GLW1701 : Leighton Moss and I Forget What Else

Saturday 14th January 2017

Sometimes I wonder just how senile am I becoming.

Today, our first outing of the year, must have made Roger & Denise really start to wonder also.  Margaret, on the other hand, is well beyond wondering.  Mind you, she was not without her moments.  As we reached the end of the drive she made me go back for something she had forgotten.  I forget what it was but I used the opportunity to double check that I hadn't left anything behind.  I hadn't.  Or so I thought.

Our initial objective was Leighton Moss, the RSPB Nature Reserve.  When we reached the car park we began to put on our walking gear.  Iit was cold but sunny.  The ground was partly frozen but muddy where it had melted. I discovered that hadn't brought my boots.  Never mind, I thought. I would just get wet and muddy feet.

Off we went to a gate to the Reserve.  It was then that I realised that there was something else I had forgotten.  Ironically, as I type this, I have forgotten what it was that I had forgotten but I knew that I had to go back to the car to find it.

I did find it in the car and returned to the gate where the others had waited patiently for me and on we went.  Time for a photo, I thought.  Where's my camera?  I panicked. Back I went to the car, to the exasperation of Margaret. Back at the car, I couldn't find the camera and hoped that I had left it at home and not on the car roof.

Meanwhile the others had moved on and were with a group where a man was trying to feed a robin.  Apparently it had hopped on to Denise's hand. She kindly offered it a piece of Kendal Mint Cake which it gratefully acepted.  The robin then tasted it, spat it out and flew off.  I don't know which brand (mint cake, not robin) it was.

This happened before I returned.

Fortunately Margaret had managed to get a photo of the bird using her phone.  

No, that's not quite right.  The robin wasn't using use her phone.  Margaret was. To take the photo.

When I returned there was a man now trying to feed the robin with more conventional food.  I had no need to worry too much about not having my camera as there is a half decent one on my phone.  Ah! Yes!  I remember now.  That was the second thing that I had forgotten. My phone. Now I had it and could use it.  However, the robin had other thoughts and would not oblige so now we could get on with the walk (and the report).

We crossed over the Moss without seeing anything remarkable in the wildlife department but it was bright and sunny.  

The countryside was pleasant and there were spectacular glimpses of  the snow on the distant hills.

At Leighton Hall Farm we headed north.  In many places the fields, especially the gate areas, were quagmires of mud and cowplop.  Not a great problem for those wearing boots.  However....!

We saw three large boulders in a fiels.  Do they have any historical or mystical significance?

Eventually we reached Hawes Water (not the Lake District one).  There were several groups of university students purporting to be on a field study mission but actually they were picnicking and having fun.  Good for them!

We rounded the tarn, passing below Challon Hall (no sign of Mike nor Charlotte) to reach Red Bridge Farm.

The footpath drops down to cross the railway.  Only it doesn't.  As we approached the gate, it could be seen to be blocked off.  With a myriad of documents attached.

The others retraced their steps but I had to investigate.

One was a "temporary" closure notice, penalty for trespassing on railway property £1,000.

How long is temporary?  This was enacted in June 2015.  

The sign on the fence showed a short, alternative way round to the path on the other side.  

Why wasn't this put at the entrance to the field rather than have people traipse down to have to come back again?

By the time I returned from all this faffing about, the others had once again got fed up of having to wait for me and set off along the one route back to the Reserve Centre that they knew for certain was open - the road.  I have to congratulate those who run the café.  Excellent soup: Carrot and Coriander, a herb renowned for its restorative effect on the human memory.  Or is that Ginseng?  I forget.

Anyway, this was a Great Little Walk to start the year.  I shall remember it well!

Don, Saturday 14th January 2017



 Distance: 6.2 miles           Height climbed: 370 feet


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