News of moth-blighted Brussels sprout crops had us worried for a moment, but thankfully moths and sprouts are co-existing happily at Barrow House this month, with successful Christmas meals and interesting observations from Alex our assistant-cum-ecologist. We also have a wonderful report from the multi-cultural Encompass group and some beautiful pictures of the excellent weather we have been enjoying. This time last year we were closed due to storm damage and so we are delighted to be having such a good winter, with many thanks to those who have supported us. Celebrate with beers from Keswick Brewery and our extended winter offers!
In mid November we were delighted to welcome another group from Encompass, a charity which was founded in the wake of the 2002 terrorist attack in Bali, on the principle that when people truly understand each other, one to one, prejudice and hatred give way to bonds of friendship which transcend political and religious divides. The charity works with young people from the UK, USA, Palestine, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Israel, creating opportunities for inter-cultural collaboration and community projects.
Here is a report from the group:
Once again, the incredible staff at Derwentwater welcomed us for our international programme 'the Journey of Understanding', which brings together 18-25 year olds from Israel, Palestine, the UK, the US and Indonesia for team-building outdoor activities and dialogue around issues such as identity, conflict and community. The participants were blown away by the beauty of the surrounding area, and the stillness and peace of the hostel made us feel like we were in our own little bubble, where young people from conflicting communities were able to talk freely and honestly as equals. On one night the group stayed up until 3am discussing their personal experiences of the conflict in Israel and Palestine.
Being such a diverse group of religious and cultural backgrounds, we are quite the challenge to cater for, with vegan, halal, kosher, lactose-free and dairy-free diets all within the group, but Derwentwater as ever rose to the occasion! They even cooked rice every day to help the Indonesian group feel at home, as in Indonesia a meal is not a meal if it doesn't include rice!
Carly from the USA writes a bit about her stay:
The Lake District is something I can only equate to the Shire. It is just rolling green hills, and mountains, and it’s amazing. The entire idea of the programme is to help us all understand the conflicts that are going on around the world, and to show that we can help even if we aren’t there. I met some of the most amazing people of my life on this trip, and it changed my life in so many ways that I can’t even begin to explain.
Following a flood of November Moths (Epirrita sp.) throughout the month of October, the moth species continued to defy the naturalists who named them when, on the 1st of November, the hostel was struck by a lone December Moth (Poecilocampa populi).
The December Moth is common and distributed throughout Britain and Ireland at lower altitudes. It is found mainly in woodlands where its larvae feed on the leaves of broadleaf trees including Oak, Birch and Elm (info from "Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland" by Waring, P., Townsend, M. & Lewington, R. (2009)).
While you are seeing family and friends this month, we thought it would be a good time to plan ahead for 2017, with the opportunity for you to discuss the best way to get together again next year.
We now have a simple pricing structure for booking exclusive use of the hostel for house parties, weddings and events, with particularly appealing winter rates and special offers for our newsletter subscribers and supporters.
2017 Exclusive-use Prices (per night)
January u00a3795 August u00a31995
February u00a3995 September u00a31725
March u00a31450 October u00a31725
April u00a31995 November u00a3895
May u00a31995 December u00a3895
June u00a31995 Christmas u00a31500
July u00a31995 New Year u00a31995
Prices are per night, based on a minimum two night stay. Meals can then be booked separately with breakfast for u00a35.75, an evening meal from u00a38.75 and packed lunches for u00a35.00 or u00a36.00. We can also recommend local musicians and ceilidh bands. If you would like to discuss exclusive use of the hostel then do get in touch.
We still have rooms available for weekends in January and February, as well as plenty of space for February half term, so we are happy to extend the winter offer which we released in the previous newsletter.
This time you will need to use promocode winter02 on our website www.derwentwater.org. Here are the details:
Book a winter stay now and get 35% off private and family rooms and 35% off dorm beds. Offer applies to new bookings to stay at Derwentwater Independent Hostel between 1st December 2016 and 9th March 2017, when booked before 6th January 2017.
The weather has been stunning recently, as this picture shows, but there is plenty to do whatever the weather, and you will always be able to enjoy a roaring fire in the lounge.
For 2017 we are changing our local bottled beer suppliers from Jennings in Cockermouth to the even more local, and very popular, Keswick Brewing Company. We will be stocking Keswick Bitter, Keswick Gold and Keswick Special Bitter KSB, all of which come highly recommended by our dedicated testers!
There is also a jolly connection to Keswick Brewery in Steve Hebblethwaite, a former Derwentwater Hostel staff member who used to go and volunteer at the brewery in his afternoon breaks. We are delighted that he is now working full time at Keswick Brewery, doing what he loves.
The Keswick Brewing Company, located in the centre of Keswick, also do tours and Twizy (electric car) hire.