Sunday, 26 June 2016

Lancashire Witches Walk (4)

Saturday 25th June 2016

After the calamitous results on Friday I felt physically sick and had little motivation to do anything.

Following reflection over the next twenty four hours and a call from BC now returned from France I realised life must go on, and so we found ourselves setting off on Saturday for the next-to-last section of our witches walk.

It wasn't long before we came across this sign -  a reminder of the folly that has been perpetrated:

Click to enlarge if difficult to read
Shortly after setting off we became aware of a party of fifteen or so following us and because we were stopping to take photos and survey rock climbing crags across the valley with our binoculars these people caught us up. They were a mixed group doing a walk for charity, but as I was taking this in I realised I was looking at individuals and saying to myself "I wonder which way he (or she) voted". So, overnight, it was forcibly brought home to me that we are a nation divided and given to suspicion and mistrust of our fellow countrymen. OK, the divide was there before under the surface, but it has arisen largely from the impositions of austerity making many lives miserable and difficult, and in the end something had to give.
The majority of this ten mile walk was on the unsurfaced old road of Salter Fell from Slaidburn to connect through to the Lune valley, and the finish of the Witches Walk at Lancaster. Although there is no problem with navigation once halfway across this old Roman road you are just about as isolated as is possible anywhere in England.

Ready for off. The Tarmac finished at the distant point on the road seen here 

Memorial to airmen of several air crashes on the wild upland country over Salter Fell

Zoom into the valley. Refurbished building now converted as a bothy. The attached sheep pen design is said to be unique to this area

Tercet witches poem (Carol Ann Duffy) in this remote setting


Long zoom to high up on the opposite valley. BC has spent many hours climbing and bouldering up there. His enthusiasm for this idyllic location was impressive - had me fired up to start climbing again (would that my various afflictions could permit). These crags extend over a longer length than seen in the photos


Whitendale. The shadowy rounded hill top left is Middle Knoll. Years ago I climbed it early one morning and within fifty yards of my car on the return I found a ten pound note on the path then found out it was mine having come from my pocket when I wanted my handkerchief just after setting off in the morning.

The group walking for charity bearing down on us - how did each one vote?

A tumble of boulders on the side of the track. They didn't look naturally placed and we wondered



BC in a sort of Lost World. This was the most wooded and mysterious of a number of valleys and ravines encountered on the short stretch after leaving the Salter Fell road




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Thursday 24th Jun 2016


A brief visit to Walney Island (bird reserve) with Pete - other commitments curtailing our normal walking time.

Peel Island on the horizon. Flowers ?

These are the same flowers in profusion

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7 comments:

Stewart Brady said...

The flower is Viper's Bugloss

Stewart Brady

Sir Hugh said...

Stewart - welcome to the blog. Good to have a new commenter, and thanks for the identification - i have now found it in Marjorie Blamey's excellent Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland.

bowlandclimber said...

Middle Knoll / Mellor Knoll near Dunsop Bridge , think I sometimes get them mixed up.

Sir Hugh said...

BC - As far as I can tell the one referred to in my post is Middle Knoll. I saw it close up from the road later when I was driving home.

Sir Hugh said...

BC - Sorry if I have pinched all the material for your own post, especially as much of it was gleaned by me from you.

coastalwalker said...

Looks like a wonderful area of the country. Thank you for sharing the walk.
As for the referendum, I voted to leave because I don't believe the EU is taking us where we need to go. My reasons are exactly the opposite of xenophobia and racism - the EU is too white and inward-looking, in my opinion - and I want the UK to be free to embrace the rest of the world. Sorry, don't mean to start a political debate. Just want to make it clear that the reasons for voting Leave are varied and complex. It's a shame there the campaign on both sides was fought so badly and so divisively.

Sir Hugh said...

Coastal walker - i respect your motives bur how do they balance against financial melt-down, decimated pension funds and the likliehood of resumption of troubles in Northern Ireland amongst many other far reaching and as yet undisclosed problems?