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 Bowness Knott and Contrails

Date & start time: Wednesday 21st April 2010, 12.20 pm start.

Location of Start : Bowness Knott car park, Ennerdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 11 154 )

Places visited : Bowness Knott, Smithy Beck and back via the lake.

Walk details : 3.3 mls, 875 ft, 3 hrs including lunch.

Highest point : Bowness Knott 1082 ft - 333 m.

Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : A warm breeze and clear blue skies to start . . . but fluffy clouds and contrails by the end.


 Bowness Knott and Contrails

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A three hour window of opportunity on a fine day finds us in Ennerdale for a walk up to Bowness Knott.

We were determined to reach the view point shown clearly on the map,

but our way ahead was severely curtailed by the lack of a path through the old forestry plantation.

Bethan and Harry . . . ready for the off.

A short road section back from the car park took us towards the foot of Great Borne.

The fell side ahead is marked on the map more specifically as Herdus.

A stile leads us onto the open fell.

The dogs missed the hinged dog gate in their enthusiasm to climb the stile.

Winter flooding brought down a tremendous amount of stone for such a small stream.

It's a beautiful day today, with clear blue skies and good visibility.

As we climb we can look across Ennerdale Lake at Crag Fell and Angler's Crag below.

Ann climbs up towards the Knott, with the forestry on one side and Rake Beck hidden in the old bracken on the other.

Above is clear blue sky as there have been no planes flying due to the Icelandic Volcanic eruption and the subsequent dust cloud.

The start of the scenes of desolation as we reach the part of the fell side

where the trees were cleared a few years back.

Between a rock and a harsh place.

There is beauty around though

as the distant fells of Ennerdale Valley rise above our immediate horizon.

We find the old stile that we noticed last time we were up here . . .
. . . which allows us over the fence and alongside the new trees.

We are aiming to cross to the high ground in the left hand photo . . . shouldn't be too difficult.

An ancient sheepfold exposed now the trees are gone. (note Ann in red)
An unusual sight in the skies above Great Borne.

The first aircraft contrail we have noticed for about a week . . . as international flights are now resuming.

The summit is getting closer but our progress is slow

as we pick our way between the stumps and discarded branches.

Ann closer now

but we're both finding it difficult to walk amongst the discarded branches that have been left to rot.

A reverse of the previous photo as I take the high ground.
Tree trunks reminiscent of the Silver Gums.

Unfortunately these dead trees will never sprout again even in the wet season

unlike the Silver Gums of Australia which burst into life each year with the arrival of the rains.

Find the Lost Sheep

Today's competition . . . Find the Sheep.

Can you spot a grey Herdwick amongst the grey brash and timber of the felled woodland ?

[ Move your cursor over the photo to confirm its position ]

One of the many tree stumps that adorn the hillside.

We've made it across to the natural vegetation growing across the top of Bowness Knott.

A lone Scots Pine, saved by virtue of it's indigenous status.

Myself and Harry looking down from the cliff edge near the top of the Knott.

Far below, the car park where we started.

The old farmstead, shown as Bowness, which gives it's name to the fell we are standing on.

A wider panorama of the bottom end of Ennerdale Lake.

Crag Fell to the left and distant Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland away to the right.

( The Isle of Man will be hidden out to the west behind Crag Fell )

The true top of Bowness Knott retains it's natural vegetation.

The cairn

and looking down on Mireside and Beckfoot Farms.

Time to pick a spot for lunch . . . mmm . . . that will do.

Looking around in between sandwiches, this is Anglers Crag.

The undulating lakeside path can be seen crossing through the lower crags.

Directly below, the lakeside track to Gillerthwaite passes a small stand of Scots Pine.

We will return to the car along that track in due course.

Above the upper end of the lake are the high fells of Steeple and Scoat Fell.

To their left is Pillar Fell with Pillar Rock standing out clearly.

Beyond the wooded slopes of Latterbarrow, the Ennerdale Valley continues on towards Black Sail Hostel, Brandreth and Green Gable.

We could sit for hours


and enjoy the blue skies and fluffy white clouds . . .


But time and tide wait for no man


so we pack away the remnants of our lunch


and continue our walk.



Did I say walk ? . . . this is Ann's picture of her route across the fell side.

She was actually following a track that the forest cutting machines had taken in the past.

I ended up on a slightly lower and clearer area of ground

but only after climbing over some deep stacks of branches.

This area of ground must have been cleared more successfully when the trees were demolished

as the going was getting a lot easier.

Although the next area of plantation has been replanted

I imagine they are leaving this area to re-generate naturally under the "Wild Ennerdale" plan.

The two puddles in the previous photo contained a large number of tadpoles.

I'm not asking for rain, but if we don't get any these pools will rapidly dry before the tadpoles can grow to maturity.

Leaving Bowness Knott behind

we now head down to the forested section around Smithy Beck.

The dogs take advantage of a small stream to cool off. Bethan is licking her lips after a quick drink of the water.

Forest produce . . . cut timber awaiting collection.
Mature trees now line our track through the forest.

A clearing in the woods, near the area marked as settlements on the 2.5 inch map, has the remains of old dwellings, summer sheilings perhaps, from centuries past. All that remains now are the collapsed walls of old homes, lost in the bracken. A sign used to indicate that they may have been associated with the old Smithy or Furness of Smithy Beck, but it seems to have disappeared.

We cross the beck and follow it down stream, past a series of small waterfalls.

This next to the forest road . . .
. . . and this one cascades down to the footbridge in the woods.

. . . which crosses the stream on the Smithy Beck Trail.

"Wild Ennerdale" it is not as the digger has been through here

and ploughed up what was developing into quite a natural path through the trees . . . what a mess !

The storm damage of years back has hardly changed.

The bright sunshine lights up the shoreline as we exit the woodland.

You could describe it as " Costa del Sol" perhaps ?

The gravel path takes us back down to the lake.
I feel really inconvenienced not being able to climb ;o)

Back at the lake shore we can look directly across at Anglers Crag.

One of the two Scots Pine promontories that we had seen from above.

This one has picnic tables for those that wish to use them . . . and is now clear of litter too !

A final look back at the lake, Pillar and Steeple.

From here it is a short climb, back up the road, to the car waiting in Bowness Knott car park.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . Lunch on a mountain top.

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Previous walk - 20th April 2010 A Cinderdale Ramble

A previous time up here - B.Hol Sun 24th May 2009 Keswick & Smithy Beck

Click here for a link to some amazing Icelandic photos of the eruption that cleared the skies earlier this week.

Next walk - 22nd April 2010 A Gasgale Gill Ramble