BB1830 : Blood and Thunder?

Thursday 6th September 2018

I didn’t know that Permits were Required.  Nor, presumably, did Robin when he suggested the visit.  Tony certainly didn’t.

Dormice probably do as they only sneak out at night when no-one is looking. Ospreys didn’t make an appearance. Did they not have them?  It seemed that a buzzard might have had a permit.  Much of the vaunted flora and fauna were conspicuous by their absence though I think that was seasonal rather than permissional.

In fact it was only later, when relaxing at home reading the Natural England booklet for Roudsea Wood and Mosses, that on page 38 the need for a permit came to my notice.

Which is just as well as by the time we made the decision to visit, it would have been too late to apply.  We had intended to climb Catstye Cam but blood and thunder got in the way.  To be more precise, Tony’s fatigue following a late night blood-biking session, the painful blood blister on my toe as a result of stupidly kicking the floor in my bare feet, and thunder of the sort that threatened to accompany rain and lightning in the mountains.  A gentle stroll around the Leven Estuary in the sunshine would be much more suitable.

Low Wood, near Haverthwaite is an odd little hamlet.  Its central point is the old gunpowder factory, now a small business centre, but still boasting its fine clock tower.  Tony found a rare Edward VIII post box.

There are several old cottages nearby and the hint of a strange society, judging by the wicker figures outside one front door and the heavily bearded man hiding in the shrubbery.  Films have been made of the like.

The stroll along by the river was pleasant.

Soon we reached the entrance to Roudsea Wood where a building offered (for free) the detailed booklet referred to earlier.  Essentially it is a guided tour around 26 stopping points.

Initially there was no-one to be seen but on the red route we met a group of folk from Grange-over-Sands U3A who were earnestly examining the different types of vegetation.  A young Natural England lass showed me the difference between two different types of moss.  I am not sure I fully understood what she told me but she did have striking blue eyes.

A little further on, in woodland, we met another group, this time not from G-o-S but staying at S-in-C (Staveley-in-Cartmel) who were on a week’s visit learning woodland and wicker craft.  Or was that Wicca craft?

The only other folk we saw were a couple desperately seeking Ospreys but having to make do with a buzzard.  No-one asked to see our permits.

The trail wandered round the woods and mosses.  Some of the numbered stops were interesting- derelict gunpowder buildings for example and a remarkable old yew tree. Others were more for those studiously interested in the topics.

Although a lot of money has been spent on making the Reserve visitor friendly, it clearly has conservation at the top of its agenda rather than tourism.  It offers no "seek and colour" sort of leaflets to entertain young children and old BOOTboys. The requirement for reservations is presumably to keep out the riff-raff.

Having enjoyed our unexpected natural history diversion, we crossed the River Leven by the old railway bridge then walked through fields and by the edge of woodland (superb blackberries in the hedgerow) eventually to reach The Angler’s Inn at Haverthwaite.  No permits required here.  The beer was good and what the hot sandwiches (with chips) lacked in visual appeal was more than compensated for by taste.  They were delicious.

It was short walk back to the car but it was not without interest.

Firstly there is a long graveyard alongside the river.  The oldest graves are at each end with more modern ones in the middle.  Why the divide?  Feuding tribes?

Next was a garden that was full of small (and some not so small) gnomes and the like.  It was the home of a cheerful old girl who clearly thought them fun (true) and less trouble than weeding (even truer).

Finally, back at Low Wood was another house with eccentricities in the garden. Most obvious were the Chinese Warrior statues but on closer examination there were many other items that the owner told us were to amuse his grandchildren.

It had been an entertaining outing.  The Blood-biker hadn’t been over exerted, the blooded toe hadn’t caused a problem and the thunder hadn’t made an appearance.

Don, Thursday 6th September 2018



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The post box was Edward VII not VIII which is exceedingly rare!!


That explains why you weren't as interested as I thought you would be!  I think you will find the revised photo (above) more exciting.


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Comitibus:  Tony, Don, Robin, Holly

Map : OS 1:25k


BB1830 : Blood and Thunder?


Thursday 6th September 2018


Roudsea Wood and Mosses

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (OMN):


GPX track



Don, Robin + Holly, Tony


If you want to know which BOOTboys reports refer to having visited any particular Wainwright or certain other hills, see BOOTboys Hill Log.

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