Sunday 29 January 2012

Bird Ringing

Since becoming involved with the Moorland Education Project 4 years ago I have taken a great interest in the Moorland and its birds. I headed out to the Moorland Feeding Station this morning to see Cat Barlow ringing some of the birds. She was delighted to catch a pair of Common Crossbills for the first time ever as you can see by the smile on her face as she holds the Male Crossbill.

Male Common Crossbill

In the net. The are perfectly safe and only Cat can handle them as she has been trained by RSPB.

A Robin

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Teviothead Walk

This weeks walks was a Teviothead Circular from the book "Walking in the Land of the Reivers" by I.W.Landles & A.G.Brydon. We had intended to walk the first part of the walk along the road and then take the route back on the other side of the valley along the ridge. By the time we had walked the first 3 miles with a gale force wind in our faces we decided not to climb to the ridge as the wind strength was increasing and the rain was horizontal. The wind would have been behind us but the hills were beginning to dissapear in the clouds so we decided to head back the way we had come and were blown along back to the car in about half the time it had taken us when the wind had been in our faces. The above photograph is looking up the A7 towards Mosspaul.

The walk starts at Carlenrig where Johnnie Armstrong and 36 of his followers were hung by King James V in 1530.

At the top part of the Teviotdale road there is a memorial cairn to Motor Cycle Racing Star Steve Hislop (Hizzy). He won the Isle of Man TT Eleven times but was killed in a helicopter accident in Teviotdale in 2003. For further information please look at the following website

The most striking building on this walk is the Teviothead Church Manse which is bigger than the church. Rural churches many years ago were built round very strong communities and the Minister was the most important person in the valley and therefore had a house which reflected his status in the area. The Manse of course was also a haven for people needing help and assistance therefore they had to be fairly large.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Lowther Walk

Another Wednesday so another walk for Tom, John, and myself. We headed to Lowther and a walk from the superb walks book published by Penrith Ramblers for an 8.5 mile walk from Lowther and including the lovely village of Askham. The weather forecast last night was not good so we decided to delay our departure to 10.00am as it looked as if by lunch time the rain would clear. We were lucky however as it was dry at 10.00am and we never had a drop of rain all day. We were hardly as far as Canonbie when I realised I had forgotten my camera so these photos are courtesy of John and taken on his I-Phone. The above picture is Lowther Castle which is in the process of a big makeover which looks as if it is costing a small fortune and I dont know if it will be suitable to live in when it is completed. More research is required so I will provide the information at a later date if I can find out.

As we reached the higher ground on the walk towards Askham Fell we passed by this cultivation area which had been used in the 16th Century. I dont know what kind of crops the settlers there would grow but it looked very impressive but nowadays only sheep graze there.

This is the highest point on the walk at Heughscar Hill and it gives superb views over Ullswater. At this point we took a wrong turning and missed the small gap in the trees that we were supposed to go through so we added another mile to the walk. Can't even blame Tom this time as he was not in charge of the map. Maybe John just wanted to make it a 10 mile walk.The walk was completed by 3.30pm and was just under the 10 miles, although John added the extra half mile along the road in the time it took Tom to change his boots. If you know Tom you will realise that John had plenty of time to do his extra half mile.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Hunters Trail at 7Stanes - Newcastleton

For a long time I have wanted to explore walking trails at the 7Stanes Biking Centre at Newcastleton so armed with some information from the internet Tom and I headed off today to do the 9 mile Hunters Trail. This is a circular trail following mostly forest roads with about a mile of it on a lovely path at the furthermost and highest point (1100ft) which joins the 2 forest roads together. It was a superb walk and not a bike in sight. We walked for over 3 hours and never saw a soul but plenty of wildlife and there are loads of picnic areas for your lunch break and even posts for tying your horse to.  

This was some mosses at the side of the trail. There are loads of wildlife areas with ponds and burns.

We never saw the sun  but it looked to be shining at the other side of the valley. We were lucky however and had no rain all the time we were walking.

All over the place you can see lots of old Steils going back to a time before the forest was planted and there would be sheep farming on the open hills.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Solway Walk

We had decided some time ago to walk on Thursday this week instead of the usual Wednesday and thank goodness we did. Yesterday was horrible and I was hardly over the doorstep all day so when I opened the curtains this morning to see blue skies it was a real treat. We headed for Allonby on the Cumbria Solway Coast wih the intention to catch a bus to Maryport at 10.25am and then walk back approx. 6 miles to Allonby. Tom was driving so it looked as if it would be a close run thing if we were to catch the bus but as we parked the car opposite the bus stop in Allonby the bus came round the corner and we managed to flag it down and get on board. It may have been blue skies but the gale force wind was still blowing and it was very cold. We stopped after about an hour to have a coffee in Maryport Golf Course and made it back to the car after about 2.5 hours walking. The photograph above of John &Tom is overlooking the entrance to Maryport Harbour from the 1 mile long promenade along the coast.

John and Gavin well wrapped up. A very enjoyable walk finished of with a plate of soup in the Golf Hotel, Silloth.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Hannah's 6th Birthday

 Hannah was 6 years old yesterday so we headed off to Newcastle for her party. Leo decided he would also go to the party and was on his best behaviour despite having 10 girls bossing him around.
 The Birthday Cake made by Fiona and it tasted as good as it looked.
 In comes the Birthday Cake with Leo looking on as he sat on Elaine the Elf's knee. Elaine was a star as she entertained the girls and kept them amused for 2 hours.

Hannah manages to blow out most of the candles first go but the last one took a wee bit longer.

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