One of my regular walks in winter is on the forest tracks of Longridge Fell. This is what I had in mind for today – a mixture of sun and showers.There is parking at SD 664 396. As you enter the forest you will have to be careful to avoid the piles of dog shit on the first 200m of the forest track!
They must be bursting when let loose. No comment.
Today on the radio is news of a fungus attacking ash trees – Chalara die back disease. This fungus is thought to have been brought into Britain on infected stock from Europe. My experience of ash is that it seeds everywhere so why couldn’t we have used indigenous seedlings for our forests?? Too late as it is spreading through Britain.
So it is distressing to find at the start of today’s walk signs warning of Ramorum fungus affecting the larch trees in the forest.
When I first came to live in Longridge in the 70’s the fell was only recently planted up with forestry. As you walk around now you can still see traces of the walls that divided the fell previously. Probably most of the fell had been used for sheep grazing.
There are lots of lovely tracks through the trees.
Continuing on the walk you can arrive at the trig point of Longridge Fell at 350m. From here there are views of Chipping Vale and beyond. Morecambe Bay, the Bowland Fells and the Three Peaks in Yorkshire. A track leads east into the woods and several alternative routes bring you back to your starting point. It’s worth going to Sam’s View on the main track for his view. No idea who Sam was.
Continuing now one goes through an area of felled trees. In the past Tilhill forestry have been very conscious of maintaining the environment of the fell with small pockets of tree felling taking place. Now because of Phytophthera ramorum disease they have to fell large areas of trees to try and prevent the spreading of the disease. This has led to some unsightly looking areas on the fell.
One hopes that this may be helpful, but as the spores can be transmitted by the wind I have my doubts. The same applies to the ash problem. We didn’t solve the Dutch Elm disease problem! We just lost them. I suspect that the larch and ash diseases are beyond our control now. Maybe better quarantine systems would have helped, but if these fungi are airborne then there is very little we can do about it.
I’m not sure whether all the procedures to eliminate these fungi will have much affect. Will be interesting to return to the fell in 30yrs time, though I don’t think I’ll be around. In the long run nature will take its own course with me and the forest trees.
You can’t change the overall view from the Trig point, thank heavens!
Just get out there and walk the local tracks.