Martindale, in Wainwright’s Far Eastern Fells. Hallin Fell on the left, Pikewassa right, with Loadpot Hill in the distance. an unusual view from Sleet Fell above the hamlet of Sandwick.

Martindale map

​High Horse Level

Greenside Mine was once the biggest lead mine complex in the country and operated for nearly 300 years finally closing in 1962. The High Horse Level was one of the earliest to be exploited by Dutch ‘Adventurers’ in the late 17th century. The stone extracted was dressed to separate out the lead ore and waste materials dumped producing the fan of tailings.
Dressing required a constant supply of water so Sticks Gill was dammed on the left of the photo. In the 1870s the ’Top Dam’ burst causing much damage.

The hill opposite is Green Side, from which the mine takes its name. Its on the on the east ridge of Stybarrow Dodd. The two large ‘glory holes’ are collapses of the Gilgowars Level which occurred in 1862 collapse. Fortunately this happened on a Sunday when the mine was closed so no one was killed.

Striding Edge

The classic ridge up Helvellyn. Interesting on a breezy day.


A pre-breakfast jog up to Red Tarn below Helvellyn. Any higher and I would have been in cloud. The view is Grisedale, with Grisedale Hause at its head. The 841m high St. Sunday Crag on the left is below the cloud ceiling but Fairfield at 873m is hidden, as is the Helvellyn range on the right.

There at least one other Grisedale in the Lake District, that overlooking Whinlatter Pass. There is also a Grizedale south of Hawkshead which probably has the same Old Norse root of griss and dalr, meaning ‘the valley of the young pigs’.

Grisedale map

Great Langdale

A view up Great Langdale, right of centre, from Loughrigg Fell with the Langdale Pikes on the far right. An overcast day but the tops are clear.

loughrigg map

More Damage on Little Roseberry

Ok I may be jumping to the wrong conclusion here. Less than a month ago the gatepost on the left was toppled along with a section of the dry stone wall reportedly by two or three motorcyclists and a quad biker. The damage then was quickly repaired by the National Trust. This scene awaited me this morning. Too much of a coincidence? It may have been purely accidental. Having stood for two hundred years maybe a sheep tried to scale it. Not as daft as it sounds, I’ve seen sheep atop of walls in the Lake District.

Now, is this a wild or a farmed bird?

With its beautiful colouring, the pheasant is a familiar sight in woods and dales, usually spotted clucking away in full flight. But is it a wild or a farmed bird? Sure the pheasant is not a native British bird but it’s been around for two thousand years, believed introduced by the Romans. The RSPB lists it in its pocket book of birds and they don’t do that for the farmyard chicken. On the other hand 35 million pheasants are reared and released each year significantly adding to the wild population. With a total annual bag of 15 million birds it is estimated that the proportion of wild pheasants may be as low as 10%.

So is it a wild or a farmed bird? The 35 million birds that are reared each year would have been classed as livestock, this is so that some costs associated in their production will be exempt from value added tax. Furthermore as it is food production there is exemption from certain planning controls.

Now when the pheasants are released you want to be able to shoot them so they then need to be reclassified as wild. You can’t shoot chickens. They have to be sent to the abattoir.

Of course at the end of the shooting season some birds need to be re-captured to use for breeding the next year. As this is usually done with nets and as wild birds aren’t allowed to be caught with nets, the pheasants are then reclassified back to livestock.

Finally if you happen to run over a pheasant with your car, causing considerable damage, you will have no course of action against the keeper who released the bird as of course it’s a wild bird.

So it is a wild bird?  I haven’t a clue.