Tag Archives: lancashire

Under The Railway Bridge.

I have been noticing lately how lovely a local field is looking. All-sorts of flowers have been popping up this year. Makes me wonder if someone has been scattering seeds? The plants have been absolutely buzzing with bees and grasshoppers. Meadow Brown’s , Ringlets and Skippers are flying in abundance. I’m eager to see what else will turn up over the Summer. Will keep you posted. 😘

There could be more clover than grass in the field and they smell really sweet, especially in the sunshine after a shower.

Pops of colour are certainly provided by the burnt orange blooms of the Orange Hawkweed, which is also known as Devils Paintbrush and Fox & Cubs.

I think this is a member of the Crane’s -bill family , maybe Druce’s Cranes-Bill.

Tutsan is the largest of the St John’s Wort flowering plants. I was quite surprised to find it amongst the vegetation. I like how there are both flowers and berries.

I noticed a couple of Silver Y Moths fluttering around the thistles. They are migrant moths that fly day and night and can be identified by the metallic y on each wing.

Love-in-a-mist is not a wildflower, so I’m not sure how this bloom ended up here. I love it’s delicate and intricate design.

By the brook a Yarrow peeps , it’s leaves are feathery. In the past this plant was used on bloody wounds, but sticking it up your nose causes nosebleeds apparently. 🙄

Skippers are seen resting on buttercups and darting from flower to flower. They are tiny butterflies, however I cannot tell whether they are the large or small species.

In the grass I spy Fairy Flax which looks like it should be in a fairies garden.

Along with ringlets there are lots of Meadow Browns in the field. They are very fond of the thistles. 🙂

So that’s all for now. There are foxgloves and teasel but I will save them for another post. 🙂

Clitheroe, Pendleton & Worston Walk.

Recent times have given me opportunity to explore new walks in my local area and also revisit places from my past. Although I live in a small market town, I grew up in the countryside. Of course at 17 I was only to happy to move away to ‘the big City’ , that’s what Clitheroe felt like to a country bumpkin like me back then. 🙂 I will never forget my farming roots though , as much as I love living somewhere with shops, pubs and friends, I do still feel at home clomping round the fields.

This is a walk from Clitheroe, through the pretty village of Pendleton, passing the farm I grew up on at the foot of Pendle Hill and taking in the small village of Worston. Most of the route has featured on my blog before at various times, but there’s usually something new to spot.

A woodland path past Standen Hall.
After crossing the A59 we walk into Pendleton. Lots of old cottages here.
And a pub called The Swan With Two Necks which is currently selling take way ales.
Pendleton is called ‘ Peniltune’ in the Domesday book.
Love this bright red gate. ❤️
Time to cross the road.
Heading through one of the farms in the hamlet of Mearley.
A sign for a new ( ish ) holiday let in Mearley.
Sunbathing cows.
Knowle Top farm looking down over Mearley.
Hugo and stick.
Mearley.
Little Mearley Hall where I grew up, at the foot of Pendle Hill.
Worsaw Hill in the distance.
Orange Hawkweed aka Fox & Cubs ,on the grass verges.
Interesting gate sign in Worston village.
Pendle Hill from Worston.
Rockery garden in Worston.
Honesty box eggs.
My first photo of a hare!
Little & Large. ❤️

Thanks for joining us on another local stroll.

Weets Hill Walk. 🥾

We found a peaceful moorland walk on Sunday. I guess it was so quiet because of the drizzly weather. It soon fined up though and we happily abandoned our waterproof jackets. Yay!

Our walk started from a canal side car park near the Anchor Inn at Salterforth near Barnoldswick. This isn’t an area we have explored before and despite having a map and walking book we did get a bit lost ( shocker! ) but it all worked out ok in the end.

The route headed up into the rugged moorland of Weets Hill where there are fantastic views and even some unusual art work. Here are some images from our 6.5 mile hike.

Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
Canal side way marker.
Buttercup meadow.
A narrow squeeze style which I could barely squeeze through. 😅
Ground nesting birds sign. We made sure we kept to the bridleway.
This old track is called Lister Well Road.
Caught on camera.
Lister Well Road.
Lower Foulridge Reservoir…maybe. Anybody know?
I can’t help pointing out Lister Well Road ! Lister is my family name. 😊
Blacko Tower in the distance.
Cuteness overload ❤️.
Hungry horse.
Looking toward Pendle Hill.
‘ Heading’ for Duck Pond Farm.
There is actually a head at Duck Pond Farm. 🙂
And another!
A former occupant ( an art teacher) made the large head sculptures.
Fitting all our big heads in a selfie.
Heading away from Duck Pond Farm. A beautiful white horse.❤️
Getting in some dawn chorus practice..
Cotton grass.
Buttercups.
Think there’s a troll under the bridge.
This is Hugo’s cute pose…..only done when he is watching someone eat. Look into my eyes!!
Meadow Pippit collecting nesting material.
Weets Hill Moorland.
Heath Bedstraw.
A Barnoldswick chimney.
Somebody’s watching me.
Foxglove.
Pink grass. Anyone know their grass? 😁
And back to the canal tow path.
The Anchor Inn….. apparently holds an impressive stalactite formation in the cellar.

This walk was definitely all about the views , the wildlife ( we were serenaded by the continuous chatter of pippits and skylarks) and those unforgettable sculptures at Duck pond farm.

Walking Book – Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle by Terry Marsh.

Map – Explorer OL21 ( South Pennines).

Clitheroe to Mitton Circular Walk.

Just a quick post featuring a walk today from home. We set out about 8 am hoping to miss the heat, it was already getting warm early on. Luckily for Hugo this is another route taking in the river Ribble ,so he had plenty of opportunities for paddles and swims.

Today’s walk is a circular route from Clitheroe to Mitton and back. It’s one we have walked a few times over the years.

Heading for the railway bridge.
Mearley Brook.
Approaching the Ribble Way.
There’s a newish photography aid down Edisford.
Edisford Bridge.
Quackers.
We have now crossed the bridge and are walking along the other side of the river towards Mitton. We pass through a little wood.
And carry on down the riverside.

Mama and brood.
Up through another little wood and we find this newly carved bear chair, which has appeared during lockdown.
We follow the footpath signs to Mitton, passing Great Mitton Hall.
Over the bridge near the Aspinall Arms.
The Aspinall arms is somewhere we would ordinarily stop off at for refreshment. Huge beer garden and dog friendly.
Next to the pub footpaths can be followed back to Clitheroe.
I heard a piping call. It belonged to a Common Sandpiper.
Nearly home and more content cattle relaxing in the sun. 🙂

Have you got out and about this weekend?

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve ~ May.

By midday today it was scorching hot. I had taken our labrador for a riverside walk early morning ( saw my first dragonfly of the year) and then decided to head out somewhere unaccompanied. I love Hugo but he gets a little impatient when I become distracted by butterflies. 🙂

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve is one of two nature reserves in my home town. A mixture of limestone grassland and shady woodland, the reserve is a haven for wild flowers and birds such as black caps and bullfinches. Which I never see ! Haha. Today my nemesis bird ( a gloriously colourful jay) posed for several photographs, promptly flying off cackling before I could get him into focus.

I enjoyed my walk and intend to post a blog in June, when hopefully the bee orchids will be in flower. For now, enjoy these photos. 😘

Hawthorn.
Yellow poppies.
Blue sky.
Cowslips.

Clock.
Small white.
Germander Speedwell.
Robin red breast.
Birds Foot Trefoil aka Bacon & Eggs.
Dog Rose.
Small white.
Wood Aven.
Bugles and Herb Robert.
Bluetit flying in and out of a nesting box.
Crinoid bench.
Milkwort.
Wild Strawberry.
Common Blue.
Chiffchaff.
Common Blue on Buttercup.

I hope I have identified the above correctly, please let me know if I have mixed up my common blues with my holly blues. 😅

Hodder Valley Walk ~ Newton In Bowland.

On Sunday we drove to nearby Newton in Bowland for a four mile circular walk that started at the bridge over the river Hodder. The wind was blowing a hoolie that day and we had accidentally chosen a walk that meandered through fields of livestock, so poor Hugo spent most of the time on lead. But I think he was tired by the end of it all the same.

Bridge over the Hodder.
Cheeky Lamb.
Lots of gulls and oystercatchers in the second field.
Greylag Goose.
Leaving the river.
On a country road.
A thank you to the NHS.
Road to Knowlmere Manor.
Poor little moles. 😦
Follow the arrow.
Who are Ewe?
Knowlmere Manor. Look at those impressive chimneys!
Knowlmere Manor was used as a filming location in a Sherlock Holmes mystery ‘ Silver Blaze’ in the eighties.
Cottages.
Hodder Valley country.
A very wobbly suspension bridge over the river.
What Ewe Looking At?
Heading back to Newton.

Just before entering the village of Newton we came across a tiny Quaker burial ground on the right. It looked overgrown but still quite pretty amongst the red campion and bluebells.

Hope you enjoyed the walk. It can be found in a pocket walking guide called Guide To Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton. No stop off at the pub this time though.

X

Dean Clough Reservoir Walk.

On Saturday we drove ten minutes out of town for our permitted socially distanced exercise. It’s the first time I have left Clitheroe in six weeks. Wil still drives to Blackburn for work five days a week, so he wasn’t as excited to be out in the car as I was. It’s been a while! Anyway I think the change of scenery did me good. Apart from the odd dog walker, it was fairly quiet at Dean Clough Reservoir, a pretty body of water above York village near Whalley. We parked in a lay by outside the village and soon found the footpath that leads down to the reservoir.

At this time of year the golden yellow gorse flowers are all in bloom, giving off a heavenly coconut fragrance. There were bees buzzing round bugles and I saw my first swallows of the year.

In a few weeks the Yellow Flag Irises will come into flower, for now they are letting the marsh marigolds and cuckoo flowers take all the glory.

On the water we saw various birds including cormorant, Canada geese, mallards and this gorgeous Great Crested Grebe.

Instead of following the path around the reservoir we took another trail up to some rocky outcrops and admired the views for a little while. Butterflies fluttered by in a gentle spring time breeze.

We took the path back into York which is a small hamlet with a nice looking pub called the Lord Nelson. Hopefully it will open back up in the coming months. Spied some belties at a nearby farm.

Back where we had parked the car, this was our view! A rather large man standing on a small hill.

It’s a sculpture of some kind but I haven’t been able to find any information online about why it’s there. In the future will have to walk up to it for a closer look. 😁

Thanks for reading & stay safe. x

Salthill Quarry Walks & A Blue Lagoon.

This morning we had a ramble up to Salthill Quarry which is one of two nature reserves in my hometown of Clitheroe. We also had a wander there last weekend and found a new route back, so here are a few pictures from both walks.

I always look at this sign and think ‘hmmm where are those bullfinches?’. I have in the past seen the Bee orchids though. 😁
Wild Strawberry or maybe Barren Strawberry flower.
Birds Foot Trefoil, I think.
We always try our best to get a photo of Hugo on this fossil inspired seat, with little success.
More cowslips.

I have seen a few photos recently on Facebook of what can only be described as a ‘ Blue Lagoon’. I told Wil I really wanted to see this local landmark/ quarry pit for myself. Apparently as a teenager him and his mates would go scrambling round it. Boys will be boys!

Anyway the aquamarine water is a result of the limestone, which is quarried. Clitheroe’s limestone is made into cement and there has been a cement works in Clitheroe since the 1930s. I remember the town being known as ‘Cement City’ on CB radio. Haha.

The lagoon can be seen from a field off the A59 Link road.
There is no public access to the lagoon. I did see some mallards on it though.

After the blue lagoon excitement we walked back into town on a footpath we found last weekend, also off the A59 link road.

Beautiful Apple Blossom ❤️.
Magic Mushroom Graffiti under a stone footbridge.
Bluebells.
Stitchwort.
Stoney track. Spring flowers on both bankings here.
Daisies.
“I’m watching you “.
Old unlived in farm house.
Heading back through upbrooks, a part of Clitheroe that I didn’t really realise was here until recently.

One good thing about having to hang round home, is new walks found, and new parts of town explored.

Have you found any ‘new to you’ footpaths in your local area?

Seven days of wildflowers. 🌸

For the past seven days I’ve chosen a wild flower that I’ve seen on my daily walk with Hugo, and found out a few facts about each flower.

Saturday ~ Bluebell. There’s nothing more stunning than a carpet of bluebells in the Spring. I saw clumps of these gorgeous violet blue flowers on a walk today through a patch of woodland by the river. Here are a few facts about bluebells.

Other names for Bluebell include Wild Hyacinth, Wood Bell, Granfer Giggle, Witches Thimble, Cuckoo’s Boot, Bell Bottle and Lady’s Nightcap.

It is against the law to pick, uproot or intentionally destroy bluebells.

Bluebells can also be pink or white.

The bluebell is the flower of St George.

In folklore fairies ring the bells to gather together their fairy kin. If humans hear blue bells ring however, disaster will befall them. 😬

Sunday ~ Cowslip. There are lots of cowslips in bloom at the local nature reserve in Salthill Quarry. They tend to thrive in meadows, dry grassy banks, grass verges and in open woodland. Here are a few cowslip facts.

Cowslip apparently means cow pat! It has been noted that the flowers spring up around where cows have ‘slupped’.

Tea made from the flowers can be used to help cure headaches and insomnia.

In countryside tradition cowslips were strewn along the church path at weddings and put in May Day garlands.

Other names for cowslip include Bunch of Keys, Lady’s fingers, Yellowdrops , Freckled Face & Fairies Flower.

Cowslips are the food of the Duke of Burgundy caterpillar.

Monday ~ Germander Speedwell. These little beauties were growing amongst a patch of primroses next to Mearley Brook. I love the bright blue colour of speedwells. 💙 Here are a few facts about the Germander Speedwell.

Other names that speedwells go by include Birds Eye and Cats Eye.

The flowers are a good luck charm for travellers. A speedwell worn in a button hole will ‘ speed you well ‘ on your journey.

The speedwells Latin name is Veronica Chamaedrys. It is said that a St Veronica wiped Christ’s forehead on the way to his crucifixion and an image of Jesus’s face was left imprinted on the cloth she used. Speedwell flowers resemble little faces.

In Germany speedwells are also known as ‘ mannertreu ‘ or ‘ men’s faithfulness ‘. Ironically the flowers wilt very quickly once picked.

In ancient medicine speedwells were used to cure many ailments especially coughs and congestion.

Tuesday ~ Yellow Archangel. As well as bluebells, the woodland floor near Standen Hall is covered in a hooded spring flower , the Yellow Archangel. Though I prefer to call it by one of its other names, the Yellow weasel snout. 🙂

Although it is a member of the Dead-Nettle family, the Yellow Archangel doesn’t sting.

If you want to know what a weasel smells like, crush the plants leaves. The rank aroma will give you some idea apparently.

The Yellow Archangel flowers near the 27th of April, a day dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

The flower has been used in the past to protect cattle against a black magic disease.

Red Dead-Nettles and White Dead-Nettles are closely related to their yellow flowered cousin.

Wednesday ~ Wild Garlic. An indicator of ancient woodland, this time of year is ideal for foraging the leaves of ramsons or wild garlic. They can also flower on roadside verges, where I saw the above. Here are some facts about Wild Garlic.

Wild garlic leaves and flowers can be used in many recipes including garlic scones and wild garlic pesto.

The plant is also known as Bear Garlic. It’s Latin name is Allium Ursinum ( bear leek). On the continent brown bears like to feast on the leaves.

Cats are apparently repelled by the smell of wild garlic.

In Ireland wild garlic bulbs were put into the thatched roofs of cottages for good luck.

If you forage wild garlic leaves , do not confuse with the similar looking Lily of the valley, which is highly toxic and should not be eaten. The best way to know your garlic is to check with your nose.

Thursday ~ Bugle. Down by the brook I spied several bugles. They can be found in damp grassland and woodland.

The Bugles Latin name is Ajuga reptans. Reptans means creeping & crawling, rather like how the plant spreads on underground runners.

The sixteenth century physician and naturalist William Turner described the plant as ‘ a black herb that groweth in moist ground and shadowy places’. It was used in ancient medicine to stop bleeding.

Bugles are popular with bees and butterflies.

The herb was made into a tea in Austria to help with respiratory conditions.

Friday ~ Red Campion. Today’s flower is pretty in pink , one of the first pink blooms of Spring. Red campions grow on woodland edges, in hedgerows and fields. These were by Mearley Brook. Here are some facts about Red Campion.

Red campion is also known by the names of Adder Flower, Red Catchfly and Robin Hood.

On the continent Red Campion are a scorpion scarer! Scorpions are not fond of red campions , throwing one at a scorpion renders it’s sting useless apparently. Don’t think I would want to try this out!

In fairy folklore Red campion is said to have been used by fairy folk to protect their honey stores.

Another name for the pink flower is Bachelor s Button, perhaps the flower was worn in single fellows button holes at country weddings, once upon a time.

Red campions roots were once used as a substitute for soap.

Of course every day more and more flowers appear! It’s so lovely to see them on my daily walks. What wild flowers have you noticed this week?

Early April ~ Wildflowers On A Walk.

We are quite lucky in our small town that we are within easy walking distance of countryside. The river Ribble is best followed on foot if you want to spy the wildflowers that are springing up everywhere. Wildlife just keeps calm and carries on. 🙂

River Ribble towards West Bradford Bridge.
Marsh marigolds often to be found near water. They are also called King Cups.
Pretty in pink Cuckoo Flowers herald the return of Spring…and the Cuckoo. Also called Ladies Smock and milkmaid.
Lots of Butterbur on the Riverside. In the past its large heart shaped leaves were used to wrap butter.
Primroses, Wood Anemone and Celandines.
Although some people have spotted otters here in Clitheroe, I have never seen a real one locally. Keep hoping!
Colts Foot.
Dog Violets. 🙂
Pied Wagtail. There were a few darting round the river.
Wood Anemone. Saw lots of these bonnie white flowers carpeting woody areas.
Catkins.
Just too pretty not to photograph. Snakes Head Fritillaries in a front garden on the way home.

This walk was yesterday’s. What wildlife have you spotted recently?