Friday, 24 April 2020

Walking up Great Sleddale

Today I've walked up the little known valley of  Sleddale.  
The walk starts where Sleddale beck and Birkdale beck join to form the River Swale.

The beck has to be crossed in several places.  Today was ideal as the low water levels made traversing the beck an easy task.

This side of Birkdale Beck is known as Lonin End, a long abandoned lead mining site.

A brave sapling clings on perilously, rooted between the stones. 
Where there's life there's hope.

The rusted relics of mining metalwork attempts to hide a deadly trap.  Below the pipes is a shaft a hundred feet deep or more?
Stand and listen to the water as it rushes by, deep underground.  Find a stone and drop it in if you dare.  Count the seconds till you hear it hit the water far below.

The skelton remains of one solitary wall, all that is left of a once fine stone building.  Jagged teeth-like stones point skyward whilst others hang precariously by dislocated joints.

You have entered the forgotten dale.

 Another stone structure to explore.  This time sheep penning, broken and unused.  You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a forgotten place.

But these wild moorland areas are still farmed and a little further on a comprehensive arrangement of sheep pens with cowus comes into view.

Clearly the sheep were not expecting to see me! 

Enclosures and penning is required when farmers gather the sheep off the vast area of unbroken fell.  Here they can be sorted and treated, clipped and cared for.

In these hidden dales tasks like this go unnoticed but it happens and in all weathers, not just on a beautiful day such as this!

A little further on and the perfect picnic stop by a waterfall.  
A good place to rest the feet and cool off.
Looking back towards Sleddale sheep pens

Pry House Farm from Great Sleddale

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