Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Stocks Reservoir

We decided to enjoy the sun and showers by taking a walk around Stocks Reservoir. It's a 11km / 7m circular walk which is well signed. Close to our start point is a United Utilities office - don't they just own some beautiful buildings? Soon we pass the Valve Tower (above). The reservoir is low at present due to less than average rainfall but when we notice that even the culverts near the reservoir are not being cleared, it begs the question: is the precious rainfall being captured efficiently in these catchment areas? We see several oystercatchers. One of the joys of this walk in summer is the flowers. Everywhere fields are pitted by the purple heads of black knapweed and self-heal and through the grass vetch stretches. You breath in meadowsweet, turn to admire its creamy heads adorning field and ditch. Amongst my favourite mauve and creams, other colours appear. Below is what might be larch bolete. The sunny spells encourage butterflies to rise and we see mostly green-veined whites and meadow browns. We also disturb a cloud of larks and are greeted by another favourite flower of mine - field scabious and I also spot sneezewort. I might pass on the fungi, but I do pause to pluck some pink-plump raspberries - just a couple. I explode them slowly in my mouth to explore their delicate sweetness. We notice the cormorant are gathering (about 30) at a safe distance and out of sight from the fisheries.

Now we veer from the reservoir through fields and a bridge to cross Hasgill Beck and the River Hodder which feed the reservoir. More lambs and flowers. Much of the return walk follows a dismantled railway line and I wonder what it must have been like to travel such a scenic route.

We look across the valley and absorb how remote this place is and how lucky we are to enjoy it.


Caroline Gill said...

A really enjoyable post [as ever]. Thank you.

I'm wondering why we seem to have so much fungi when we are in a season of drought. I associate it with dampness... but perhaps it's just a sign of 'autumn come early'?

Intrigued by the ruin in the last pic.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Have missed your posting lately Carol - nice to have one to read again. Lovely walk by the sound of it. Country Wise on Monday evening was in the Trough of Bowland - beautiful country and not so far from you I guess.

Neil said...

The girl's a legend! A circular tour of Stocks in the daytime, and a circular tour of YVP in the evening. I'm going for a lie-down just thinking about it!

Crafty Green Poet said...

looks a lovely walk, thanks for sharing

Mistlethrush said...

Caroline - In my case I'm nit sure whether the fungi is earlier or whether I'm just noticing it more!

Thanks for your comments everyone.

Nicky J Poole said...

Carol, if you go to café Ambio in Astley Park, near Astley House, they have some nice pictures of trees mounted on the wall. The coffee is not bad either if a little pricey.

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.