Roseberry Art

A really good piece of work by Rachel Lonsdale, simple but effective. But I’m not convinced Roseberry needs it. I fear another step towards turning the National Park into a theme park. The idea is to discourage graffitists but with the artwork only on one side, there are three other blank canvasses. It is only a matter of time. Ste and Sarah have already left their mark.


Tick magnets

There seems to be less sheep on the moors nowadays. Not sure if this is a deliberate policy.  Certainly, in other upland areas, there are concerns about over grazing. At one-time moorland farmers were actively encouraged to graze their sheep on the moors by gamekeepers. The sheep would act as magnets for ticks which also infected grouse chicks causing the transmission of a viral disease by the name of Louping Ill Virus. This could devastate the grouse population. Regular dipping would clear the sheep of ticks. Now with hardly any dipping being done, the tick population is once again soaring, however vaccination of sheep to control ticks has been shown to reduce the incidence of louping ill in red grouse.

The photo was taken on Newton Moor, a small area of heather moorland which is part of the National Trust’s  Roseberry Topping property.

Tick magnets map

Lawns Hill

An overcast Summer Solstice with heavy rain this morning but the sun finally dropped below the clouds on setting. View from Greenhow Avenue.

Lawns Hill map

Grey Yade

The rolling hills of the Southern Uplands. Green Lairs and Grey Yade in the Tweeddale hills. Only Grey Yade manages to scrap above 500m above sea level.

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.

On Pendle’s Big End

I don’t normally do people but I met someone yesterday climbing Pendle Hill in Lancashire with his grandson. Harry Walker was one of the stars of the sport of fell racing in the 70/80s and one of those I aspired to during my first tentative years in the sport.

We had left a sunny Yorkshire and crossed the border into a wet Lancashire so the young scion could do the Pendle Fell Race. Pendle Hill, in the heart of the Lancashire Witch country, is a huge domed 557m high fell which dominates the area when it is not shrouded in cloud. The Pendle Fell Race up it has a long history. The inaugural race was held in 1956 but in 1974 a new route was devised from the village of Barley. Although shorter at 4¾ miles it was a bit contrived to include an ascent via Pendle’s notorious Big End, 150 metres of climb in 250 metres, a gradient of over 30º. Bill Smith’s 1985 book “Stud Marks on the Summit” (pp299) gives a comprehensive history of the race.

It was appropriate that I met Harry climbing the Big End. The Blackburn Harrier had acquired the reputation of being able to keep running the whole way up. Some feat. Harry won the 1974 race in 30:29, a record which was to stand for seven years. Bill Smith records it as the first of seven victories. Considering yesterday’s winning time was 33 minutes Harry’s time was remarkable. Away from his home fell Harry’s achievements are endless. Wins in the Wasdale, Three Peaks, Ben Nevis to name but three. Fell Runner of the Year in ’73. Victory in the Karrimor Mountain Marathon with partner Stig Berge. Again Smith’s book has a full profile (pp460-3). We reminisced about old races and old faces, and bemoaned about changes to our beloved hills, litter, dog poo bags and shrines. Two old men dreaming of times past. About half way Harry and his grandson turned round and headed back to his marshalling position at the foot of the Big End and i continued up.

Little Roseberry

Blue skies, a little hazy perhaps but the best view of Roseberry in a week. In the foreground its little brother, Little Roseberry. More of a spur than a hill. Its small knoll doesn’t register a ring contour on the map. The bank of cloud to the west looked ominous but the forecasters said sunshine all day and they were right.