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Friday, 22 March 2019

Endmoor and Gatebeck

Thursday walk with Pete - 21st. March 2019 - Endmoor and Gatebeck

After my relatively productive two mile walk the other day I have again found material for an interesting post from  a short walk. 

In the mid nineties I built two boats.  I'd enjoyed the building more than the sailing and they were both later sold. I would have taken on another project if my move to Arnside in 2000 had given me the space.  I did post (with photos) about those activities a while ago:

Shortly after starting this walk with Pete I saw a sign at Gatebeck for Fyne Boat Kits, and was surprised that I had not come across this place before. Fyne supply a big range of kits for small boats ranging from canoes and kayaks to larger sailing boats. For anybody interested HERE is a link to their website.

After Gatebeck the road climbed quite steeply in places all the way to our terminus at the Kirkby Lonsdale/Sedbergh road. Daffodils were everywhere in varying states of bloom.

Pete needs flatter terrain than this but he has been going well recently and he was fine with this steady climb and the welcome downhill all the way back.

There are thousands of properties dating back to the 17th Century and further in this area and they probably outnumber more modern dwellings and we tend to walk past and take them for granted.  There is often a date plaque above the door and I took a photo of one proclaiming 1744. That had me wondering what was happening that year and Wikipedia had many tidbits, the more interesting ones for me are shown below -  my Reader's Digest version of Wiki:


So 1744 was almost unbelievably as newsworthy as 2019 (so far), after all it isn't often that someone has declared war against us. 

Shortly after the M6 underpass we were on the tops with fine views all round.

I spied a tractor related machine for our enthusiast Alan R. It may be too far removed from his specific subject of agricultural tractors, but I have hopes. It was a weird contraption designed with no eye for beauty, more as though it had been cobbled together from bits of various other machines for some unidentifiable multi-function purpose, which, judging by the look of it had failed - we will see.

Further on another ancient farm building had a plaque for 1736, but we will save perusal of happenings that year for the moment.

Back at Café Ambio I think Pete was more than usual ready for his refreshing cuppa and an Ambio sized portion of carrot cake - I usually have their own flapjack which is like something from Shackleton's survival rations, but none the worse for that.

See plaque below

An unusual manipulation of this stream presumably for the farmer's benefit, most likely preventing an area of bog in the field?

Looking back to the M6 which we had passed under further back. We were now out on the tops getting fine views to the Shap fells and the Lake District.

My prize for the ugliest tractor. The inscription reads 646C

30 x zoom

The plaque below was on the adjoining building but I reckon it is relevant to this one

Our destination reached. The Kirkby Lonsdale/Sedbergh road - well done Pete

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

"You hurry to a spot that's just a dot on the map..."

Tuesday 19th March 2019 - north of Ings

I read maps like some people read books (I do read books as well).

This morning, after looking at the news on my computer, then catching up with blogs I  turned to Memory Map. With Pete I have walked in the area shown on the map below and noticed a little hill with rocky outcrops above the highest point on the road, but being restricted to tarmac with Pete I didn't have a chance to explore further and have always intended to go back. When I studied the map this morning I noticed a large unnamed tarn, actually a reservoir. It lay in a bowl on the other side of my little hill and there was no public footpath for a large area surrounding it and I reckoned it must be hidden from view from any public right of way.


A secret.

Must "hurry to the spot..."

From the hectic A 591 the contrast was sudden as I drove up the narrow gated road from Ings to find a parking spot. That is not easy with my Kia which is the best car I have ever had in all respects, except for its tendency to get stuck on anything other than metalled road - I have already had Green Flag out when Kia sank to halfway up its wheels on relatively benign grass only three feet off the road.

An easy-walking cropped turf path lead after a few hundred yards into a friendly wood with shafts of light slicing between the trees illuminating abundant bright green moss.  I guess this is going to be bluebell heaven come the season.

At Yews farm I came upon a travelling farrier (sounds like an English folk song) who was shoeing a majestic shire horse in the farmyard. There were billows of smoke rising from this operation, but the horse seemed so relaxed and patient.  I am wary of horses and have always thought it would be unfair on a horse for me to ride carrying my weight, but this big fella looked as though he could carry a whole rugby team without much effort.

Pleasant road walking took me past a smaller pretty tarn with two distant swans with several cygnets decorating the scene, and then I was at the high point on the road below the craggy hill. I was concerned when I saw a car parked with its occupant moving things from the boot. My little hill is not on access land and I feared I may have a problem. I saw this chap was equipped for fishing and we had a good chat. He was off to my secret reservoir, but skirting round my hill rather than going over the top, and my intentions for trespass were of no consequence to him. The reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout and rights are leased by Windermere and District Angling Club. This guy was as immersed in his passion for angling as I am for mine with walking. He told me his new year's resolution had been to go fishing at least twice a week for the year, and I asked if he was on target and he replied in the affirmative, so off we both went on our different ways chasing our differing aspirations.

I enjoyed the exercise from the steep climb onto my summit from where I had a grand view of my reservoir and the surrounding unique edge-of-the-Lake District countryside including the smaller tarn I had seen on the way.

A short downhill stretch on the road brought me  back to the car. This modest 1.9 mile circuit, albeit with a lot of steep uphill, gave me more pleasure than many longer and more significant outings.

Will have to go back here when the bluebells are out

My kind of horse

The first tarn with swans and cygnets

My little hill from where I met the angler. The summit is further back

My secret reservoir from the top of the little hill - I was slightly disappointed when I realised it was not a natural tarn (but only very slightly)

Looking back at the first tarn and up towards The Lakes proper

Looking back at my hill after I had descended

Monday, 18 March 2019

Knott and Maulds Meaburn Moor

Sunday 17th March 2019
Knott (Gt. Asby)               NY 647 092 - 412m
Meals Meaburn Moor     NY 639 152 - 292m

Over the years I have dallied with Ordnance Survey triangulation points. For readers from abroad these are concrete pillars used by our mapping quango to mount surveying equipment enabling mapping of the whole of the UK - there are 6,500 of them, so for me this is a good list because the number means I have no likelihood of completing them all and can just cherry pick and avoid the stress of compulsive list ticking.

OS maps are divided into numbered sheets. In the past I have visited all the trigs on Sheet 97 (Kendal and Morecambe) and Sheet 98 (Wensleydale and Upper Wharfedale) - there are usually forty or fifty on each map sheet.

Some years ago I had made a start on Sheet 91 (Appleby-in-Westmorland) and visited 16 of the 48. I have for the moment resumed this campaign and visited two more yesterday bringing my total to 18.

Trigs have to be in a prominent position to enable a view of two more trigs to measure the angles of elevation and horizontal plane for completion of each triangle. The majority are therefore situated on high points but there are also many on  low lying terrain, often only a short distance from a road, so it can be feasible to visit several trigs in one outing.

If you want to know more THIS SITE is worth s visit.

This resumption was conceived on a whim as I breakfasted and looked out at a tempting weather window. I had other things to do but I reckoned I could be there and back in time for at least some of my chores.

This was all glorious limestone hill country as good as it gets and it was invigorating to get back amongst some hills after much recent rural country walking. Knott was only a short climb and I decided to  put off my chores and drive the few miles north of Orton to bag the second one which was only a short walk from the road. That gave me a little bonus.  Ordnance Survey, having finished using trig points offered members of the public the opportunity to "adopt a trig" - that has since been discontinued, and I have only seen one or two of these, but Maulds Meaburn was one such. The adopter was one William Dodds - "On the occasion of his retirement - May 1994." Despite time Internet searching I could glean nothing about William.  If anybody knows more I would be interested to hear.

After allowing my  Panasonic TZ100 to ingest mud I made an insurance claim and then bought a new TZ80 which only has the smaller sensor but with the advantages of a 30 x zoom and a proper viewfinder. Today was my first chance to give this a try so I took many photos.


Just off from the road - we have had much rain recently. Knott is the obvious hill - the trig is quite a long way back from a cairn that can be seen from this location

Lime kiln. There are many in these limestone dales

Typical limestone escarpment
This and below - zooms into the northern end of The Howgills

Knott summit and trig

Just a few yards from  Knott trig - perfection


On the way to Maulds Meaburn trig, only a couple of hundred yards from the road

East from Maulds Meaburn trig - northern pennines in the distance

"This trig pillar was adopted by William Dodds on the occasion of his retirement - May 1994"

Friday, 15 March 2019

Dry stone walls and canals

Thursday walk with Pete - 14th March 2019 - Stainton Bridge and Lancaster Canal

We had three blogger's gifts in only three miles today.

Although I have seen the Dry Stone Walling Association training school before I don't think I have photos, so on this bright sunny day I was able to get some decent shots.

We have walked on the canal bank before and over the Stainton Beck aqueduct, but today from the road we came across a notice forbidding access because of repair and restoration work. The aqueduct was damaged by a "seven foot wall of water" by Storm Desmond in 2015 - see a short well written account of all this from the Westmorland Gazette - CLICK HERE

Further on we were able to see the ongoing work and get a zoom shot, but there are much better close up photos on the link shown above.

Just after the aqueduct this section of the Lancaster Canal terminates at Stainton Bridge as a navigable waterway, but note: going back four kilometres the other way the canal is blocked again by the M6 motorway. From Stainton Bridge the Lancaster Canal Trust is involved with restoration, hopefully to the original terminus in Kendal. There is all sorts of information on their website:

I have gleaned the following to include here.

Canal & River Trust has recently announced that due to the problems encountered by the contractors work on the aqueduct is not expected to be 
completed until October.  Lancaster Canal Trust is disappointed but understand the difficulties of the work and conditions.

and: - read only if you are really interested in the details of restoration.

Meet at STAINTON at 9.30 each day
Dates: For the second time this year, starting this Saturday, 2nd March, a Waterways Recovery Group from the Northwest will be joining us, this time for a week.
Lengths 5 and the newly laid length 6 of the rubber liner has now been joined and sealed and is ready to bepulled out, another layer of geotexile laid over it and finished with blocks. The pumps have been kept running over the previous days so it should be fairly dry.
The contractors Wilson’s have cleared out the accumulated piles of material from just before B172 and finished‘profiling’ the banks the same as with the rest of the FF. They have taken away some 7 lorry loads of material but the very wet mud from the bed, referred to by the technical name sloppy stuff, which couldnt be moved by lorry has been pulled up underneath Br 172.
An early task will be to move this material from under the bridge and onto the car park from where it will be picked up by a local contractor and carted away. A 5 ton digger and a dumper have been hired to do this work and to re-instate the ramp down from the car park to the canal bed so that a telehandler can move the final load of blocks, which will be delivered later in the week, down onto the 6th length.
If all goes according to plan (and why shouldnt it!) it should be possible to clear the final length as far as the access ramp of significant stones and minor profile deficiencies and lay out the last of the liners.
Sealing the lining under Br 173 and along the wash walls with puddling clay is a further task as is back filling the profiled lengths once the liner is up to the correct height along the banks.
Volunteers of all skill levels are welcome. We will provide whatever protective clothing is required for the job in
hand (hard hats, hi-vis jackets and work gloves) if you don't have your own. We advise that you bring warm
clothes, waterproofs, sturdy boots or wellies and a packed lunch with drinks
PLEASE let me know if you can attend - this is important in case details change, a quick email to
page1image25224 is all that’s needed.

Click photo to enlarge

Blackthorn in blossom

Field End Bridge - lots of water coming down

Stainton aqueduct under repair and restoration - see better photos from Westmorland Gazette link above.

The start of restoration west from Stainton Bridge. We walked just a little further than you can see

Looking back down our route from Stainton Bridge and the current terminus of navigation

Sellet Hall bridge - as far as we went, and current limit of restoration

Our route there and back

It would be a massive job to restore navigation here, and also the canal is blocked again by the M6 a bit further south at Tewitfield. If all that was done the Lancaster canal could connect to the national canal network via a short pilot trip from the Ribble Link at Preston to join the canal network at Tarleton. What a boost for Kendal that would be!