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" Brackenthwaite Hows via Scale Hill "

Date & start time:      Monday 11th May 2020.  5 pm start.

Location of Start :     By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :          Scale Hill Cottages, Brackenthwaite Hows, Lanthwaite Woods.

Walk details :              2 mls, 400 ft of ascent, 1 hours 30 mins.

Highest point :           Brackenthwaite Hows, 675 ft - 208 m.

Walked with :              Ann and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                    Sunshine and blue skies, but a cool breeze.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


Another local walk but a different perspective as the seasons move on and the flowers change.

After some spiky gardening and a necessary trip to town Ann and I head up to our local viewpoint.

Often these lowly fells have better views than they are given credit for.

Cool air but lovely views as we've enjoyed the occasional lunch in the garden . . . courtesy of a warm gillet, fleece or once even a sea-side wind break.

In the picture Great Gable has a band of cloud sweeping across the summit, highlighting Haystacks in front.   Half an hour later the cloud had gone.

I've removed the tubes from the paddock hedge . . .
. . . and re-cycled some in view of a gardening problem.

The plastic collars were placed around the young hedge plants to avoid the tender stems being eaten and to protect from the cold weather. The hedge has grown now but within it are the spiky dog-rose that I planted, wild stinging nettles and sharp pointed thistles. This made the removal of the tubes a slightly painful affair despite gloves.  The tubes also had to be split where they couldn't be slid off the plants.

About eight or so of the the beans that I planted recently have been nibbled and they now tell us that weather is turning colder.   They needed protection just as the hedge did during its early life.  The similarity of the situation found me transferring some of the tubes to the remaining bean plants, which should stop whatever is nibbling the shoots and also protect them from the low temperatures forecasted for the next few nights.  The split tubes were actually easy to wrap around the plants, an ideas I haven't seen in any garden literature regarding veg.  Hopefully it will work well over the next few weeks.

We had to have a trip into town as we needed petrol and also couldn't work out a way of mail-ordering cash to ourselves for local transactions.

Cockermouth town centre is looking quiet and most of the shops appear shut.

The cash machine came up trumps with old fashioned paper money.
Couldn't help a smile even if the smile on the Mitchell statue couldn't be seen.

Sadly the statue outside the old Auction Mart has been (repeatedly) vandalised over the years as the hand with the pointing finger and the other with the gavel have both been removed.  "Armless fun" you could say, but the young vandals have probably grown up now and surely it's now time to try replacing the hands and give Mr Mitchell his respect back once again.

- - - o o o - - -

For our walk up Brackenthwaite Hows today we used the woodland gate opposite the old Scale Hill Hotel.

Ann opening the latch with the spike of her trekking pole . . . another entry for the  "101 uses for a trek pole"  manual.

Along the forest track and we take a left turn onto the side path.
The old path climbs gently up through the woodland towards the steps.
Dylan bounds up the old rock steps,
pausing to see if we are following.
Am I standing in the right place for the photo ?

The view down through the oak trees to Jenkin and Grasmoor House.

Young oak saplings on the forest floor.
New fronds on the woodland ferns.

I looked around for some Wood Anemone plants which might be growing in close proximity but couldn't find them.

Never mind . . . " with fronds like that, who needs anemones ? "

Leaving that aside, we progress through the woodland gate and onto the hill.

The nice view down the valley this month includes a touch of blue in the foreground.

Brackenthwaite Hows is also well known locally for its bluebells.

Like Rannerdale they have traditionally grown out in the open though recent planting will mean partial tree cover in years to come.

A closer view now as I leave the path and make my way up alongside the more dense group of flowers.

Back on track as Ann and I climb to the top.

Near the summit the flowers are growing close to the path.

Two young tree saplings grow in the foreground to this higher view looking down the valley.

Despite all the planting and plastic tubes, these two look like natural seedlings.

The lovely view into the high fells as we reach the top of Brackenthwaite Hows.

We could see about eighteen Wainwright summits . . . and could identify parts of another three or four.

Ann reaches the summit first as I hang back for a panoramic photo.

Click here or on the photo above for a full 360 degree annotated panorama

After taking in the wider view we sit and enjoy the finer detail.

To the left of Rannerdale Knotts we can see Green Gable and Great Gable, with Great End showing in between.

Next along is Broad Crag on the Scafell ridge, the craggy face of Kirk Fell and the more local steep rise up to High Crag.

To the left of Rannerdale's second knott is Haystacks and you can just see the summit of Scafell Pike inching its way over the top of Kirk Fell to the right.

Not a bad view today.

The High Stile Ridge with High Crag, High Stile and the classically pointed Red Pike.

Cast your eyes down this time . . .

. . . to High and Low Ling Crags, the latter sticking out into Crummock Water, connected by a gravel beach.

Closer to home the new beach that has been exposed next to Park Beck due to the low water levels.

The fence line in the water above is the marker for the old boat landing I photographed recently.

More bluebells as we start to make our way down from the summit of the Hows.

Like Rannerdale, the colour and vibrancy of the flowers has been muted somewhat by the dry weather.

New Rowan on the slopes of the Hows.
Some of the trees haven't grown as well or as quickly.

Through the gate now and the dogs have heard a noise of other walkers (and dogs) in Lanthwaite Woods below.

To our right, the newly thinned area of woodland . . .
. . . and to the left, greener where it has not been recently cleared.

The track we take will lead back to Scale Hill, once we pass Barty's cave.

A vibrant bunch of bluebells under the woodland canopy.
Red Campion follow on from the bluebells as summer does after spring.

The gate ahead is where we first entered the woodland.

The track that branches and climbs slightly to the right passes another small excavation similar to Barty's Cave, but one that's not as deep.

The dark recess at the top of the slope was probably another trial excavation.

The greenery is more evidence of nature taking over the old lead mine workings within the woods.

The road gate is not far away now . . . time to be heading back home.

- - - o o o - - -

Dear Roger and Ann

I just wanted to drop you a quick email to say how much your website page of the bluebells cheered me up today. We’re at our house in Wiltshire and have been here since lock down began and are finding it very hard being away from Cumbria, so it was lovely to see how the bluebells are looking – thank you.

I hope you both continue to stay well, Best wishes, Harriet and Miles Davies.

- - - o o o - - -

Good morning Roger,  I took another stroll up Hampstead Heath today taking a proper camera with me this time.

Hampstead Heath
The London Skyline.

Rannerdale looks as lovely as ever, but I can`t see us getting up there anytime soon.

Take care, David.

and finally . . . a touch more topical humour for you . . .

Stay safe . . . stay sane !

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

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

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Previous walk - 5th May 2020 - The Rannerdale Bluebells 2020

A previous time up here - 13th January 2017 - Lanthwaite Hill with Ian

Next walk - 12th May 2020 - A Loweswater Round ... all in one go