Monday, 31 October 2016

Friday 28th October - Lastingham

Once a month, on a Friday afternoon, I go walking with my former colleagues. Unfortunately I had not realised that this was half term holiday and the road north to Pickering was packed with holiday traffic.
In Lastingham we noticed the proverb over a cottage door, amd I wondered why I had not seen this before. It looks as though parts of the quotation have been expurgated.

In fact the quotation appears in Poor Richard's Almanack of 1745 and it does appear to have been shortened to save the stone mason's effort, or just to fit it all on the stone. The full version is:
      "The good or ill hap of a good or ill life,
        is the good or ill choice of a good or ill wife."

so it has saved carving "good or ill" three times. At ever so many pence a letter a worthwhile saving!

By the foot of an ash tree a nest of fungus in the fallen leaves. I guess they will all emerge as capped fungus in the next few days like the next photo.

Our walk lead us northwards to Ana's Cross, in the distance to both the east and west we could see plumes of smoke where the heather was being burnt off. These are the grouse moors of the National Park and the heather is burnt in rotation to produce fresh young shoots for the grouse to feed on.

After a brief stop for a drink we turned and headed south back to Lastingham down the ridge. 

As we got nearer to Lastingham we found the sheep and the sun began to break through the clouds giving a fine sunset to the west.


Saturday, 29 October 2016

Tuesday 25th October - Coneysthorpe

It was a bright sunny autumn morning, so I headed North from York for a walk from the estate village of Castle Howard - Coneysthorpe. The walk headed north to the escarpement of the Howardian Hills with views down into the Vale of Pickering with the North York Moors in the far disatance. Then headed along the ridge eastwards toward Malton until, at Easthorpe, the path crosses the Malton road and drops down into the flat valley lands. Here I turned back and headed through the flat fields west back into Coneysthorpe.

In the woods there was evidence of the good crop of sweet chestnuts, I suppose these had been thrown down by squirrels.

The red berries of the Viburnum or Guelder Rose were set off by the leaves which had turned dark red.


 A fine oak tree showing no signs of autumn colouring at all.

Path running through the woods with ferns,

and now down through the low lying fields.

One tree showing some autumn colour was this large Sycamore in the parkland.

In the village of Coneysthorpe the war memorial with an autumnal horse chestnut.


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Friday 21st October - Studley Royal & Fountains Abbey

We started walking from the car park at Studley Royal and after skirting the north side of the Fountains estate walked west along the valley of the River Skell running in a peaceful valley.

We then walked back towards Fountains Abbey whose tower looms out of the valley.

There was some colour in the trees but the morning continued cloudy and dull.

Fountains Hall across the valley.

On a large oak tree a fungus was weeping. This appears to be an Oak Bracket (Inonotus dryadeus) “exuding reddish liquid drops when in active growth”.

View down to the Abbey ruins.

The path runs just inside the Abbey Wall which is here still standing to a good height apart from the occasional gap.

The farmer had been cutting his hedges and a good crop of holly berries lay discarded on the ground. Nearer Christmas these would be sought after but will, I think, have withered or maybe been eaten by then.

A view from near Plumpton Hall across to Ripon Minster.

In the Valley of the Seven Bridges, lower down the River Skell, the lowest bridge was left high and dry with the water disappearing under ground just before the bridge.

The Sweet Chestnuts appear to have fruited well this year and have not yet all been eaten by the squirrels.

A clump of Shaggy Inkcaps.

Abbey ruins at sunset.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Tuesday 4th October - Greenfield, Dove Stone Reservoir and Alderman's Hill

We had seen the Obelisk on Alderman's Hill from the train on a recent visit to Stalybridge and thought it would make a good target for a walk. We caught the early train to Huddersfield where we had time for breakfast at the excellent station buffet before catching the stopping train to Greenfield.

It is always difficult finding where the footpaths leave towns that you are unfamiliar with, but here we used the Pennine Bridleway which is well signposted off the A669. We soon picked up the Oldham Way leading up on to the hillside above Dove Stone Reservoir.

There are interesting crags on the moor edge above and large rocks have detached themselves and fallen down the hillside.

A lone birch tree growing out on the hillside.

The estate was originally owned by Ashton-Under-Lyne, Stalybridge and Dukinfield Waterworks Joint Committee and their marker stones were every where along the path round the reservoir. There are also a series of lone gate posts presumably from the era when access was not allowed to land round reservoirs. 

The estate is now owned by United Utilities and they have developed visitor facilities along with RSPB. Nearer the road there are a series of signposts with attractive mosaics let into them.

Spillway from Yeoman Hay Reservoir into Dove Stone with concrete posts to break the water flow. 

Apparently (according to Wikipedia) Dove Stone Reservoir was the last of the series of reservoirs built and was only completed in 1968.

Having reached the main road along the north side of the reservoir we crossed on to Alderman's Hill and began the ascent of the hill past the rocky outcrop of Pots and Pans Stone before arriving at the Obelisk.

The Obelisk is a war memorial to the men of the Saddleworth villages who were lost in both World Wars.

We continued north over Sugar Loaf past Shaw Rocks still following the Oldham Way. At Slades we began our descent and continued down to the canal at Weakley.

View north towards Stanedge

We then had a gentle walk back to the station along the canal towpath which shares the valley and tunnels with the railway. Here a Trans Pennine Express train passing the Signal box at Diggle Junction.

The day was generally sunny and occasionally it was even quite warm when we were able to get out of the wind. It had turned out to be a lovely walk, much of it in the Peak District National Park in an area with which neither of us were familiar. I think we will back next year to try another walk in the area.