The Vault Regulars

Monday, July 17, 2023

Bank House Moor.

 Monday 17th July 2023.

Bank House Moor is an area to the west of Ulverston Cumbria. 

I was hoping to park the car adjacent to the Poaka Reservoir dam at SD24009 78156 (A) on the photo below, but there is a locked gate across the access road so that put paid to that idea. As it was we found a handy lay-bye on the Moor Rd at SD23942 77971, (B) on the photo below.

The recent weather had been wet, very wet, so it was wonderful that today was clear and bright with only a gentle breeze. We were soon sweating as we headed west along the road, uphill, taking the first right hand turning leading us past Stewner Park Farm and Standish Cote. Here gave us our first view of Poaka Reservoir proper.

Poaka reservoir taken across the garden at Standish Cote.

As the "road" ends there are a number of routes which could have been taken so a quick look at the map was needed. We headed upwards on a dog leg track towards a wind turbine, but it's all too easy here to continue in the wrong direction. We needed to make sure we headed well to the left of the turbine and look for an access gate onto Bank House Moor. As the ground levelled out we spotted the gate.

Through the gate the obvious path takes a route across the moor and drops down to Gargreave. We wanted to go north to the trig point and although there is no path shown on the OS maps there is a quad bike track on the ground which handrails the fence line.

Easy walking through flowering heather, with superb views all around soon had us looking for an obvious path to the summit trig point. We found the path, a sheep trod, thinly winding its way up.

It was so worth it. Stunning views 360 degrees.

After 10 minutes taking in the scene and planning future walks in the area, we carried on northwards again, picking up the quad bike track which led us steeply down to the cross moorland road between Beck Side and Ulverston. This area can get a little boggy after wet weather.

This next section, turning right along the road is pleasant enough and the road is not a busy one. We passed the farm of Harlock where there is a spring which is probably the source of Poaka Beck and looked across to the lovely farmstead at Rathvale. At Horrace, another farm, we headed south and then south west towards Devils Bridge. Here we saw the first of two groups of Duke of Edinburgh hikers, carrying their huge packs! 

Looking up the valley towards Rathvale Farm.

We stopped at Devils Bridge over Rathmoss Beck for a snack and enjoyed a little bit of the Harlock woodland which was dedicated to Julian Milner. I imagine Devils Bridge carried the old road or packhorse route, pre the motor car but now stands adjacent. It is Grade 11 listed and worth a look at if you are ever passing.

Devils Bridge, Pennington.

Further on we had good views down to Pennington Reservoir which looked worthy of a walk round if it is possible. (But not today). Then we left the road and skirted Harlock Reservoir which was well manicured. Again, this is fed from Poaka Beck and where we spotted another large group of young hikers attached to huge rucksacks.

Pennington Reservoir.

Harlock Reservoir

The route leads through Ewe Dale farm with it's self catering accommodation complete with hot tub. It sleeps 6 and is worth a look. Outside the farm intake the path is a little overgrown and where Sheila got badly nettled. I let her go first! I'm not daft. We spotted three birds of prey, species wise I'm not certain, very much like a Sparrow Hawk but the colour of a Kestral. Then across two fields with young Heifers and sheep. One of the heifers was giving Sheila a bit of a panic attack as it looked like it was taking offence at us crossing their field. But we gave them all a wide birth and got through the gate without incident. Phew.

In the field of feisty heifers.

Another pleasant road walk through the small village of Marton with it's now closed for good pub brought us back to the car.

It's a lovely walk and I must thank Conrad, friend and fellow blogger who did this walk in 2022 and who's route I have followed. You can read Conrad's blog post HERE.

Poaka Beck is a very strange name and not one which I can find much about its origin. I guess, and it is purely a guess is that hundreds of years ago when all the surrounding lands were part of the Furness Abbey estates that this area was a wetland. Poaka is a New Zealand name for the Stint wading bird and again I presume that the Abbey residents had the knowledge to name it after them.

If anyone has a better idea of the name then please leave a comment.

Here's the route. 10.5km, 255 metres ascent, 3 hrs casual walking in a clockwise direction.

Find it Here

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