Today's walk was as a result of the fine skies calling us out,
but we got to see more skies than we had bargained for on this
The larch disease is forcing the forestry guys to fell and
cart away thousands of trees and so alter the views of some
of our favourite places.
Still if you look beyond the trees, the fells are eternal and
still provide a familiar backdrop, even if the foreground is
A grossly out of focus snap shot to start . . . but do you
recognise the car park . . . we didn't.
This is the entrance to the Bowness car park in Ennerdale,
normally overpowered and dark from the many trees
which traditionally tower over the car park . . . now they
Gone are most of the trees, victims of the larch disease and
but in its place we have wide open skies and a view of Bowness
Knott from below, which has been hidden for years.
Loes and I wanted an easy afternoon walk with not too many
hills to climb or slippery paths to hinder our walk.
You can't get much more perfect than the lakeside track alongside
After cutting trees they need to be stored alongside the track
before being taken away by lorry.
The smell of cut pine filled the air this afternoon.
However work is still in progress and several of the paths
This was the start of the Smithy Beck Trail with enough signage
to keep the printing industry busy for weeks.
Over the back the trees surrounding the forest trail have more
or less gone
so it will be a very different walk when it re-opens.
In the mean time it is not even worth exploring on the "workmen's
days off "
as the ground conditions have been turned to a quagmire by
the passage of the heavy forestry equipment.
The track leads us on to the Smithy Beck itself,
a few yards after it emerges from the old forest and before
it enters the lake.
This is the site of an "early industrial
revolution" iron bloomery where they used charcoal to convert
local iron ore into pig iron.
It would be some decades before Bessemer developed
the higher temperature iron furnaces that would turn that iron
into better quality steel.
end" of the Smithy Beck trail closed by more notices
. . .
. . . as will be the
road and cycle way a little further up the valley.
Still, the track alongside the lake is currently
and will probably remain so as we've moved
beyond the area of the larch plantation.
Brightly coloured blue and white stones shine
in the centre of the river.
Recent flood water has built up a bank of stone,
beautifully un-muddied as it has been recently scraped clean
on its journey downstream.
The natural turn around point today was Irish
When I first new it it was a series of concrete
covered pipes, but has been rebuilt with wide open arched to
allow fish migration and easier gravel movement.
In the last few years it has gained some ironwork
on one of the sections, the purpose of which has been unclear
the dogs stop on the centre for a photo-shoot.
Did some one say "Beavers"
The trial single structure will eventually cover
each archway, as-and-when the project gets the final go ahead.
- - - o o o - - -
Alongside the junction was a random length of fence.
It was a metre high but with a angled top section
much like the anti-escape fence at Colditz (but not
The plan is to completely cross the valley floor
with a barrier
that will keep the beavers upstream of the bridge,
yet allow the trout and salmon to migrate past the
barrier as required.
The proposed introduction for the beavers date is
The salmon and trout needn't worry,
beavers are vegetarians !
- - - o o o - - -
Time to head back, reversing our route as there
was little alternative.
in cut timber . . . the scribble writing was an indication
To the left 3.1 metre
logs and here 4.9 metre lengths.
Up in diameter
and length to 7.5m, presumably a converted imperial
The only other length
we saw was 8.6m, but that's 28.2 feet ?
The good quality brash was destines it seems
for "wood chip".
The lake level is high today making the picnic
table headland visually attractive, but the cool weather was
Back to Bowness car park after a small climb
up the track.
It may have seemed small today but it can be
the steepest of slopes after a longer walk in the Ennerdale
- - - o o o - - -
As we drove home over the Cauder Brow Road the
sun burst out from between the clouds
casting a strong yellow light across the whole
Well, you've just got to stop for one last photo