Wednesday, 25 April 2018

And still not seen an Osprey.. (Northumberland )April 24th
A midweek walk for Dave and I, hoping to catch sight of the Ospreys on Kielder Water, Northumberland. (A69 West, turn north just beyond Hexham and follow signs for Kielder.)
There are several ways of doing this walk; you need two cars, one at either end, or you can walk all the way round the lake (26 miles), or you can do what we did, get up early, drive to Kielder Village and catch the 9am bus that goes to Hexham but get off at the dam. The  problem with this is that the bus runs on Tuesdays and Fridays only. The plus side for gadgies is that you can use your bus pass.
A map is not necessary as the footpath/cycle track goes all the way round the lake and is well marked, including mileposts. The area is on OS OL 42 Kielder Water and Forest should you want a map. There is also a map of the lake available at Tower Knowe and Kielder castle.
                 I received a sarcastic comment for not having a car park for the boys last week. Here is my car in Kielder Village, cheekily parked for free. There is a free car park in nearby Butteryhaugh infront of the YHA and a pay park beyond the castle.
            The bus driver, ex-squaddie, was very chatty, probably because there was nobody else on the vehicle and he wanted to complain about his mother in law.He dropped us off at the dam although it isn't a real stop and about 9.30 we set off.
                        Kielder Water from the dam. Looks cold.
                About half a mile in we spotted this sign.
The path was constructed for walkers and cyclists, it is well made and is usually close to the water.
About two miles in we came to "Gordon's Walls", a ruin that was once a bastle house, (Fortified house) b ut apart from low stone walls there is little to see.

                     Gordon's Walls, information board and pretty forest view.
Some distance on we came to Belvedere, one of the art installations on the north side of the water. A shiny room with windows overlooking the water and seats. Having had an early start we had an early lunch, sandwiches, PORK PIES and Czech chocolate.
                        Belvedere, top quality Herbie Spot offering shelter and a view.
                   Unfortunately several of the mile posts have rotted and fallen. They are accurately placed, as our pedometer readings informed us.
Lunch over and having waite3d for a shower to stop we continued on our way, always keeping a look out for an Osprey.
                                          A wren's nest.
Next installation on the footpath was Robin's Hut. It is lined up with Freya's hut across the water. They were lovers and finally managed to get together with the aid of a boat. Unlike Running Bear and Little White Dove as related by Johnny Tillitson.

                  Robin's Hut and the tale of him and Freya.

The top photograph is all that remains of the railway track that ran down to the station and coal depot at Plashetts, once a thriving coal mine.

                         More art works beyond Plashetts, Salmon cubes and scales.
Further along the Janus Chairs are off the path and down by the water. They are three large metal chairs that can be rotated but as we have seen them before, several times, we gave them a miss.
                                      Janus Chairs.
Finally we came to the last work of art, Silvas Capitalis, Head in the forest or wooden top. This is the best of the art works, a large wooden head. You can go inside and climb up to look out of his eyes. However, as with the Janus Chairs we have seen it before so gave it a miss today.

Can you see old wooden top?

 Beyond wooden top the path goes alongside fields to a point where the path divides. Go left and cross the Kielder viaduct which once carried the railway line, or go right and arrive at the village of Butteryhaugh from where  a few minutes more brings walkers to the visitor centre in the old "castle" which was built as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Northumberland.
We decided to have tea and watch the TV screen showing live action on one of the Osprey Nests. Mummy osprey was sitting on one egg as daddy was presumably out fishing. We had seen crossbills, cormorants, varieties of tits, whitethroats, chaffinches and blackbirds, but not a hint of an osprey. A couple came into the café, they had had perfect views of an osprey hunting. It is not fair.

Matrix MMVIII A3
                                                         steps                                       miles
NAK                                                  21925                                    13.04
iPhone                                                27960                                    11.41
Dave's 3D                                          26616                                     13.04
"" USB                                               26023                                    13.14
""" NAK                                            26023                                     13.14
Sylvia's mother                                 26318                                      13.29

We claimed 13 miles

Contains OS data. Copyright. Crown copyright and databaseright 2018