Lake District National Park – relying on geography

This week we're celebrating 60 years of the Lake District National Park.

This week we’re celebrating 60 years of the Lake District National Park.

This week we’re celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Lake District National Park. Today we’re looking at the national park authority and how they rely on Ordnance Survey mapping data. Today we’re talking to Rosemary Long who is a GIS Officer for the Lake District National Park (LDNP). Rosemary has worked for LDNP for over ten years but has been in her current role since March 2011.

What’s a typical day like for you Rosemary?
No two days here are ever the same in the GIS team. The one constant thing that we have to deal with though is location. When we need to show someone where something is in the Lake District the best way is to show them on a map – and the best maps of the Lake District are Ordnance Survey ones.

The tasks that we could be doing with the GIS team vary from:

  • advising staff on how best to gather data for a survey of invasive species
  • making maps for a public consultation document
  • producing maps for volunteers to assess the rights of way network
  • digitising a Ranger’s patch and using it with other data to see which parishes s/he covers and what site and species designations are there
  • helping to manage vast data sets such as planning applications, rights of way furniture and archaeological sites
  • calculating the length of shoreline around Windermere for habitat assessment
  • putting together web mapping on the internet to allow the public to view our information
  • creating rights of way diversion order plans or tree preservation notices to go out on site

What role does Ordnance Survey mapping play in your day job?
It’s a rare day when I don’t use Ordnance Survey mapping in one way or another. We make maps for legal notices through to leaflets. We capture an maintain data on diverse subjects from jetties to Juniper plantations. We help National Park staff make decisions on anything from wind farm siting to water quality. And the backdrop to all of that is Ordnance Survey mapping products.

Which data set(s) do you use most frequently?
Base maps –  (OS MasterMap, 1: 10 000 scale raster, 1: 25 000 scale raster and 1: 50 000 scale raster maps and some of the OS OpenData products. We use all of them in lots of different ways and for different reasons.

In her free time Rosemary likes to be up in the fells exploring new places

In her free time Rosemary likes to be up in the fells exploring new places

Where in the Lake District is your favourite place?
I’m not really one for towns and tea shops. I’d rather be out, getting up high or scrambling, paddling, swimming, riding and generally exploring paths and places I’ve not been to before. I love the high fell in the Spring and autumn when the sunlight is lower. The light picks out the crags and features more and the fells look stunning. Hot summer days are best exploring woods, streams and lake edges down in the valleys. But, in general, I’m not fussy; any excuse to get out and about in the National Park. I’ve never been disappointed. Every time I go in I’m surprised that, yes, the Lake District really is that spectacular!

Thank you Rosemary!

Where’s your favourite place in the Lake District? Like Rosemary, do you like to be off the beaten track? Tomorrow we have a walk of the week that may take you somewhere in the Lake District that you’ve not been to before.



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