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Sunday, 22 February 2009

A Brief Baldersdale Bash

Got a bit distracted by Wh****side again, there, hence two blog posts in a very short period… This one is about my first walk since climbing up W****side……

I’ve been busy being a landlord over the last week or so… I’ve got the land to lord over anyway…. Other things are still up in the air.

So, I was pining for the moors and decided it was about time for a little jaunt. I took both dogs – Bruno, whom readers will have met before and Tammy, who enjoys throwing up all over the car seats. She managed to throw up a meal provided to her ten hours earlier. What on earth was she saving that for, I wonder?

So anyway, we went to Baldersdale. Baldersdale has three reservoirs, loads of car parks and permissive paths, Hannah Hauxwell’s meadows and a couple of mesa-like gritstone lumps – one Shacklesborough and the other Goldsborough.

I parked the scrapheap at Balderhead Reservoir and wandered along the dam wall (damned wall?) and down through the yard of the ex-Baldersdale YHA – now some kind of private hostel with their own leaflets and everything. Then along the Pennine Way and a bit of road to Goldsborough where, in warm and bright sunshine, I ate my banana. (fascinating stuff, this innit?)

There were a few early spring rock climbers playing on the rocks. One lass turned up with a male partner and she had, what appeared to be a mattress strapped to her back.
There’s nothing like being prepared for any eventuality, I suppose…
Goldsborough, by the way, was the stamping ground of one Bentley Beetham who was a teacher at Barnard Castle School. He used to bring pupils up here for rock climbing. Bentley Beetham is responsible for pioneering a bunch of long, easy scrambles and rock climbs in the Lake District. Cam Crag Buttress is one of his, for instance. Grade 2 Scrambling - just about Moderate and about 600 feet long. Cracking route.

We outflanked some pregnant sheep (green bums – dead giveaway) – cos I didn’t want to scare pregnant sheep with two slavering dogs and joined the paths alongside Blackton reservoir. Lots of lapwings here – doing their daft, jinking flight with the squeaky-toy noises. Another sure sign of spring about to spring (I include the climbers and the pregnant sheep in the list by the way)

And then on to Low Birk Hat, where Hannah Hauxwell eked out a Spartan existence and, which is now a nature reserve. Hannah’s meadows had more pregnant sheep grazing. These meadows are absolutely heaving with Northern Meadows plants from just after lambing time in April, through to haymaking in late July. Bring your wild flowers book and a ticking pencil.

Poor Tammy was getting a bit fragged by this time (she’s getting on in years) and so, we made short work of getting back to the car for a quick journey home for a cup of tea and a chewstick.

Just 6 miles or so. More walkies in a day or so, for my TGO Challenge training plan which says that I ought to walk at least 14 miles on a walk in February.


Martin Rye said...

Proper Challenge training should include a pub. That way you train your liver up as well for the event. I remember walking along leaning over into the wind due to it being very strong on the Pennine Way near there. Did the dog throw on the way home?

IckleBigSis said...

Poor Tambles... Icky sicky poochy and she's just not used to the exercise.

Next time I'm home, I'd like to see the meadow's please :)

mike knipe said...

The pooch barfed on the outward journey, Martin. That way, the results had time to "mature" in the warm car. You're right about Challenge training incuding a pub, though. I wonder if I could work that in, somehow.
Rachel - You shall go to the meadows... Best time is early to mid June. In July, there's a different set of flowers, but generally, the place is starting to look a bit tired by then.
There's a special "Northern Haymeadows" assemblage. We should look at Upper Teesdale too......