The approximate midpoint between me, Longridge, and Sir Hugh, Arnside, is the Galgate junction of the M6 just south of Lancaster University. A meeting was arranged for the first time in 6 months. It nearly got off to a bad start as I parked up on the wrong road. Anyhow, once corrected we set off into those fields trying to escape the motorway noise. This could have been a nothing walk but as things turned out there was plenty of interest. Of course not having met up for all those weeks our conversation meant we were ‘lost’ on several occasions. Sir Hugh’s plotted route, chosen I think with a pin, was flexible enough for us to complete the circuit. It was more undulating than first appeared, and we reached the dizzy height of about 150 m. Any views tended to be to the west over the motorway, although the Bowland Fells were ever present a few miles away. We even visited the upper part of Dolphinholme.
The delay in this posting is partially due to my involvement in local affairs. The field opposite my house has been earmarked for development for some time. All local objections have been dismissed – so here come a couple of hundred houses. What we didn’t expect was intensive piledriving occurring almost adjacent to our properties. We awoke after Easter to vibrations akin to small earthquakes. Cracks started to appear inside our houses. Local authorities were to be honest hopeless and disinterested in appreciating the seriousness of the disruption. Barratt Homes were dismissive of our protestations. My next step was to contact my MP, Ben Wallace, someone I had never voted for. He immediately took up our cause and took on the mights of Barratt. The good news is that they have been stopped from piledriving for now, a victory for the common people. There is some way to go yet, but they are having to look at alternative methods of consolidating the ground which they shouldn’t have been building on in the first place – I hope it costs them a fortune.
Anyway back to the start…
A massive mushroom farm has mushroomed in the fields next to the motorway. The farms round here are on an industrial scale, the cows have their own mechanised backscratcher. There are some interesting names, as the header photo and this attractive sign. Busy weekend roads were crossed, we couldn’t work out where they were coming from or going to, but we must have travelled them at some time. All looks different on foot. A trig point,136 m, was visited off route, it was next to an impressive stone wall with Grit Fell and Ward Stones just peeping over the top.
Another slight diversion took us to an unusual feature marked on the map… … it turned out to be the ruins of a dozen WW2 ammunition holdings with double walls intended to reduce the shock if there was an explosion. But why build them in such proximity?
A lane wandered down to a farm complex, you can see we were at the back of beyond. Children and friendly dogs ran wild. The farm house looked old – it was. 1698 above the door. As was some of the equipment. A lovely valley wound onwards until we became literally fenced in a horsey property. Lunch was taken above a small stream heading into the River Wyre.
Later after more intricate fence climbing we arrived at Four Lane Ends in upper Dolphinholme and much later still we arrived at Five Way Ends, that makes nine, no wonder we were lost. Ponies were being exercised as we walked down the road, makes a change from all the dogs we see at the moment.
The day wasn’t over as in the last field to be crossed Sir Hugh executed a superb diving header of the ball into the opponents net, except there was no net and no ball, just a hard landing on his skull. Obviously he survived and I hear is recovering well.
Walkers I’th Fields indeed, where next.