Wednesday 28 November 2012

Border Stane & Long Cairn

This weeks Wednesday Walk and we were back at 7 Stanes in Newcasleton with John able to join us after his holiday in Australia. This photograph is taken on the English side of the Border at the Border Stane marking the boundary. The reason for the long faces is of course because we were in England.

But of course we were soon back in Scotland and able to smile.

The walk took us to this ancient Long Cairn which to look at is just a collection of stones as the photograph below shows.

Tom was very excited about the Long Cairn but John and I thought it was just a collection of stones and nothing much to write home about.

These forestry tracks are excellent for walking and well waymarked. Our walk today was just short of 7 miles but an excellent walk and mostly dry underfoot.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Leo's Birthday Treat to National Railway Museum

What a fabulous day spent with Leo and his big sister Hannah at the National Railway Museum in York. This was his 3rd Birthday treat as he loves Trains so we took the train from Newcastle to York and then spent 5 hours in the NRM. Leo loved every minute of the day and was so excited about every engine and railway carriage. This photograph is of him in front of the Mallard which is the fastest of all the steam engines.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Ennerdale Water & Arctic Charr

Todays Wednesday walk was to Ennerdale water in the northern part of the Lake District about 15 miles from Cockermouth. The weather forecast was good and it looked as if it would be dry all day. It was only Tom and I today as Peter is unwell and David is still recovering from his knee operation. John is in Australia so just the two of us. After a near miss on a roundabout in Cockermouth Tom made it to the Lake. He really does not like roundabouts. The lake from where we parked is about 7 miles round it with the south side being very difficult terrain. That 3 miles on the southern side of the lake was one of the most difficult walks we have ever done. The path was mostly stone and instead of it being a path it was like a stream with loads of water running off the mountains.

The bridge over the River Liza at the entrance to the Lake

We were very fortunate to meet up with a group of people from The Wild Ennerdale Partnership who were netting Arctic Charr in the River Liza at the entrance to the lake. These fish are very rare and they live in the lake but spawn every November in the river. Twenty years ago there were 11,000 in the Lake but this has dropped dramatically for various reasons. Work has been done by the Partnership over the last few years to improve this.A pipe bridge, which was a barrier to migrating fish and also crucially prevented gravel from flowing further downstream to the spawning sites close to Ennerdale Water, was removed.
The acidity of the water was also improved by replacing conifers in the surrounding area with native broadleaves, Juniper and heathland.
In addition, Environment Agency officers have been taking eggs from local fish, and returning the hatched fry to the River Liza.
Above you can see the eggs being taken from a female Arctic Charr and these together with the Milt from the Male fish will be taken over to Keilder where they will be hatched and then eventually returned to Ennerdale lake

Eggs from the Arctic Charr

The rough path on the southern side of the Lake

Tom attempting to cross one of the many streams coming down the mountainsides. He did not fall in but it was a very close thing.

The final mile of the walk involved a scramble over this rocky peninsular and we very nearly came to a disaster as we had just met an ex Green Howard Soldier who was walking Coast to Coast in 7 days and was heading for Shap today in aid of Help for Heros and he gave us some instructions about this part of the walk which we decided to ignore as they would have got us into difficulty. We made it eventually but it was very difficult with a 30ft drop into the lake being the price to pay if we had failed.

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