Monday 18th January 2021 - Middlebarrow Quarry
During First Lockdown I found a path partly following the northern rim of this disused quarry, but it then veered off to lead me back to Arnside Tower. I did try to get back to the northern quarry edge but this steep limestone scrub area was impenetrable.
From the railway level crossing near Waterslack the extent of this massive u-shaped bite out of the landscape is apparent. Imbued with my rock-climbing background I am always looking for "a good line." The southern edge sweeps upwards and then round to the back of the U-shape to join the northern ridge. There is a path which follows that southern ridge but not closely and I have wondered if I could find a way nearer to the edge to follow a more aesthetically pleasing line.
The extract below comes from:
the website which invites people to record individual Ordnance Survey grid squares and in view of the copywrite note I've included that acknowledgement. The entry is from eleven years ago.Middlebarrow Quarry
This stopped working in 2000 when permission to continue tearing the heart (and most other internal organs) out of Middlebarrow ended. There had been a plan to deepen the floor which may then have extended below sea level and possibly affected local watertables. More recently there have been plans put forward to "develop and promote a wide range of high quality leisure and tourism facilities" (God help us). As it stands the floor of the quarry has been planted with lots of spindly trees and even some buddleias - the local AONB team would have preferred it to re-generate spontaneously from natural seeding. It will take centuries for this hole to blend in!
|Looking down Swinnate across to where the River Kent enters the bay|
|A new gate since my last outing here|
|I walked on the semi-submerged iron gate then did a sort of via ferrata series of moves holding onto the wire fence below the barbed wire and traversing with feet on the less gloopy grass|
|I heard the familiar hoot long before. There are about four locations between Silverdale and Arnside stations where they are obliged to sound off|
|Another demand for invention. I managed without getting my feet wet, but only just|
|From halfway up the southern ridge of the quarry. You can see the extensive area of floods and reed beds further right recently acquired by RSPB to try and provide more reed bed habitat for bitterns|
|This and below on the airy path round the bottom of the u-shspe of the quarry:|
|Always something new. I have never seen this footpath sign before in my area despite me having combed 99.9% of local footpaths (I think.)|
|The blue dots show the path on the northern edge of the quarry I have previously explored, but it veers away from the edge. There is a good steep path not shown on the map from where it says Waterslack Wood up to where my wanderings are shown, but it then veers off to the south|