Volcanic Walk - Hedghope Hill
Tue 29th September 2015
We assembled on probably one of the finest days for walking this year. Blue skies, no wind, warm and with excellent visibility.This was a challenging walk which comprised three fairly distinct parts.
Firstly, there was the ascent of Hedgehope Hill (714m). Now this hill is steep! But with plenty of rests we made it. As ever the 'gain from the pain’ was all about the views in all compass directions. From the summit we could pick out all of the other hills over 600m in the Cheviot range (Cheviot, Comb Fell, Wyndy Gyle, Cushat Law, Bloodybush Edge).
Secondly, we walked a couple of miles over blanket bog to Comb Fell. We did this in 'zig zag' fashion as dictated by the wet and not so wet ground. One or two boots went in too deep here and there. We then descended from the fell into the valley…a short leg but requiring a lot of concentration because we were 'off track’.
The third and final leg was along the valley…but we needed to cross the burn thirteen times (counted by Harry) before the track was defined enough to continue. It was whilst returning along the valley floor that one of our group slipped into the burn. Myself and other members of the group were well placed to assist her in getting clear of the water. Apart from getting wet from head to toe she was unscathed and bravely walked on….albeit with squelchy boots. We dried our boots a little further on whilst another member of the group took a ‘wild swim’ at Harthope Linn. I must remember to bring my swimming gear in the future because we now know from first hand evidence that the swim is ‘invigorating”.
Along the way we noted the Alder groves along the river bank, drystone walls, different kinds of mosses (Star, Antler and Sphagnum) and flowers (Tormentil). In the walk description for this walk I mentioned Herons. On cue, at the end of the walk, there was a Heron flypast! So graceful. I wish I could really summon up one of these events whenever I wanted to!! There was good spirit in the group. Katie, the collie dog, was as fresh as a daisy at the end of the day…giving us a display of her jumping skills towards the end of the walk.
This was my final guided walk of the season. It was good to have the company and assistance of Shepherds Walk’s volunteers, Julie and Martin as well Jon himself on this occasion. If you are reading this and you have been on one of my walks then I would like to say that I have enjoyed your company.
Roy Kennard (Hillguide)
Julie Barnett (Volunteer)
Martin Ainscow (Volunteer)