springwatch!

With the extra fine weather and the long days (it scarcely seems to be getting dark at present) Judy and I decided to do some classic walks. We had beautiful days walking the Kentmere and Coledale Horseshoes and as it had not rained for a while we took the rare opportunity to walk Armboth Fell, renowned for its wetness! We went from Great Wood by Derwentwater, up onto Walla Crag and continued all the way up to Ullscarf and then came back, with dry feet, via Watendlath which is always a favourite place for me as I worked there many years ago when I was a student. It was a wonderful walk in the sun with particularly good views on the way back down towards Derwentwater. It will also be remembered as the day we rescued a Herdwick out of a bog pool – quite a feat!!