A 16th century Lake District camping barn has been given a new lease of life thanks to the Forestry Commission, YHA and a team of local craftsmen. The popular High Gillerthwaite Camping Barn in the Ennerdale valley has re-opened to the public following a six month overhaul, which included a whole new timber roof donated by the Forestry Commission.
Around five tonnes of green oak came from Forestry Commission woodland in the nearby Miterdale valley to ensure that the building was sympathetically restored using natural, local materials and traditional craftsmanship. Transporting the timber was minimised by having it sawn locally at Calderbridge Sawmill. The project shows how locally grown Cumbrian oak can be sustainably produced and used in local building construction. Expert local carpenters helped to transform the raw oak into the new roof structure, which will offer shelter to hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts over the coming years.
The newly improved High Gillerthwaite Camping Barn now has three alpine style sleeping areas on the first and second floors with room for up to 14 people. Facilities include a sitting room with wood-burning stove, plus a separate cooking area with hot water. There is also a bathroom with toilet, basin and shower. Electric lighting is available throughout (no sockets). Evening meals and breakfasts are available when the hostel is not too busy, if booked in advance.
The barn is on the Coast to Coast walking route, with outstanding views of Pillar, Red Pike, Haystacks and Great Gable. Nightly rates are £8 per person or £112 for sole use.
Visitors can now take full advantage of the barn's new 'green' credentials by contacting YHA directly on 01629 592700 or by visiting www.yha.org.uk.
For more information about the Forestry Commission in North West England, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland .
Wild Ennerdale is a Partnership between the Forestry Commission, National Trust and United Utilities, with a vision "To allow the evolution of Ennerdale as a wild valley for the benefit of people, relying more on natural processes to shape its landscape and ecology."
For more information about Wild Ennerdale, visit www.wildennerdale.co.uk.