Date & Time: Saturday 9th February 2008. am start.

Location of Start : Bowness Knott car park, Ennerdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 109 154 )

Places visited : Rake Beck, Fox Bield, Herdus, Great Borne, Starling Dodd, Smithy Beck and back via the lake side.

Walk details : 5.5 mls, 2200 ft of ascent, 5 hrs 25 mins.

Highest point : Surprisingly, Starling Dodd 2,076ft ( 633m ) by a short head.

Walked with : Jo, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Megan, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Blue skies at last, but with a strong, warmer breeze on the fells and rather hazy.

Ann and Jo at the start of the walk


Jo was staying for the weekend and the forecast was for fine weather at last.

We decided to walk in Ennerdale today and take advantage of the almost spring-like sunshine.

The familiar outline of Ennerdale as we approach from the Croasdale direction.

Bowness Knott is the lower fell in the centre and there we will find the car park for the start of our walk.

To the left, the higher ground of Herdus and behind, the fells (r to l) of Crag Fell, Caw and Haycock, Steeple and Pillar.

A short road section brought us round to Rake Beck and the start of our climb.

Looking back we can see Angler's Crag and Crag Fell behind. Last time Jo was staying, she, Jayne, John and Ann walked that side of the lake.

The gate as we left the road and started up alongside the beck.

Warming nicely in the sun, or was it due to the steepness of the initial climb ?

First view of Great Gable from Brown How slopes.
Looking across as the girls start the second part of the ascent.

A quick stop to look at the view and to catch our breath.

The path is getting even steeper and less well defined as we make our way up through the heather overgrowth.

On a slightly more level outcrop there's an un-natural pile of stones . . .

It turns out to be the Fox Bield, a trap for catching . . . foxes.

A piece of meat or a dead chicken was hung over the entrance and the fox walked along the projecting plank to secure it's meal. The fox would overbalance the plank and fall into the hole from which he could not escape.

Onward and upward towards the top of the climb
The top section of the beck has a fine waterfall.

Today the breeze was strong enough on the side of the fell to catch some of the the water and blow it back up the waterfall.

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@ 2008

Photographers in action . . . Ann captures the moment we reach the summit of a wind blown Herdus.

The view west . . . without camera shake !

After checking out the view we retreated east and made our way over to the main summit of Great Borne.

This rocky top with it's colourful trig point also has a useful wind shelter which would be great for a lunch stop.

Excuse me, we need to fit people in too !
Full of attention as the rucksacks are opened.
Jo gets special attention as she feeds her two (and ours by the look of it)
Afterwards there's always time for a dog nap !

Grasmoor and the north western fells from our lunch spot on Great Borne.

Looking up Wild Ennerdale past the fence towards Pillar, with Green and Great Gable, at the head of the valley.

The fence marks a good navigational aid even though it blocks off the old route to Starling Dodd.

Symmetry - something must define this arbitrary point on the fell where the fence almost doubles back on itself.

Ann and Jo walking well . . . at 60 words per minute !

The old fence post collection is the characteristic landmark of Starling Dodd summit.

From here on it's downhill all the way - we're heading for that first 'V' in the forestry below.

A small Juniper tree on the way down before we pass . . .
. . . a classic view of the larger one and Great Gable behind.

Perhaps Harry thinks an alien invader has landed, but it's only a rain gauge from the Wild Ennerdale project.

Ann on 'Jill's' Gate at the entrance to the forest section.
Time to cross the infant Smithy Beck - careful Ann.

[ These two features of this section of the walk were notable for their excitement on a previous visit ]

In medieval days this area of the valley was where the local farmers had dwellings or sheilings.

They used to stay here when harvesting the forest for charcoal to supply the primitive iron ore furnace which was sited lower down at the bottom of Smithy Beck

Ann and Jo pause while crossing the beck.

Don't look so surprised Jodie !
The falls just above the bridge.

We finished our walk with a lakeside stroll back to Bowness car park, just as the sunlight was starting to fade.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G7 or Ann's Ixus Digital cameras.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . another fine weather day at last.

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Previous walk - 6th February 2008 Harter Fell in the sunshine

A previous time up here - 18th March 2006 Great Borne and Starling Dodd in the snow