Remember: Press F11 for a full screen view of this page.
" Hamsterley Forest walk with Gary "
Date & start time: Sunday th March 2014, 3 pm start.
Location of Start : The car park, Hamsterley Forest, Co Durham, Uk ( NZ 092 312 )
Places visited : Forest Centre across to Metcalfe House ruin and back via the Green Man.
Walk details : 3.2 mls, 275 ft of ascent, 1 hours 55 mins.
Highest point : The forest tracks overlooking Ayhope Beck, a tributary of the River Wear.
Walked with : Gary (Richardson), Ann and the dogs, Cleo, Badger and Harry.
Weather : Overcast but fine.
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
A walk in Hamsterley Forest with Gary Richardson gives Harry and ourselves a chance of exercise after lunch.
It is a long way to go for an afternoon forest walk but we had an ulterior motive this day.
All will be revealed in due course . . .
The park entrance banners.
The forest walks and drives here are a popular place for walking and mountain biking.
The cafe and forest centre is being re-built at present but the bike shop and ice cream van are working on overdrive.
Gary chose a forest walk leading off the main car park
as it was a route away from most of the bikes and people.
He knows this area well as he lives a relatively short distance away in Darlington.
Decisions, decisions . . . fortunately someone else is making the decisions today !
Forest marker paint was used as a doodle during someone's tea break perhaps.
Try as I might I could not discern any words or even 'art' in the spray decoration on the log.
It was a cheerful colour though !
Geographically half way around the walk we turned a corner and walked down to Ayhope Beck.
Here was the remains of Metcalfe House Farm, one of several that became redundant once the forest was planted.
Time for a photo shoot . . . Ann and Gary . . . with Harry and Badger.
A rather solid picnic table was a focal point for a shot of all three dogs.
Cleo makes up the third, the centre dog of the three.
Ann sits for a moment and is immediately joined by Gary's two dogs,
eager not to miss out on the photo opportunity.
The ford and footbridge over the beck . . . but we'll not cross.
Our return path stays on this side of the valley.
A delightful small river winds its way down the valley . . . our path stays close by.
- - - - o o o - - -
Where our track reaches the main valley drive there is an artwork in timber known as "The Green Man"
The sculpture is made up of eight upright carved poles
which when viewed from each of the three seats, make up the various faces of man, each view being subtly different from the next..
If you venture to one side, the difference in carving becomes apparent, but the three dimensional effect is lost . . . clever !
We head on back down the valley but before we go, Gary hears the sound of frogs . . .
In a pool by the track side there is a sizeable amount of frog spawn, seen here in the middle of the photo.
When you got close up an altogether view become apparent.
In the pool, amongst the frogs spawn were dozens of frogs !
There are at lest four frogs in this first close up.
Four more . . . count the eyes and divide by two.
Don't get confused by the black dots of the frogs 'eggs'.
No privacy in this breeding frenzy . . . time is of the essence perhaps.
Several time I've counted and each time it was different . . . I think there are seventeen frogs here in this close group.
- - - o o o - - -
Ribbit, ribbit . . . time to go.
The road drive back towards the forest centre.
We'll take the high road, another forest track heading in the same general direction.
Back to the car and a welcome ice cream seeing that the cafe is shut for renovations.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Nikon P520 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a knowlegeable guide when visiting a new area.
Previous walk - 8th March 2014 - Latrigg with Dee and John
A previous time up here - First time into this forest so no other pictures on-line.
Sorry, I forgot to reveal the secret of why we were here . . . so check out the next report now . . .
Next walk - 9th March 2014 - Dylan of Gunnerdale