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Friday, 8 June 2012

Over the Tops to Rookhope - Guided Walk

The hill that goes over to Rookhope

The last time I lead this guided walk, two stewards and just the one walker turned up. This time I had two stweards (Eric and Clare) and fourteen people turned up. By any measures, this is an improvement.

Brian and Dawg in Slitt Wood

Me and superdawg reccied the walk a week ago on Friday and Brian came along for the Slitt Wood bit after which he returned to Charlie's in Westgate for a cuppa...

The reccy was fairly straightforward. There was a bunch of suckler cows at one point which I avoided by a wide detour across a hillside and was only detected by them as I reached the skyline. This caused some excitement in the herd which was now far below - but too late for them to do any dawg chasing.

Utter Rubbish

We also discovered piles of litter, a large area of burned ground and some Bear Ghrylls/Ray Mears wannabe had been hacking at the trees with an axe. There's some right [insert preferred descriptive rude word here] about, to be frank.

Chopper damage
Wednesday's weather for the actual walk was mizzly and drizzly but the duff weather forecast which had involved electrical storms, flash floods, a plague of frogs and a sandstorm, eveolved into a pleasant sunny afternoon.

We rescued a lamb which had managed to get it's legs stuck in the steel grid of some derelict reinforced concrete quarry buildings and it ran off with one leg askew and calling for it's mother, which eventually turned up with an udder full of sheep milk.  The grid sticks out from the side of an old cutting and a lamb jumping on it from above would be well stuck and in for a long, painful and protracted death. Somebody really should tidy it up' it's much more dangerous as litter than some scruffy eeejit's picnic.

North Pennine Views

Anyway, the highlights of this nine mile trundle are:

Slitt Wood wild flowers, waterfalls and industrial archeology including bargain steads, wheel pits, the footings for an armstrong hydraulic engine, the mine smithy, Slitt vein, culverts, dams, shafts, levels, tramways and spoil heaps.

A tramp over the moors with nice North Pennine views.

A nature reserve

Rookhope village including pub and toilets

The Rookhope borehole (which discovered hot granite 1000 metres down)

Westgate in Weardale

The track of the railway to Westgate for easy walking with views of Weardale

Meadows and pastures.

Westgate  - shop and Hare and Hounds

There's a map.


Dawn said...

Nasty Mike, give Mr Mears his due, he does at least have a 'leave no trace' policy. That axe was blunt, very. With that sort of mess someone ought to have the back of the axe laid around the earhole. Nice looking area though.

Yasmine Hamid said...

I would be shocked at the axe damage, but I was at Low Force a few days after you were and that neat pile of bagged litter is now strewn all over the footpath and there's some serious fire damage on the rocks overlooking the falls where people have been *cough* wild camping. And today we found 'doggie bags' chucked on the path in the middle of nowhere, I mean Weardale.


Mike Knipe said...

Ray's OK, Dawn - seems like a nice bloke, in fact, its the brain-deads who's principal experience of the countryside is watching the TV with a window open.
Yasmine - You're getting around! Aaagggh! indeed, though. Quite right. The mucky buggers, as my Mum would have said. Dog poo bags festooning trees and bushes is a strange thing to do, but, apparently, quite popular. Blech...