Wednesday 25 November 2015

A Walk round Canonbie

After our wet Umbrella Walk to Broomholmshiels and the Laverock Bird Hide last week we were back to a nice day for walking today. Because of time restraints it had to be a short morning walk so we headed for Canonbie to do a 5 mile road walk round the village. We headed towards Rowanburn and then turned left at the top of The Cut where John's grandmother was brought up. This is the view from this road towards Whita Hill.
Gilnockie School and now a private residence
Gilnockie Hall which is still used now and again for social events
Gilnockie Station and now the home of Kirsteen Davies
On the road down from Gilnockie to Hollows there is a new plantation of trees. Tom insisted that we inspect them so that we can come back in 30 years time to take another photograph to see how they have developed. When Tom gets an idea in his head we have to humour him but I don't think we will be back in 30 years time.  
Tom inspects the trees. 
At Hollows Mill the Archimedes Screw is now in operation providing power to the mill and in times of surplus to the National Grid. This photograph is taken from Hollows Bridge.

Todays walkers
At the Hollows Bridge we met Arthur Irving who was doing his bit for the community in keeping the bridge tidy. He does the same at Canonbie Bridge on a regular basis.  
Back on the high road from Hollows to Canonbie we passed the old Free Kirk which has now been converted into 2 flats with each of them on the market at £500,000. I have a feeling they will never sell at that price but time will tell. 
When I got up this morning this was the red sky at sunrise which usually is a sign of bad weather but maybe that is for tomorrow as today has been excellent
From the new plantation we inspected this is the view towards Brockwoodlees and it is rather nice but once the trees grow up it will disappear. 

Wednesday 11 November 2015

The Duchesse's Drive at Bowhill

We had intended to go to Silloth for todays walk but last night we looked at the weather forecast and decided to head east as the forecast for Selkirk was much better. This proved to be an excellent decision as the weather was excellent and for about an hour we even had sunshine. We started our walk which is a 7.5 mile circuit starting at Bowhill the Borders home of the Duke of Buccleuch. This is the road through the wood at the start of the walk.
This is a stone seat engraved BQ for Buccleuch & Queensbury
Once we gain a bit of height we get one of the best views of the Eildons in the distance.  
One of the many Grouse Butts on the hillside. This is a working Grouse Moor and I am delighted to say that most of the Grouse from this moor is sold by Buccleuch to Marks & Spencer as a direct result of the sponsorship of Langholm's "Making the Most of the Moorland Project". This is because last year M & S had to stop selling wild Grouse in its food shops as people mostly in Yorkshire protested because of the persecution of The Hen Harrier in the Yorkshire Grouse Moors. By supporting our project they can now be seen to be supporting methods to help Hen Harriers and therefore becoming ethical in their product.  
In the distance we can see that Forestry is harvested just like many agricultural commodities. This is a perfect example of how great swarths of forest are cleared.
This is Newark Castle built by the Douglas family in 1423 and eventually gifted to the Scott family. 
The Tower
As we were standing at Newark Castle two of these came over very low and very quiet and I just managed to get my camera in focus for the second one.
One of the many log piles waiting for the timber wagons to take them away
The gates to Bowhill House. We ended up with a snack at Philiphaugh Estate cafe and by the time we were on our way home to Langholm the rain started with a vengeance so we had been very lucky.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Autumn Watch at Caerlaverock

Last week the weather was so wet we only were able to have an Umbrella Walk round Potholm and no photographs were taken as it was so wet. Today the weather was dull but dry as we headed for Caerlaverock Reserve for a 6 mile walk along the shore and past the Castle. The BBC are filming Autumn Watch from here so it is very busy and the car park was almost full by the the time we arrived at 10.30am. These are all the outside broadcast units but as it was so busy we did not venture into the reserve prior to our walk and we decided to lunch at the castle as the cafe here was too busy.
The lane taking us to the shore and the Merse. 
There is very little colour in the hedgerows at this time of year but this Gorse bush was an oasis of colour in the hedge. 
Caerlaverock Castle where we had an excellent lunch.
Barnacle Geese in one of the many fields. We are told there are 41,000 of them wintering here this year. 

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