Ribble side ramble. πŸ¦†

The weather is so surprising at the moment. Blue skies then snow. Warm sunshine. Then snow. And repeat.

I am wondering what to wear for a week night beer garden drink. Looking in my wardrobe, I seriously haven’t bought any new going out clothes since 2019! Pjamas ~ yes. Walking pants~ yes. But no new tops or dresses. However I suspect I will still be frequenting my warm puffa jacket for any approaching social activities!

At present social activities still revolve around walking, so here are some photos from yesterday’s walk along the river to Chatburn and back. A repeat of a post I did earlier in the year, but a little more wildlife on display. πŸ™‚

One of many picture slabs in Brungerley park. A fox and a hare gaze at the moon.
A hunched heron.
Greylag and Canada Geese.
Golden forsythia blossom.
A lone mute swan.
Hipping Stones.
Mary Horner’s bench.
Gushing.
Beautiful blackthorn.
Twisty tree.
Bridge at Grindleton.
In the Woods.
Primrose.
By the Ribble.
Hipping Stones.
Hipping Stones.
Female Goosander. A favourite water bird. Love her Nut brown quiff.
Hugo waiting to play ball.
Wood Anemones or Wind Flowers.
Dog Violet.
Love this cherry blossom painting.

Hope you have had a pleasant weekend.

A New Nature Reserve In Town. πŸ¦†πŸ¦‹πŸŒ³

Recently Hugo and I have spent a lot of time
treading the boardwalks…..at the new Nature Reserve in town. Primrose Nature Reserve has opened at last! What was once an overgrown wasteland containing a mill lodge of stagnant water has been transformed, with walkways, a viewing platform and even a Monet style bridge spanning Mearley Brook. A fish pass has been installed close to the old Primrose Mill to allow salmon, trout and eels to travel upstream and gallons of silt has been removed from the lodge. I have taken a few photos which I hope will give a feel for the place. The reserve is suitable for wheel chairs, push chairs and prams and it doesn’t take very long to walk through.

Owl carving at the Woone Lane entrance.
Wildlife the reserve hopes to attract more of.
Green Winged Teal. There are several of these. Such pretty water birds.
Bird accomodation.
Moorhen.
Habitats have been created using fallen logs.
Butterbur frequent the brook side.
Monet style bridge.
Facing Woone Lane.
A bluetit furnishes its new home, number 5. πŸ™‚
Little Egret seen from the bridge.
Sluice gates were used to control the flow of water to the mill.
Old Industry.
Mallard and ten ducklings.
I was happy to see there are actually primroses at Primrose Nature Reserve. πŸ™‚
Flowering currant.
Dunnock.
Willow arch near the Whalley road entrance.
Reserve map at the Whalley road entrance.

To view the fish pass you have to walk up Woone Lane to the top of the nature reserve and you will be able to see it from the road next to Primrose Mill. At the moment the mill is being turned into apartments so whilst renovations are going on, here’s a photo from Instagram.

Alaskan Fish Pass, one of the largest in England.

I am looking forward to the changing seasons ,to see how the area becomes established. I think the reserve is a lovely little addition to Clitheroe. A wild space in an urban landscape. 😊

Easter Staycation.

It’s not often that Wil and I have a week off work together and don’t book at least a few days away. . So recently it’s actually been quite nice for us to spend some time at home pottering, doing a few jobs and erm ….eating cheese!

We started our week with a ginormous order of cheese from Tipsy Cows in Great Harwood. Their amazing cheese bags are Β£35 and include a pie, pate, smoked sausage,Β  crackers, bread, a bottle of wine, chutney, grapes and of course a shed load of cheese. Still getting through it now..

From Monday we were allowed to meet up with friends & family for outdoor walks again. We met up with my sister and the kids and walked further into the Dunsop Valley. A truelly beautiful place.

On Wednesday we decided to go up to our caravan in Cumbria, mostly to check that it was still in one piece. Luckily it was! And everywhere we went there were daffodillions of daffodils. On the way we stopped in Kirkby Lonsdale for a walk.

Daffs at St Mary’s in Kirkby Lonsdale.

The caravan ~ still standing.

Daffodillions of daffodils on Melmerby village green.

Gallivanting Geese.

Hugo amongst the daffs.

Easter display.

A pew with a view.

We turned the water back on at the caravan and gave it a quick spring clean. The weather was really warm.


Back in Clitheroe, the new Nature Reserve has opened at last. As we live nearby it has definitely become our go to place for a stroll with Hugo. One morning we bought breakfast from Marks Artisan Bakery on Whalley road after our walk. Sooo good! I am making a note of the wildlife I have spotted at the reserve, which includes Little Egret, Mallards, Teal, Grey Heron and Canada Geese. I will get working on a post soon.

Worsaw Hill.

Looking towards Pendle.

Hugo and Jo having a moment. Or maybe Hugo is watching a ham sandwich, out of shot.Β 

On Good Friday we met some friends for a walk from Worston to Downham and back. We are so lucky to live in the lovely Ribble Valley and have definitely discovered lots of new local walks and rediscovered old favourites during the numerous lock downs.

There have also been less energetic pursuits. On Saturday I met some friends for a Hip flask walk. We didn’t get very far. From one bench to another in the local park..πŸ˜€

Park Bench Crawl.

We had planned to stay home on Easter Sunday and enjoy our new fire pit. πŸ”₯

Wil bought a fire pit. πŸ”₯

But after checking the weather forecast we realised we would have to head back up to the caravan again and drain it down. Forcasted minus 7 temperatures meant we had obviously been too previous in opening the van up for Spring. So here are some more lovely Easter views from Melmerby where the van is based.





We also called in at my Mum’s in Askham and had a brew in the garden. Got introduced to these cuties. ❀️

Cute calves.


Farm kitty’s.

Today ( Easter Monday) the sky outside is deceptively blue. It is freezing out there! There was even a smattering of snow this morning.

Happy Easter. πŸ‡πŸ£β€οΈ

In The Dunsop Valley. πŸ¦†

I have posted about the lovely Dunsop Valley before but I couldn’t resist showing some images from a 5 mile walk on Sunday morning. Only 20 minutes drive from home, the scenic Trough Of Bowland is every bit as picturesque as the Dales of Yorkshire, yet this is a Lancashire gem through and through. The area can also claim to be the Centre Of The United Kingdom, though quite a few other settlements in Northumberland, Yorkshire and even Wales claim to be also. The weather was both blustery and calm, it didn’t really know what to do with itself….

Right here πŸ€—
Into the woods.
Hebridean sheep in Lancashire.
Here’s my close up. 😊
A vibrant green moss on the woodland floor. Almost star spangled.
Not a muddy walk for us today.
Daffodils.
River Dunsop.
Mrs Mallard.
Footbridge.
Witches Butter or Orange Brain Fungi..
Onwards.
Sheltering sheep.
Scenery. 😊
Curly Tup.
Cock Pheasant.
Brew stop.
Water Intake.
There are a few United Utilities information boards in the valley.
We walked as far as this footbridge, but hope to go further next time.
Mini Monkey Puzzle.
Stonechat.
Alder Catkins.
Dog days.
Nearly back in the village of Dunsop Bridge.
Puddleducks.

A well deserved breakfast butty topped off the end of our walk from Puddleducks in Dunsop Bridge. πŸ¦†

Travel Plans. πŸ™

Hi all I am daring to bare my travel plans on the blog. It sort of feels like we are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel and my first holiday of the year is almost within my grasp. Let’s do this!

North Norfolk Coast.

First up in May we have the North Norfolk Coast. Wil, Hugo and I stayed in an air BnB in the pretty seaside town of Hunstanton 3 years ago and we can’t wait to go back. This time we have rented a cottage near Cley Next The Sea and I’m looking forward to getting my binoculars out , the area is famed for vast beaches, saltmarsh birds and seals. There’s also plenty of seafood which Wil loves and colourful beach huts at Wells for me to gaze longingly at. πŸ™‚

Wells Next The Sea. Image from Scenic Norfolk via Pinterest.

Kirkby Lonsdale.

Kirkby Lonsdale. Image from Pack The Suitcase via Pinterest.

Wil is using some birthday gift vouchers to treat us to a weekend away in the picturesque market town of Kirkby Lonsdale in June. Hurrah! We know the town quite well , even so this informative post by Pack The Suitcase has inspired me to really make the most of it. Kirkby Lonsdale is on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, close to the Forest of Bowland and within the county of Cumbria.

Ravenglass & Eskdale.

It has become a yearly tradition to stop with friends in a holiday cottage in lovely Ravenglass on the Cumbrian coast. The cottage belongs in the family of friends of ours and is right by the beach. In the village a narrow steam gorge railway can transport visitors into the beautiful Eskdale Valley. Last Summer we found the perfect wild swimming spot in a secluded waterfall pool and enjoyed barbeques and sunsets from the cottage balcony. Mostly it will be fab to spend some quality time with chums. πŸ™‚

On the beach ~ Ravenglass.

Our Caravan in the Eden Valley.

The River Eden. Image from Visit Eden via Pinterest.

It will be two years this year since we bought a static caravan halfway between Alston and Penrith in Cumbria. The area is part of the Eden Valley, a lesser visited, but still beautiful neighbor of the Lake District. Due to the pandemic we haven’t yet stopped at the van during April, May or June ,so we are eager to get up there when restrictions are lifted, fingers crossed. I’m looking forward to country walks and country pubs!

Belfast & the Giants Causeway.

Not that long ago The Carlisle Lake District Airport reopened and had started flying to Northern Ireland. I’m not the best flyer but if I were to travel to Belfast, a small local airport not that far from our caravan, would be an ideal starting point. I would love to discover this vibrant city with its Titanic connections and book a trip to the natural wonder that is The Giants Causeway. πŸ€

Giants Causeway. Image from Covington travel via Pinterest.

A Castle in Ayrshire.

My sister has arranged a family holiday for us all in 2022 and she has booked a Scottish Castle! As there will be six adults, two children and a dog, there will be plenty of room for us all at Knock Old Castle near Largs. Doesn’t it look like it’s straight out of a fairytale. Bagsy me my own turret! My siblings and I recall happy memories of our yearly holidays to Scotland as kids, so definitely looking forward to this one. πŸ™‚

Knock Old Castle . Image from the Sawdays website.

What travel plans are you making?

Weekend Wanderings. πŸ₯Ύ

Well it’s been another weekend of walks and wanders. I can’t promise any different blog content really , Im not the crafty or cooking sort and I’ve really slowed down on my reading. Definitely looking forward to a change of scenery, whilst still appreciating how lucky I am to have so many local walks on my doorstep. The grass is always greener hey….

There are a couple of good walks groups on Facebook that I have been following over lockdown. Both have been quite informative and inspiring when it comes to planning where to go.

  • Lancashire Walks With Frank & Lee.
  • Ribble Valley Walking Forum.
Fairy Bridge over Swanside Beck.

One route I found via the forum was a circular walk that can either be started in Sawley or Chatburn. It takes in an old packhorse bridge and the ruins of Sawley Abbey. The Fairy Bridge was so cute. What a beauty. 😊

Hugo takes on the Fairy Bridge.
Pink primrose.
Fresh new garlic leaves.
Sawley Abbey.

A popular Clitheroe walk takes in Brungerley park with the Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail at its heart. Recently some of the art works have had a well needed spruce up and a local community group ‘ The Hawthorn Placers’ have been brightening the walk further with colourful painted slabs. ❀️

Brungerley Park.
Newly cleaned Otter sculpture.
An explosion of White Butterburs.
Kingfisher sculpture.

There are lots of painted slabs to find. Should keep the kids busy in the Easter Holidays. πŸ™‚

Colourful art depicting April Fools Day.
And Easter.

I have started tracking our walks on a free walking app called Relive. It makes handy little map videos of your hikes.

Relive App.

Hope you’ve had a good weekend. 😊

Hawthorns Scavenger Hunt ~ Signs Of Spring. 🌻🌼

Kate’s words for this week are ~

Signs of Spring/ Signs of Autumn.

Hopeful window display in a local travel agent.

I thought I would stick with the Spring prompt, even though the temperatures have taken a dip again. The season is awakening slowly. By this time last year I had noticed more wild flowers and blossom than I have so far in 2021.

However I have spied some Spring flowers on recent wanders. πŸ™‚

Celandine.

The Lesser Celandine is a cheery yellow flower with glossy heart shaped leaves. Celandines are mentioned in The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe and Wordsworth has written three poems about them.

Cherry Plum Blossom.

Flowering before all the other blossoms is the Cherry Plum which bares it’s fruit in August. I have confused this with Blackthorn in the past, but the flowers appear even earlier. So pretty.

Red flowering currant.

I notice this Red Flowering Currant every year but I haven’t been able to find out much about the shrub. I don’t recall it ever baring any currants either. The pink blooms are very vibrant.

Daffodils in bud.

The golden trumpets of the Daffodil herald the start of Spring. Daffodils are the national flower of Wales, the inspiration for Wordsworth’s most famous poem and are even the name of a Mark Ronson dance track.

Primrose.

Who doesn’t love the pretty Primrose , its name derives from the Latin primula vulgaris meaning First Rose. Primroses are meant to bring luck to keepers of chickens! A flower to plant around the hen hut.

Crocuses.

Crocuses in St Mary’s churchyard looking almost like a fairyring. A vibrant Spring flower associated with love, success and cheerfulness. ❀️

What signs of Spring have you noticed ?

I am linking up to Kate’s Blog today.

A Wander To Wiswell. 🌼

After studying our O S maps, ( Wil is better at this than me πŸ€—) we found another walk from home, using footpaths we were not previously aware of. For this dear lockdown 3, I am grateful…

We plotted a route to the village of Wiswell and back via Barrow village and Standen Hey community woodland. The weather on Sunday was clear and bright, spring was definitely detected. On our walk we heard woodpeckers drumming, curlews calling and saw buzzards soaring. I noticed a solitary tortoishell butterfly and spied sunny clumps of primroses and celandines.

Heading out of Clitheroe to cross the busy A59.
And on into fields in the shadow of Pendle.
Hugo was happy to find a brook.
Plank bridge.
A huge house, actually newly built.
And into Wiswell village.
Hugo at the watering hole.:)
Wiswell.

Wiswell is a small village that lies at the foot of Wiswell Moor. Pronounced Wizzel, the settlement is possibly named after Old Molly’s Well , which became known as Wise Woman’s Well or Wise Well. We didn’t see the well though. Anyhow we sat and enjoyed a flask of coffee in the village centre a while. A greenfinch merrily chirruped in a nearby Conifer.

Greenfinch. πŸ™‚
The Freemasons public house ~ definitely on our list for future pub walks.
Heading away from Wiswell to Barrow.
Early plum blossom?
Berkins Deli in Barrow.

We got a bit lost in Barrow trying to find footpaths that had been either blocked off or diverted because of new housing development. Eventually we found ourselves on the right track, crossing a train track..

Safely across.
An unsuccessful selfie with Hugo.
Onto a familiar path, the old Roman road and stone cross base.
Community woodland.
Primrose.
Celendines.
Catkins.
Crocuses.
Alpaca πŸ¦™ on the outskirts of Clitheroe.

This walk was a little over 8 miles , started off chilly and ended up quite warm.

Os Explorer Map West Pennine Moors 287.

Bolton- by- Bowland walk. πŸ₯Ύ

The Coach & Horses pub.

It looks as though for a little while longer, local walks are on the cards. Actually I don’t mind too much, we have been discovering more of our beautiful Ribble Valley by way of  dusty walking books, barely ever glanced through before.

The following images are from a route found in a Walks Around Clitheroe publication by Terry Marsh ~ Walk 8 ~ Bolton-by-Bowland.

Bolton-by-Bowland itself is a charmingly pretty village boasting two village greens, a lovely looking pub with a pumpkin coach sign and an attractive church.

Along the surfaced drive of Bolton Park.
Sheep in the parkland. Nearby Bolton Hall was  the ancestral  home of  Sir Ralph Pudsay ,who had 25 children. 😯
Not a captivating photo, but tumbling lapwings ducked and dived over this waterlogged field.
Footbridge over Skirden Beck.
Young bulls after Hague Farm.
Pendle Hill in the distance.
After Rodhill Gate Farm, an ancient highway ascends for some distance.
We are basically walking up a stream. πŸ˜†
A fallen tree provides the perfect rest stop.
Wil waiting for me as usual.
Still heading up the gully.
Wil waiting for me as usual. 😁
Just after this photo, Hugo disturbed a hare in the grass. Not that he tried to chase it. Hugo prefers smelly dead things. Yuck!
We did get lost a bit, then found our way eventually.

Priest Biggins Farm. A do er upper!
Grey Alder Catkins.
Tree Lichen.
I like this sign. There was also a deer statue in the farm yard. Sika Deer live in the area.
Approaching the hamlet of Holden.
Spring colour ~ Crocuses. πŸ™‚
Holden Beck.
We walk along the road a short while, heading back to Bolton by Bowland.
Glorious yellow Winter Aconites.
St Peter & St Paul church.
Stocks on the village green.
A Yew Tree Cottage, with a giant yew tree.
Map of our walk.

I think we will return to Bolton by Bowland , I suspect there is alot more to discover. πŸ₯ΎπŸ‘❀️

Seeking Out Sika Deer. 🦌

Unbeknown to me until recent times , the Gisburne Park estate in Gisburn is home to a herd of Sika Deer. The deer roam free and are wild, they are often spied in the local area. I had never seen one though…until now.

Sika deer were introduced into the UK from the Far East in 1860. And they were brought over to Gisburn from Ireland by Thomas Lister ‘ Lord Ribblesdale’ in the 19th century. The parks fallow deer herd had declined and it was hoped that the Sikas would make good sport. Lord Ribblesdale had a band of buckhounds used for hunting deer. All was looking good , but the imports were having none of it. They didn’t like hanging out in the open, and would make a dash into the trees if disturbed. Soon the Lord’s buckhounds were disbanded and the sika deer became feral. Their descendants roam the estate today.

Entrance lodges.
Fields of sheep.
Snowdrops.

Wandering round Gisburne Park early morning is a delight. Some areas are private but there are public footpaths through the grounds too. All was calm and peaceful and Hugo was able to have some off lead time. We saw several buzzards including one that landed in a tree just metres away and disturbed a long billed bird that flew out from the edge of the woodland into the fields.

A bonnie bridge.
Riverside House.
Hello Hugo.

Most exciting though was coming almost face to face with a stag, one of Lord Ribblesdales Sika Deer descendants! He stood his ground for quite a while, which gave me ample opportunity to take a couple of photos. As we quietly passed, he stamped his hoof and turned into the trees.

Our Sika deer are probably originally descended from Japanese sika deer.
The word sika comes from the Japanese word Shika ~ meaning deer.
Peering through the Catkins.
Handsome chap.

As Sika deer are an introduced species they are not protected wildlife. Their numbers are not encouraged, especially if in an area where there may also be native Red deer, which they sometimes breed with. As far as I’m aware, there are no red deer here so the sika are safe. πŸ™

Gisburne Park mansion, now a private hospital.
Ivy on a stone post.
Daffodils on an old cottage door.

Do you have any deer living locally?

Thanks for dropping by. 🦌

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