I have this little trundle on the Lead Mine trail and a few other paths around Blanchland and Edmundbyers which I do twice a year for the purpose of reporting to the Council rights of way peeps on the state of the footpaths. Its a very useful walk to have just before setting off on a TGO Challenge (only ten days to go!) as it’s fifteen miles. OK, its fifteen fairly easy miles…
Unfortunately, superdawg is not allowed on this jaunt due to what is basically a ranch containing suckler cows, one of whom once knocked me over in her attempt to get at Bruno, who had, wisely, buggerred of over the wall.. There’s also lots of sheep who are producing lambs just now and panicking ewes are contra-indicated for a responsible volunteer wot like I am.
Part one of this jaunt is a six or so mile wander through some nice woodland, a few lambing fields, a bit more woodland, a bit of moorland and some more woodland. The path issues are usually about fallen trees, but there’s a steep path where the shoring is falling to bits and a stile which occasionally rejects the walker and chucks him over the wall, a bit like a trebuchet. And I’ve mentioned a place which needs a waymark.
The naughty stile’s bolts have rusted up now, so it no longer exports ramblers into the sitka over the wall, so that’s good, but the steep path is still falling to bits, although it doesn’t really look any worse than it did last September. And a waymark has appeared in just the right place. Time for lunch.
Part two is a nine mile walk up the Lead mine trail – a route heavily used by mountain bikers which is getting a bit frayed in parts. The walk returns by a footpath through the cattle/sheep/horse ranch through Pedam’s Oak. This is usually OK, apart from the occasional manic heiffer but here’s some gorse slowly closing the path at one point (I did notice a gorse-cutting day in the working party lists, though) and there used to be a handwritten sign on a gate informing walkers that they were going the wrong way. This needed another waymarker and – one has appeared. OK, so they’re only little things, but it seems that somebody is taking notice of what the adopt-a-path volunteers are saying.
Perishing cold this afternoon by the way. Somebody in Denmark seems to have left a fridge door open. Fifteen miles, though…..