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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A Bit More Rangering (nearly finished…)

on middlehope moor

Two more reccies done for Winter programme walks.

The first was from Wolsingham up to Tunstall reservoir and back – about 6 miles. This has some very flowery Northern Meadows type meadows, in the process of being cut for hay, some very fine oak trees on Fawnlees Hall land, the biggest ladder stile in County Durham (confirmed by the farmer who was working nearby), some very aggressive wasps who stung both my legs and my back and only stopped when I ran away.

  fawnlees veteran oak

There’s also a reservoir (yawn) and an ancient oak wood once coppiced by monkeys or , possibly monks, and a very nice high(ish) level walk back to Wolsinghamwolsingham holy well.inside the holy well

And a Holy Well. Nearly forgot the holy well. This is inside a little stone shed, has seats around the side of a small cistern or bath which was empty at the time.

So, quite a bit in six miles, really.

middlehope moor summit

Walk two was from Cowshill and is intended for January when it will likely be perishing cold. In fact, despite assurances from the Beeb weather forecaster this morning that a fine summer day wa in prospect, it drizzled all morning and it was so cold on top of Middlehope Moor that superdawg’s hot breath could be seen steaming in the wind.

rangering3 018 rangering3 022

The walk was remarkable for the vast swathes of violets and the equally fine array of wild flowers on the roadside verges.

This walk is an exercise in careful navigation to stay on the line of the right of way over the moors and often, in mid winter, it seems to collect a fine and very thick layer of hard neve which provides incredibly fast and easy walking. This is what what I’m hoping for anyway – just a brief taste of some proper cold and winter hillwalking.

Its 8 miles.

Good views too…

Just a couple or three things to finalise, plus an adopt-a-path walk and that’s it for the rangering till the next DCC walk in August.

cup and ring rock on goldsborough

Incidentally, Neville McDonnell (pictured on the Efelent Trees walk relaxing on a fancy seat at Harehope)  sent me a picture of a cup and ring marked boulder on Goldsborough. I’ve included it here.

Thanks Neville



Iain said...

How odd....those flowery things are the local motif of the area where we lived in northern Sweden, Vaster Norrland, Solleftea Kommun! Maybe they were planted by marauding Vikings!

Mike Knipe said...

I used to out with a lass called Violet, Iain. She's wasn't a viking and didn't have pigtails, though she was a bit blonde.
Her hobby was drinking rum and blackcurrant. No reason for mentioning this, really.
Violets are all over the place up Weardale at the moment....

Mike R said...

We (me, Debs and Max the Llhasa Apsos dog from Bish) like the winter suitable walk on the permissive trail along the north side of Burnhope Reservoir (not permitted last winter due to padlocked gate and tree felling but there is a south side alternative trail; we just hopped the gate because no one was around and there was no tree felling because it was a Sunday), then onto open access land to the west of the reservoir eventually intercepting the main fence line just east of Scaud Hill and following it back down. This fence line is very useful if you happen across a blizzard as it makes it difficult for route finding to go wrong. Incidentally, the water board road from Wearhead that leads towards the dam is normally cleared of snow quite well and last December they had even dug a few decent parking spaces along that road. Unfortunately that day the snow was very powdery and even our modestly sized snow shoes sank with Max having to be carried the whole way in his rucksack due to snow ball accumulation problems.

Mike Knipe said...

Mike -...interesting that they clear the road - but I suppose they would..useful info, though..
Bruno had problems with the cold powder up Weardale last winter and I had to walk on the road eventually - he's too big to carry.
There seems to be a shooters track up to Scaud Hill...(last time I was up there it was dark)