Lanthwaite Wood – Memory of 2009

by David Murray on 19 August 2011

in Cockermouth, Crummock Water, Cumbria, Lakes North West, Rivers

Lanthwaite Wood - Lake District Cumbria - flood level 2009

In Lanthwaite Wood, by Crummock Water - August 2011

Lanthwaite Wood is a National Trust property at the foot of Crummock Water in the Lake District, alongside the point where the River Cocker leaves the lake. The car park there provides an excellent starting point for walks, which often give opportunity to see Red Squirrels.

The River Cocker flows from here down Lorton Vale to Cockermouth where it joins the River Derwent on its journey from Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake to the coast at Workington. This area was devastated by flooding in November 2009 with loss of life as well as property and great damage to infrastructure. The repair and renovation work is still continuing. And that is the reason for posting this not-very-good photograph.

This is the only shot I took during my brief pause there last Monday afternoon, so it will have to do in spite of the washed out brightness of the river and field beyond the trees. However, the point of the picture is to highlight the small plaque visible half way up the wall of the building. It has been placed there to show the level to which the flood water rose on that destructive day.

As I looked at that, and saw its height above normal river level, I found myself staring uncomprehendingly at a mental picture of what hit the people downstream through the valley and in Cockermouth town, the childhood home of William and Dorothy Wordsworth.

These mountains and their lakes are beautiful, but what potential also for destruction. I’m reminded of the Old Testament psalmist: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help” (Psalm 121). But his sense of strength and reassurance there is balanced by Psalm 29 where the mountain waters pour down with destructive force upon the cedar trees and the low-lying land below. Yes, life is a mixture of storm and of calm, and these Lakeland hills illustrate it so powerfully.

Looking toward Crummock Water from the Lorton-Loweswater road - Lake District Cumbria

Looking toward Crummock Water from the Lorton-Loweswater road

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