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Sunday, 31 May 2009

Moorhouse NNR radgings

Back to Nenthead today as it was about time superdawg had a hillwalk, as he was trying to expain to me yesterday with my left calf in his mouth.

So we drove past the "authorised vehicles only" sign, Southwards beside the river South Tyne as far as a locked gate would allow. This was near the confluence of the River Tees and Troutbeck at a point beyond which the humble stickleback will not venture (apparently) at an altitude of "quite high really..."

We wandereed up to Natural England's scientific station and bothy at Moorhouse - which used to be a large shooting lodge, visited on occasion by such luminaries as Kaiser Bill and Kaiser bill's batman. Not much left of it now, apart from the bothy, a garage, a toilet, some concrete flooring and some original rhubarb.

Here, we lunched, following which we followed a small beck high onto the moor looking for the remains of a failed waterworks project and a small abandoned bulldozer. We found the remains of both then back downstream to visit a cave. Me and superdawg explored inside this as far as we could - a meandering passage which became too low for an unhelmeted dog after a couple of dozen metres or so.

The cave is on the side of a small limestone gorge containing a nice array of wild flowers - including a fair collection of birds eye primrose and a rare fern.

And so, downstream to the bridge, where I had a little dip in the warm peaty water.

As I reversed the car for a return journey down to Garrigill, a car with two lost people in it turned up. they were looking for Barnard Castle. They were indeed, very very lost. They followed us to the Teesdale road (about 10 miles!) and bthere we left them.

A seciond visit to the Miners Arms at Nenthead for yet another small libation followed.

A hottish day with a nice Pennine breeze.

We did just 4 miles, reached 2066 above sea level and climbed a petty 350 feet. I swam about 30 feet and sat under a small waterfall for a bit. There will be no photos of this final watery event. This is a family blog after all...

A warning to anybody wandering in the vicinity of Moorhouse, though - if its a quiet pee or other bare-skin involving activity you're after, be aware that there are many motion-sensetive cameras in the vicinity, placed for the purposes of measuring rabbit and other wildlife movements. Apparently, they also detect and photograph human activities for the delight of the local scientists.

Loads of other experiments inthe vicinity too with lots of "things" all over the place....

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