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Friday, 8 May 2015

Walk on with hope in your Hart.......May8th.
 May 7th was general Election Day. May the 8th is counting and announcing day, a good day to escape the TV pundits with their amazing swingometers, CGIs and prophesies. Instead we gadgies are out walking as usual, having a stroll from Langleeford in the Harthope Valley. The young lady weather forecaster promised us a bright sunny day with the possibility of warmth.
To get to the start from Newcastle the now familiar A1 north, A697 to Wooler, turn up Cheviot Street, take the right fork and turn right at the sign for Langleeford. Pass Skirl Naked and park at the end of the valley on the grass by Hawsen Burn.
A map could be useful, OS OL 16 The Cheviot Hills covers the walk and the parking area is at GR NT954225.
A team of six today, John H , John C Brian, Ben, Harry and me.
 A very familiar car park at the end of the Harthope Valley.
 A cross the road from the car park is a sheepfold or stell. Next to it is the path we took  up the side of Hawsen Burn. A good start for the ornithologists in the team as ring ouzels appeared almost immediately.

Hawsen Burn.
                                                                                                                                         This burn is a popular breeding ground for them, we were not disappointed. The path eventually becomes a farm track leading uphill across the heather covered moor. look out for the path on the right that takes you to the stile, miss it and you struggle  for a few yards across the broken ground.And watch out for the adders that can be found on this track but not today, possibly a bit on the cool side  for them but warm enough for us. Blue skies, light breeze, an ideal day for walking. We crossed the fence and followed the muddy and well worn track downhill.
The path offers a view of the College Valley, my favourite of all the Cheviot Dales.
                                    College Valley, shame about the cleared woodland, spoils the view.
The path eventually comes to a track and we turned right. At the end of the track the footpath goes through a small wood but being rebels we climbed a fence and walked alongside the wood until we came to the end, climbed back over the fence and continued on our way downhill through rough fields to Goldcleugh, a farm.

  The dilapidated farm at Goldcleugh, a modern house lies just beyond.
We kept to the track for a few hundred yards beyond the farm before heading down to the ford that crosses Lamden Burn. A track leads uphill from here. Last year it went through a plantation, this year it goes through the remains, if you have seen the film "The Road" with Vigo Mortensen you will have an idea of what it looks like.
Conifer plantations are not pretty, even when they contain trees.

Beyond the plantation the path leads across moorland in a nort6h east direction. At some point (near mile 4 on the map ) we called a Herbie Spot in a hollow by the stream. Fortunately Mrs A has returned from holiday and had sent Brian out with a delicious concoction covered in chocolate. We also had Ben's famous ginger biscuits, chocolate slices and the last of the Czech chocolate. Too much chocolate? Never.
Hi Kathy, enjoy the North Yorks moors. Chocoholics try to contact CA. No mobile signals out here.
Lunch over we continued down the Common Burn towards the house of that name. At one point we found a lamb that had been caught by its hind leg in a trap. John C and I released it and it fled on three legs in search of mum. We thought maybe the leg was broken but the lamb vanished.
The trap should be inside the cage. It is designed to catch creatures like stoats which probably eat grouse eggs. In this case the trap had somehow come out of the cage and the lamb must have tripped it. We told a man who was passing on his quadbike,  he said he would look for the lamb.
Just short of Commonburn House we crossed the stream and headed up a track which headed south. Some took the path across the moor, (dotted line on the map at mile 6) some stayed on the track before turning off on a grassy path beside a line of shooting butts.
                                                 Classy shooting Butt.
Eventually we came to Broadstruther, that well known farmhouse that has been converted to a rest home for grouse shooters. Being only May it was locked up. From here we followed the footpath across the moor in a southerly direction before joining a farm track. After walking downhill we took the marked footpath on the left which eventually brought us back to the car park. Another grand day out. On the way home we called in at the much loved Anglers Arms for a taste of Timothy Taylor's Landlord Ale. It went down well.

The ornithologists spotted wheatears, ring ouzels, kestrels, possibly a buzzard, curlews and we heard a cuckoo

The Matrix MMXV   J

                                                                steps                               miles
Higear                                                    21662                                   9.83
LIDL3D                                                26931                                    12.5!!!!!!!!!
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                  9.2
John C                                                                                                   9.5
Brian                                                                                                     9.1
Ben                                                                                                       9.1