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" Storm Gareth blows through the Valley "

Date & start time:    Tuesday 12th March, 2019.    3.45 pm start.

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

Places visited :         Gillerthwaite, Low Park, Pump House, the fish ladder and back.

Walk details :             2.1 miles, 75 feet of ascent,  1 hours 15 mins.

Highest point :          The Rock in the Low Park field, 360 ft - 111m above sea level.

Walked with :             Myself and our dogs Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                    Cloudy with rain in the air.  Very windy today.

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


Storm Gareth has blown through and just as Storm Freya moved more south than forecast,

I think Storm Gareth tracked slightly further north and so we've missed the worst of the bad weather.

We did however get some strong winds and plenty of rain, which has fallen on the already wet ground.

The winds and rain damaged some of the the daffodils

but these small muscari (grape hyacinths) seem to have been sturdy enough to make it through without damage.

Our neighbour has had a new beech hedge in his garden so I asked the landscape gardener to also provide me with a dozen saplings

while he was on-site.  These I have added to my wildlife hedge and also strategically placed a few in the top garden.

The effect of  the heavy rains of the last few days can be seen in the bottom right of this photo.

- - - o o o - - -

Time for a local walk with the dogs . . .

Part of my neighbour's new hedge.
Here we've crossed the fields to the bottom road.

A little further on, the water under Low Park bridge is running well.

The river bed is full with slightly opaque flood water.
The garden at Low Park also has some drainage problems.

We turn left and follow Park Beck downstream.

After the gate we divert up to the large exposed rock in the field below Low Park.

What's the similarity between this sort of "Rorschach ink block"
and this adjacent section of rock ?

The similarity between the two photos are the cup-like depressions in the rock, the former holding more rain water and dark algae than the latter.

This rock in the field is not only a glacial feature of the valley but seems it has been important to local people for an extremely long time.

- - - o o o - - -


These indentations are believed to be over five thousand years old, the work of ancient megalithic people who must have lived in the valley.


The local archeological survey talks of nearly one hundred 'cups' in this rock though I have not identified more than a couple of dozen.


Their reason is unknown . . . it may be ceremonial or could just be an indentation caused by someone consistently sharpening spear heads on the rock itself.


To the left here is another photo, this time with the cup mark filled with rain water. Sometimes these cups are associated with ring marks (cup and ring) but there is no evidence of any here.


The bent remains of an ancient metal fence post must date back about one hundred and fifty or so years, really modern by comparison.



- - - o o o - - -

Back to our river walk . . .

The tree line here used to represent the opposite bank of the river but flood erosion has undermined the far bank.

The fence that separated the livestock from the river has become totally redundant

as the river has cut a new course, ten feet wider into the field behind.

Park Beck as it enters the "cut". . .
. . . and proceeds with pace down into the lake.

Rainwater and spray blown from the lake have flooded the path to the Pump House.

I've no wellington boots to walk that way . . . but looking at it it may be too deep for wellies anyway !

Instead I back track and balance my way down the narrow wall that forms the bank of the cut.

"River to the left of my, flooding to the right, stuck in the middle with you" . . . to paraphrase badly an old Stealers Wheel song.

Down on the lake shore I experience the full blast of the residual wind from Storm Gareth.

The Pump House is inaccessible from this side too due to the high lake level.

About a dozen black and white male Tufted Ducks,

plus at least three black and brown females, brave the waves in the middle of the lake.

Seen a few minutes later with the boathouse as a backdrop, as they bob up and down in the rough water.

The lake is also overflowing the low wall here, as I walk down carefully towards the weir.

Apart from the odd wave, the wall was often the driest route.

The lake is flooding over the weir and fish ladders, so much so that they nearly disappear.

The path from the first bridge to the second is underwater . . .
. . . as is the alternative off-piste route across the fields.

- - - o o o - - -


Short of immersing myself up to the knees

there's nothing to do but back track

to the bridge over the cut

close to the Pump House.



As we approach the bridge

a small whirlwind of spray

approaches us from the other side !



- - - o o o - - -

Another strong blast of wind is heading down the lake towards us again.

The spray from the waves is carried high into the air

and I have to turn my back to the wind to protect the camera from the water as the gust approaches .

It is quieter away from the lake as I make my way back up the Waterboard's gated road.

The High Stile Ridge and Red Pike still retain a little of the snow from the last few days.

The daffodils near Muncaster House have been protected from the storm by the taller roadside hedges.

Dylan has climbed the stile himself but Dougal still has to perfect the art.

The sooner he does, the sooner I can stop lifting him over . . . and walks will become easier.

The walk could end dry-shod . . . but first I have to cross the gap between 'Puffin Tarn 1' to the new 'Puffin Tarn 2'.

Just one more little stream to negotiate and we're home.

- - - 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.

This site best viewed with . . . waterproof boots or wellies.

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Previous walk - 10th March Pining after the Snow

A previous time up here - 4th November 2006 A Local Crummock walk with Ian and Paul

Next walk - 17th March Ennerdale Lake and a Sunset