Sun 25th Apr, 2021

Saddleworth Four Trigs

Andy Stratford

Saddleworth Four Trigs – Sunday 25th April 2021

Members: Andy Stratford (meet leader), Jim Symon, Joe Dugdale, Mark Garrod, Michelle Harvie, Gareth Williams, and young Henry the rather delightful cocker spaniel.

When I had recce’d this walk earlier in the year I’d discovered some ‘’pretty challenging’’ bits of moorland, all down to the underfoot conditions. However, after several weeks of next to no rain, the moors were bone dry and in the easiest possible condition for this long walk. The tactic of early parking at Binn Green just about worked – by the time we were setting off on the walk at the car park was full to bursting. We walked the longer and less steep way round to Alphin, Trig number 1 ticked off at 10.10 a.m. (4.5km). Just past Wimberry rocks, we saw a figure speeding towards us with his hand in the air - as he reached he asked us which the quickest way down was – he had fallen and dislocated his thumb. Joe ‘healing hands’ Dugdale examined him and tentatively offered to pull said thumb back into position, but then realised this could potentially cause the chap to pass out! As he was not in any imminent danger and seemed in otherwise good form, we let him on his way to the car park.

A quick elevenses break at the Top Chew res was next, where Jim discovered his lunch was a sausage and bacon butty made by Sue Marsden ‘’It was my reward for being Craig's power tool gimp on the van conversion until 11 pm last night’’. Henry stalked Jim but to no avail. Onward across untracked Moorland to reach the isolated and rarely visited Trig 2 of Featherbed Moss at 11.45 (10km). By this stage, Henry had been off the lead most of the time since Alphin and had already covered twice our distance. What is normally one of the wettest sections followed but this time the bone-dry moor allowed for quick progress to the Chew/Crowden watershed and a quick blast across the heather and down to join the Pennine way above Laddow, then onward along the well-stomped trail and eventually flagstones to Trig 3 (Black Hill) at 12.55 (15km). Lunch followed on the other side, out of the chilly wind although the blasts of sunshine throughout the day kept the otherwise cool temperatures at a more reasonable level. Henry had a brief lunchtime nap then got his dog mojo back for more joyous bounding through the heather. We got going again about 13.30 and reached Trig 4 (Broadstone Hill, 454m) at 14.50 (22 km) stopping for more tea and a natter with some locals. We were back at the cars for 15.45 (26km) – a most satisfying moorland stomp at a cracking pace! Henry was thoroughly worn out – his longest walk yet.  

We were soon in the back garden, drinking copious tea and having the odd slice of homemade tea bread (Jo) and raspberry chocolate brownies (Jo) and Lemon Drizzle Cake (Philippa). Jim had his allotted share, then his allotted share again. Then left with 3 bulging packages of the spare of each one! Apparently, when he arrived home, he was relieved of said packages ‘’Those are going in the freezer, you’ve had quite enough cake for the week’’. You can imagine his face.

A great walk, great company, great food. Thanks, everyone for coming.





Andy Stratford

Meet Promo:

Saddleworth Four Trigs

UPDATE 18th April: I have a few bookings by email for this but there are still a few spaces left. The weather has been dry and little (if any) rain is forecast between now and Sunday 25th so the going underfoot may be a little kinder!

The committee has thought carefully about the conditions for re-opening our meets calendar in a responsible way. Please see the ‘’Principles’’ article in the March NL. As we begin to open our meets calendar, we ask that all members consider the following key points:

  1. Numbers attending – book in advance with the meet leader and respect that numbers may be restricted. 
  2. The guidance has changed from ‘’stay at home/stay local’’ to ‘’minimise travel’’. Whilst there is no specific Government / BMC guidance on miles travelled nor on travel times, please consider and reflect on the distance you will travel from your house to the start point of a meet. If unsure, please contact the meet leader in the first instance.

These four Trig points are all either in Lancashire or on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border. 

Meet at 08.45 am for a 9.00 am start at Binn Green Car park off the A635 Road past Dovestones (GR017044 on sheet OL1 Dark Peak). We lose height down to cross Dovestones Dam, then up Bradbury Lane to gain the first Trig Point at Alphin (469m). Following the edge we pass above Wimberry Rocks then the viewpoint of Indian Head before reaching the top Chew reservoir. Featherbed Moss trig at 541m is next by following the line of dry clough (misnamed!) and the grouse butts to get there, and then a marginally better track to reach the stile at Laddow Moss. We then join the Pennine Way, heading past Laddow and eventually onto a 2km stretch of erosion control flagstones and on up to Trig number three 582m at Black Hill. From here we strike NW following a sometimes slithery path to Dean Head Moss and crossing the A635 at the boundary car park between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Crossing here we head WNW along a moorland trod following the line of the old drainage system to Trig four at Broadstone Hill (454m); a well stomped track leads along the ridge to Alderman via the Sugar Loaf, Dick Hill and Oven Stones before dropping down Alderman Brow and back to the cars.

This is a traditional moorland stomp at a good pace, reminiscent of the long walks of the early days of the club - distance about 25km (16 miles or so) with around 700m of mostly easy gradient ascent - there are still likely to be a few ‘moorland challenges’ if we have had a few days of wet weather.....

Please let me know if you are coming in advance so that we can keep an eye on numbers as per BMC and government guidance and our own socially responsible goals whilst the pandemic is still classified as active. 


Andy Stratford

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