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" Askill Knott from Waterend "

Date & start time:      Friday 29th November 2019.    2.20 pm start.

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

Places visited :          Waterend Farm, Askill Knott, Askill Farm and back.

Walk details :             1.75 miles, 550 feet of ascent, 1 hours 30 mins.

Highest point :          Askill Knott, 925 ft - 284 m.

Walked with :             Ann and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                    Sunshine and blue skies, cool, cold out of the sun.

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A frosty morning, plenty of jobs plus local neighbours calling led to a late lunch and an afternoon walk.

Before that, a quick update on the garden, paddock and our attempts to feed the birds and bees on a newly created wild flower meadow.

An archive picture from the summer just gone.

The paddock had done well on grass and greenery, but at the expense of the wild flower seeds and plant plugs we sowed and planted.

The grass is so successful that it drowned out any chance of the smaller flowers getting established.

Time for a re-think.

Time to change tack and call in the big guns . . . or in this case the "Big Foot".

Harvey, a local landscape contractor, came along yesterday with a turf cutter machine to skim and remove a swath of turf.

There were three options, spray with Round-up herbicide (not an option with dogs, wildlife and birds),

cover with black plastic for six weeks, or just remove the grass !

On a damp day we managed to cut and remove about sixty to eighty square yards of turf.

Technically the sections where I had previously cut the grass short was difficult but the long grass was a nightmare in these damp conditions.

Still the job was done, the boots and the machine washed down, now we need to spread seed and plant a few extra bulbs ready for the spring.

Eighty square yards 'coverage' of yellow rattle and wild flower mix.   The two clear plastic bags were bought on-line here

The sack of bulbs and two bags of allium bulbs came from the local garden centre.

The tray of  blue borridge flowers are free from last year's plants. 

Overall it will be costing a metaphoric arm and a leg, but hopefully will be worth it.   More time and effort will no doubt follow shortly !

- - - o o o - - -

That was yesterday.  

Today it was fresh, cold and beautifully sunny and after lunch we drove the short distance down to the far end of Loweswater. 

As we were late in the day starting we opted for Askill Knott and the Mosser Track area to catch the best of the afternoon sunshine on offer.

From the parking area at the silver phone box we walked 100 yards down the road to Waterend Farm

where there's a track leading up to the old Mosser Road.

The building on the right is Swallow Barn, converted into bunk house accommodation.

The yellow box on the wall is the location of Loweswater's other public access (heart-start) defibrillator.

The sheep pens and yard behind Waterend Farm as we start up the lane.

In the shadows of the hedges the overnight frost hadn't cleared and it gave the fallen leaves a very wintery look.

Higher up, where the sun was shining, the colours were quite different.
The brightness made the holly berries even more red.

 . . . and the goldens even more golden !

The top part of the Waterend lane is more open, the groves in the grass being either quad bike or landrover axle width apart.

As we walk up the lane the view of the Loweswater and distant Crummock fells became more extensive.

The visibility today was the opposite of yesterday's damp, misty conditions whilst we were turf cutting.

More bright winter colour on the holly bushes alongside the lane.

The hawthorn has a colourful spread for the winter birds as well.

A right and left takes us across the old Mosser road and onto the open fell.

Ahead is Darling Fell (to the left) but we're heading for the outlier, Askill Knott to the right.

The view behind us to the north takes in the majority of the Solway Firth from Maryport to the right, down towards St Bees Head on the left.

The good visibility means we can see the Scottish coast from the Dumfries area all the way west to the Isle of Whithorn.

Ann summits out on Askill Knott, a grassy knoll with a rocky aspect on the southern side which faces Loweswater lake.

Time to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine.

The afternoon glow flooding in from west over Myresyke farm and ourselves.

As we left the summit the sun was setting over Burnbank Fell

and consequently the shadow was fast creeping up to where we had been sitting.

The line of the sun rises up Mellbreak too

but the opposite side of the valley, including Watergate Farm at the far end of the lake, hardly had any direct sun all day.

A short zig-zag through the bracken . . .
. . . and we reach the Mosser track alongside the pine trees.

The top of Askill Knott is now in shade . . . it would have been cold sitting up there now.

A short walk up the track and then we'll double back down the bridleway, seen below us here passing Askill Farm.

Two of the farmers in the valley are retiring this year so there are changes afoot.   Both are moving locally so we'll keep in touch.

Hopefully we'll have new people living at this end of Loweswater, provided the houses don't go to second home buyers.

I imagine this old picturesque hay cutter will be staying . . . it has really sunk into the turf over the years since it was last used.

The Askill / Myresyke farm road with a good covering of fallen leaves.

Loweswater Hall with a good covering of geese in the field.

There is a rough calculation that sixty four geese eat as much grass as eight sheep, the same quantity as one cow.

(please don't quote me on the exact ratio but food wise, you can see why they are not popular on marginal farming land)

The light is fading and the camera flash is reflected off the farm sign.
The last of the sun's rays illuminating Grasmoor on our way 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 . . . sunset 3.55 pm . . . perfect timing for a late afternoon walk.

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Previous walk - 18th November - Crummock Morning Glory

A previous time up here - 13th March 2016 - Askhill Knott with Sherran and Bill

Next walk - 30th November - Low fell & clarity of Autumn


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