Sun 29th Nov, 2015

Bowland Forest

Dave Bone

Present: No one (that I know of).

The forecast was far from promising, much like the previous weeks so I did not particularly expect a large turnout. Nevertheless, duty called and I set off with backup walk options drafted. I duly waited at the start point with the wind rocking the car from side to side and vicious squalls passing through.  At 9:50 I gave up and set off home – with winds set to increase to 60-70mph gusts with further showers, I guess most at least were sensible.  I think we were at ‘C’ with the named storms – come on, these are nothing on the scale of a hurricane!

Dave Bone

Meet Promo:

I have a walk for you over the moors and tops of the Southern Forest of Bowland, collecting a few Trig’ points as aiming points. Big Sky country and pretty quiet, especially off the few marked paths. Being a Dave Bone walk, we will not always be on marked paths of course… The final section at twilight is excellent.

Now to find the start point, pack a good Navigator or risk a Sat Nav, and expect to meet fellow KMC’ers travelling the opposite way on the “Quiet Lanes” of Lancashire. There are many different routes but you are heading for the general direction of Chipping, perhaps via Preston and Longridge. NW of Chipping past Windy Harbour (a Gliding Club is nearby), head for “Fell Foot” and the cross roads for Wolfen Hall and Woodgates Farm. This is the start point at GR SD 601442. There’s parking for a few cars here and a number of laybys for more further up the Fell Foot road in ~100m. Watch what you do as a camera watches the road to the Hall! Allow 1.33hours from S Manchester with good navigation. You’ll find the route is on Landranger 102, or the latest OL41. Meet in time for a 9:30 Start.

The Route is open to variation on the day so the distance could be 14 miles, or more. There are really short options too once we have gained the high ground. So to start with, head down the track and past Wolfen Hall, drop into a pleasant little valley, over a footbridge and steeply out the other side. Turning left we’ll pass through the farm buildings of Saddle End and head out onto open country on a track This rises gently onto Saddle Fell and fades out into a reasonable path that hits a stile, at which we turn right and take a vague set of paths that lead to the ridge line fence and yet another stile. On the northern side of the fence the route heads east, people do pass this way but it is wet. Eventually we should arrive at the 496m Trig point of Totridge. Current thinking has us follow the wall until it heads left, forking left and straight on until a nice path zig-zags NE down the hill. Picking up white arrows, romp down to Hareden, then follow the left bank of the river upstream, over a footbridge and through the water works of Langden Brook. A good track leads all the way to the ‘ruin’ of Langden Castle (which bears little resemblance to one). Choices here but eventually we’ll hit the ridge again on the flagstones of the cross ridge path at GR 589485. Heading for the top of Wolf Fell the flagstones soon end but fear not, there is so much peat erosion there are only a couple of groughs to climb out of. The fell top is a site of peat restoration using jute matting and we wind our way through it all to the Trig of Fair Snape Fell (a headtorch could well come in handy to find it – days are short!). Then it’s out to the final nail of Parlick and the steep descent in the gloom, watching the lights of ‘civilisation’, back to Fell Foot. There just remains the task of rebooting the Navigator before you get your well earned rest…

Dave Bone

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