A few weeks ago when i was plodding with the East Lancs LDWA three of us hung back from the procession and when nobody was looking we did a parachute roll into a side ditch until the
Descriptions and whereabouts of hills can be found here.
The only trouble was that none of us had a map! So unfortunately we wondered around and took some nice pictures of what we thought was Hail Storm Hill but in fact it was Top O Leach. It was my fault, i take the blame. Martin said that bit of ground over there looks higher, but there you go, my mistake.
So it’s been on my agenda to put it straight and today was the day. I was prepared. No mistakes today. I’d never live it down if i missed a top when the sun was out. “Sun”, did i hear you say!
Well yes, where i was the sun was out but south Manchester looked dull.
I carried equipment only surpassed by GCHQ to ensure the mission was a success.
The quarry, dormant now, used to provide stone for house building and floor flags in Victorian days.
The walk up Rooley moor road is a bit tedious when you’ve done it a few times, so i wanted to detour onto the moor. I passed a fellow walker, sweat dripping of his nose and chin. It wasn’t surprising as he was walking in wellies and had a quilted waterproof and a rucksack from the seventies. I went over to a low hill called Top of Pike. There was quite a large cairn for such a meaningless hillock.
Views were good all round but south Manchester still looked overcast, rainy even.
Inside one of the buildings was the remains of an old Dome Tent. A wild camper!
I headed off slowly through the quarry looking at the the rock and the heaps and holes and wondered what it must have been like to work here years ago when the wind was howling and the rain horizontal.
They must have been hardy souls. I was in no rush and enjoyed my wander.
I could hear the call of a Curlew, unmistakeable, and quite close i thought, although i didn’t see one all day. I checked the map and skirted the quarry edge making for the spring. With the area being quite dry it was easy to spot. But it was not inviting and i wouldn’t fill my water bottle from it. It would be hard to spot if the weather had been wet as there is plenty of boggy ground surrounding it.
Right next to the spring i headed north on a clear track, with a couple of way marking posts. I passed what looked like an old railway platform. It must have been an important part of the quarry to have built such a structure here. A tramway maybe? Not sure.
I was soon at the top of the hill, Hail Storm Hill. This was it. Just prior to the top i found a pair of ladders and a tow rope, neither in good condition. I can only assume that a 4 x 4 had got stuck and these pieces of kit extracted the vehicle from the gloop.
Looking at the map the actual pinnacle of Hail Storm Hill, if thats what it can be called, is not obvious. I presume the old building, now a shelter is what people call the top but just to be on the safe side i also went and did the high ground marked 476m and 477m,.
Shelter on assumed Hail Storm Hill top.
View from spot height 476m
Another bit of a gloopy trod brought me to the new wind farm road which i headed off down to the mast on Higher Hill. I just went there to see the views as i had never been on that edge before. 2 off road motor bikes passed me quite noisily. I was sat down just off the road and i don’t think they even saw me.
It was a really pleasant day, hardly any wind, certainly no rain and beautiful golden moorland. Still not much sign of new growth around. Colours reminded me more of Autumn rather than Summer.
As i headed for a wall which crosses the top of Naden Brook i noticed a female Wheatear, it was sunning itself i think, but it stayed long enough for me to get the camera out and take a photo.
Female Wheatear in spring plumage.
There is no path shown on the OS map for a route along Naden Brook but i have walked up the brook before and i knew i could exit at the bottom and so i decided to walk it again and pick a nice sunny spot for lunch.
Just as i crossed the brook i found my first dead sheep. Probably succumbed to the fierce weather that been up here over the last few weeks. I bet it fell through the snow and couldn’t get out of the bog.
An early bath
A youngster didn’t even make first bath
One bath too many
This poor girl was still alive but in a very bad way. I went over to check her expecting her to get up and move away. Hardly a flicker apart from a shallow bleat and a flicker from the eyes. My thought was lambing but she was in a bad way and not like i had seen a ewe lambing many times before. I wondered if she was breach or struggling with birth so i checked and that wasn’t the case. She was in a strange position to, half down a hillside and upside down. She had been pecked by the crows and Ravens. There was nothing else i could do. She was not for moving.
Sadly i moved on, i would tell a farmer if i saw one later.
Just before i got to the bottom of the brook i picked a good sunny spot and sat down for a coffee. I kept thinking was there anything else i could have done for that poor ewe but there wasn’t, i knew that really.
I enjoyed my stop and the peace and quiet, no sounds, nothing.
Tranquility with good views
Descent to Naden Higher reservoir.
There are a group of 4 reservoirs here, Naden higher, middle and lower and then Greenbooth. I decided to take the east bank simply because i hadn’t been that way and also my route back to Rooley Moor rd exits east just after the dam of Middle reservoir. Joining the path to the left of the footbridge (Photo above) i was joined by a lamb only a few days old. It followed me along as though i was going to bottle feed it. As i crossed the fence it bleated, trying to get through the wire fence. It didn’t manage it and i moved on.
My little follower.
Around the corner the light was lovely and i just had to stop and take in the scenery. I couldn’t believe how warm it was. I was in a sun trap and enjoying every minute. The birds, the reflections on the water, watching the clouds change the light on the fell sides. So peaceful.
Strange rock formation, or were these drill holes?
What a fantastic wild camp spot! And plenty of water.
My last photo before getting back to the car. What a spectacular day. Lets hope for more of this weather.