Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Another Reccy – Crook West
I appreciate that I’ve probably neglected the gear monsters amongst the readership and that proper blogs detail the kit used on walks. So here is what I took today:
A pair of secateurs of unknown age or history or anything. They are green and weigh half a kilo. I used them to trim some gorse.
That’s it really. I didn’t bother with a rucksack or a dog or a map and one of those little clock things that point North.
Anyway – as this walk is on the Durham County Council walks programme and happens next week, it was time to have a reccy.
The second thing that struck me (the first was just how flowery the countryside is at the moment) – was that they’re haymaking. This may be a hazard, wot with tractors and tired haymakers and everything.
The third thing that almost struck me, in fact the third to fiftieth things that almost struck me were the frisky beef cattle. These appear to have horns and willies, so they must be bulls. A load of bulls, in fact. There were three herds or gangs of these and each one decided that I was very interesting and how about a charge around the field.
But beef orta know better than to try to chase The Pieman, specially at lunchtime. I chased off the first group, but they kept coming back.
I chased off the second group, and they kept coming back, but I waited for these by a stile and noticed that once they’d inspected me a bit, they soon lost interest and became more intent on trying to shag each other.
Close-up, it would seem that these lads weren’t aggressive at all but maybe they were trying to have fun. They do seem to like running about, but they turn away if you stand still and face them. Just as well, really, cos they’re quite er… beefy….
So, I didn’t chase off the next group, I just stood still. And they got bored and went off for a chase around the field and a bit of trying to shag each other.
The fifty-first thing that I noticed was that many of the paths had been recently strimmed or mown and much of the potentially interfering vegetation had been chopped back, and not only that but several of the stiles had been repaired or even replaced. The assistant steward on the walk also manages the rights of way part of DCC’s countryside service, so this is perhaps no surprise. It was even less of a surprise for me cos they invited me to join the work party doing all this but I was up in Scotland getting wet both inside and out, so I knew about it already, see?
The fifty-second noticeable thing was a brick. This brick has the word “PEASE” on it. Mr Pease and his progeny were partly responsible for financing George Stephenson’s railways. They did this because they wanted coal mines in South Durham – very much like the ones in Crook, in fact, and this brick is a bit of archaeology from the Roddymoor pit.
Mr Pease, in chucking his money towards the development of steam railways may well be at least partly responsible for changing the way of life of the entire globe. And all this is represented in a brick.
I was quite chuffed about the stiles and the paths.
The walk is on Wednesday 8 June starting at 7:00 pm from Peases West running track. I will be warning any walkers that turn up about the frisky beef. Its about 4 miles with 350 feet of up, so its just an evening stroll to look at the flowers, listen to the chiff-chaffs and yellowhammers and run like buggery from the rampaging cattle. (But we’ll stand our ground – “Steady, lads….” as they say on “Zulu”.)