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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Rangering Around Hunstanworth and Edmundbyers

red kite over hunstanworth
In between all this skinny dipping and glamour posing   running about daft, I have, actually been busy doing Durham County Council voluntary rangering stuff. This has consisted of wandering about on the moors just to the left of Consett. Being busy doing this kind of stuff isn’t really onerous, consisting , as it does, of mainly walking , interrupted by short sleeps or watching the world go by….  One such episode of world watching witnessed a red kite swooping low over Sykehead dam and taking a sip of water. The particular bird is shown in the introductory pic having a bit of a float around in the blue sky.
they're following me around... but I don't care, see...?
Today’s rangering was a guided walk entitled “Hunstanworth Hobble”, possibly a slightly ominous name for an event with a Risk assessment. There were 36 of us, including me and the stewards Compulsory Dave, Maria and David. This is quite a lot of people to have following you about, specially when it’s very claggy, as it was today.
wandering into clag
is it a bird? is it a plane? 
The potential for losing somebody off the back of the walk is a real one, but armed with a safety procedure involving jumping up and down and shouting loudly till somebody came to look for you, nothing much went wrong, apart from a few less than graceful descents from stiles, wet feet and gazing at a magnificent view that couldn’t be seen due to the fact that our heads were almost permanently in the clouds. I’m speaking of the cracking view from the top of Bolt’s Law, obviously…   I think people generally enjoyed it, though, despite the glaur.
bruno hunts for shaky stiles
bolts law summit 
To have a guided walk, of course, there has to be a reccy. Me and superdawg did the reccy about a week ago. The weather on this occasion was warm, showery and a bit blustery. This reccy also covered the first half of my equinoxal adopt-a-path thingy in which I stroll through Deborah Plantation, over the footbridge and along a moorland bridleway looking for things for the rights of way peeps at the council to put right – such as the three fallen trees on the steep bit of the path up to Townfield. Before I managed to report these to the council, though, somebody had been along and turned them into Christmas logs – so nothing much to report.
The dawg enjoyed it. The cows above Blanchland only went into a frenzy as we got to the field gate (we’d been mugged by cows in this field last year) and we escaped without injury.
sykehead dam
I did the rest of the adopt-a-path walk a couple of days ago in warm, almost hot sunshine, with big blue and beautiful skies. I added on a little trip to Sykehead Chimney and sat in the suntrap there for the best part of an hour. The moors nearby were occupied by at least three groups of grouse shooters, and, occasionally, the RAF and what I took to be a police helicopter paid brief but noisy visits,  so it did sound a bit like a war zone and I had some difficulty in retaining snooze status....
ok, which way now?

In ten miles up the leadmine trail out of Edmundbyers, and back down by the Pedam’s Oak path, the worst I found was a waymark that had gone blank. This happens to me occasionally, but it seems more important for a waymark to retain at least some element of clarity. So, I’ll report that one. I don’t expect that this will receive a really high priority…
the christmas tree on bolt's law
And that’s it for now. Next up is the Alf (I seem to have lost a sock) Wainwright Pennine Journey celebration walk during which we attempt to walk the entire Pennine Journey route in a day. The bit I’m doing is from Tan Hill to Baldersdale. We start at 09:00 on 28 th September at Balderherhead dam for a bus trip to Tan Hill to walk back again. We need punters for this, so come along. You’re supposed to book via the AONB  book free pennine journey walk  Note that this event is FREE OF CHARGE and is lead by an expert leader who’s been to Tan Hill before and is an absolute brick…
Some of today’s pics have been donated by Graeme Ferguson. Ta Graeme.
hunstanworth hobble


Dawn said...

Nice looking camping spot on Bolts law!

Mike Knipe said...

Don't be fooled, Dawn! This area is over-keepered and full of Ruperts firing towards red grouse, or anything that moves, frankly. Its good by the Sykehead dam, though...

Sarah said...

Looked like a lot of Fun!!