For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Sunday, 10 May 2020

Sandside Quarry

Saturday 9th May 2020 ( day 45 of Lockdown) - Sandside Quarry -  2+ miles

So 45 days in with Lockdown. I have walked and climbed my home stairs every day except for one. I have averaged about 3 miles, but I walk hard and nearly always include steep ascent on the limestone tracks around Arnside Knott and I am still finding previously unwalked paths. At the start I did ten reps up and down the stairs at home but about a week ago I increased to twelve.

Today the car needed an airing so I drove 1.5 miles to the track leading up the flanks of Sandside Quarry.

After taking photos of the quarry and limestone pavement I tried to follow a previously walked track south. After two hundred yards it was blocked by a new deer fence and I had to go back. I then noticed another track going north I had not previously set foot on and followed. That was also barred by a deer fence. I went back again and  found yet another new path going south again., then doubled back to go north over Haverbrak Hill.

There were notices saying the woods were  cleared and fenced to create and protect habitat for some butterflies, but surely this is self defeating? As one creates a habitat for a particular species how many habitats of others do you destroy? I sometimes wonder if these quasi conservation people know what they are doing - there were many trees that had been felled - I understand in my simple way that trees are essential for the continued health of the environment but felling seems to be rampant all over the place these days.

Further on I re-visited the ruins of a WW2 Observer Corps post that I thought I had posted about a few years ago - I found the photos but not the post. It was of personal interest to me because my father, being deaf was unable to be in the conventional services in WW2 but served throughout at an Observer Corps post on Otley Chevin in Yorkshire. The purpose was to spot and report enemy aircraft.

I emerged from the trees onto the summit of Haverbrak Hill. I have a shortlist of the three best viewpoints in my area and this is one of them. Before dropping down the hillside to minor roads to get back to the car I spent a while taking all this in. The fields drop away steeply leaving you perched on the edge looking down to, and up the Kent estuary coming towards you twisting and turning with the main channel frequently altering course and endless variations provided by our high tidal range, and all this with the Lake District hills on the horizon with huge rolling white clouds and blue skies above.

Click photo to enlarge

Setting off up the track flanking the sides of Sandside Quarry.

Looking down into the quarry. The scale is much more impressive than the photo indicates. All was quiet today with dormant machinery having a rest.

A splendid example of limestone pavement.
I remember being accompanied by Bowland Climber on a walk up here and his fascination with this feature.

One of the tracks blocked off by new deer fencing but all attractive and colourful with the dappled sunshine - it was a joy to be out and exploring again.

The abandoned Royal Observer Corps post.

The Kent estuary from Haverbrack Hill - one of my top three viewpoints in my home territory.

Click to enlarge. Note my wanderings due to blocked paths. The Kent estuary viewpoint is at the point where the path emerges from the woods north of the Observer Corps buildings.


  1. I completely agree about that view.
    I've never walked along the edge of the quarry - your map is very helpful and will definitely lead to some further exploration on my part.
    The butterfly conservation tree-felling is an interesting issue - any action for conservation purposes seems destined to upset someone - what helps butterflies might be detrimental for some bird species etc. I've heard an archeologist lamenting the widespread tree-felling on Warton Crag which, whilst it makes the supposed Bronze Age walls there more visible, will actually encourage new trees with new root systems and therefore further damage to the ancient structures.

  2. I remember being up there with you and exploring the limestone pavements but I don't recall the ROC post, I'm sure you would have shown me it given your family connections. I have no photo record of it.
    At one time you could wander around in those woods happily becoming lost, but not now if those fences are being erected. [By whom?]

  3. Excellent, Conrad, keep soldiering on...

  4. Enjoyed following your walk and love the photos, Conrad. I’m walking locally too, but Manchester is very flat and I’m missing the challenge of climbing a hill and the reward of enjoying a great view. Glad you’re keeping well,

  5. Hey, do you think we might be able to resume walking further away again soon, after last nights announcements? Unlimited exercise, and being able to drive to get to it sounds good! We might be able to resume coastal walks again....
    I always use public transport to get to my start point though, and I'm not sure if that'll be allowed. If not it limits it to double backing sections of coast, but better than nothing 😊

  6. Mark - I'm glad to have your comments to some extent sympathising with my own thoughts, especially as I respect your knowledge on such matters which is certainly more comprehensive than mine.


    BC - I tried to find the post and photos - they are there somewhere. I don't think we went past the old look out post, but not sure.


    Phreerunner - Thanks for the encouragement - no that I need much to go out for a walk.


    Ruth - You could try the canals - If you see Paul's blog he has been wslking them a lot out of Manchester.


    Paul - Whether the rules permit or not I am concerned about the possibility of using accommodation and public transport again anytime soon. As I see it even if cases are down to nearly nil there will still be some lurking about out there somewhere and unless I can be vaccinated I can't see how I can take the risk. You are in a different position being younger and also having been through the C thing and come out the other side hopefully with immunity. I think very careful study of the wording of last night's announcement needs to be considered. The emphasis in my opinion was on throwing a lifebelt to Business and throwing the rest of us under a bus.

  7. Sir Hugh - Very true. We won't be using the motorcaravan this year even if the lockdown is lifted completely. If we are allowed to travel by car in the coming months then maybe short trips into the hills with the tent will be worthwhile but that's about it. Up here, Nicola is sticking to her guns with the 'stay at home' message and some slight easing of the exercise rules, though there are still are silly inconsistencies in policy: DIY stores are open and I could drive a fifty mile round trip to B&Q, say, but not three miles to walk low level tracks in the Ochils.

  8. i wonder if these new 'deer fences' are not a sign of possible extension of the quarry - looking at your plan, they are already close to the present curtilage : have you checked local planning notices for any info ? as it stands (or rather doesn't !) the quarry has almost reached the limit of its present preserved extraction licence.