Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Friday 11 February 2011 – Silverdale again – in search of keys

The view from Arnside Knott - 11/2/11
I’m resigned to not finding the keys lost on Heather’s Amble on 16 January, but before emptying my wallet on replacements there’s a process to go through.  That includes re-walking the route, which I did today, sort of.  Loss of concentration at times means I may have missed the keys even if they were visible; I certainly missed some of the turns, the retracing of which errors extended the route from 21 to 26km!

A late start had the advantage of missing the rush hour in Manchester, so it was mid morning before I was greeted by Mr P, the doorman at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve.

Pheasant outside Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve

Inside, they searched in vain for lost keys, and kindly took my details should they ever turn up.  So I headed back along January’s route in similarly overcast weather.

Today the path through the Reserve was fairly deserted, but I understand a sighting of some Bearded Tits was the reward for those with more patience than me.

The path to Leighton Hall

A rowing boat lurked in the reeds, optimistically named ‘Sea Nymph’!

Sea Nymph

A route cock-up delayed my arrival in Yealand Storrs, beyond where a pleasant track led to this extensive work on a forest drive.  I wonder what they are up to here?

Reconstruction of a forest ride

Well, that’s a surprise!  It’s all in aid of Butterfly Conservation.  Well done!

Butterfly Conservation

The walls and trees hereabouts are rich with mosses and fungi.  The air must be clean in these parts.

A healthy array of fungus

I got a bit confused with the paths around Gait Barrows, which I seemed to home in on through walking in tightening circles.  A cuppa was enjoyed, with a spot of lunch, whilst optimistically peering down cracks in search of keys…

Gait Barrows

Further on, in Hazelslack, I discovered a stile that would have avoided a cow encounter had I noticed it in January.  The fields leading to Arnside are still rather marshy, though not wet enough to cause ingress through the ancient Asolo Fugitive boots that I was wearing today.

There was a slightly better view from Arnside Knott (see above) than on that previous visit, but it could hardly be described as impressive.  It was however lovely to be able to watch a Goldcrest and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.  I lunched (again) on a convenient bench, pleased that today’s was not a Lake District trip, which I suspect would have encountered cloud at low altitudes.

The trig point provided a handy tripod for a self-timed photo.  Today I was wearing an Icebreaker 200 ‘Oasis Crewe’ Top, supplied by Webtogs, for the first time, under the recently reviewed North Face fleece.  These two layers were more than adequate for me today, though I noticed most other folk were wearing heavy jackets as well.  The Icebreaker 200 is quality kit, I’d better wear it now before the weather warms up…

On the 159 metre summit of Arnside Knott

Down at Far Arnside, the Snowdrops looked as if they’d had a bath…


…and the Crocuses were just about to burst forth.


There were many signs of spring being on the way.  Sprouting bulbs, singing birds, and some very fat sheep.

Fat sheep

Afternoon tea was taken on a bench dedicated to the memory of Councillor Cecil Lockwood – 1989.  I watched Oyster Catchers and other birds on the beach below, and chatted to this very voluble robin, and a lady with two scavenging dogs.

The robin bravely took food from my hand.


The path passes by a garage in Silverdale.  This Wolseley 1500, whose original owner some 50 or so years ago would have considered him or herself to have a luxury car, is in need of more than a little TLC!

Wolseley 1500

The light was starting to fade by the time I reached Woodwell – here’s the spring that once formed the basis of Silverdale’s water supply.


Jack Scout lime kiln has a long history, but not I suspect as long as the lime kilns found in Mesopotamia that date from 2450BC, according to the information board.

Jack Scout lime kiln

Rain had been forecast, but I got away with a merely overcast day that brightened up towards evening, with just a glimpse of the low sun as I passed by the Smelt Mill Chimney and Quicksand Pool beyond Jenny Brown’s Point.

Smelt Mill Chimney at Jenny Brown's Point

This was a very pleasant 26km stroll, with about 470 metres ascent, in around 6 hours.  The route is shown on last month’s posting.

1 comment:

James Boulter said...

I hope that you find those keys one day Martin. It is a recurring nightmare of mine to get back to the van after a long walk to find them missing!