Tag: Hadrian’s Wall

Wilderness; North Pennines Safari 15/09/2015

by on Sep.22, 2015, under North Pennines

Little sign of human habitation, miles and miles of rolling hills, heather moorland and the occasional small stream and isolated lough for additional interest.  A day in the North Pennines is an intriguingly different prospect after a couple of days on the coast…

I collected Clare and Peter from The Swan and we headed southwest into the interior wilderness of the North Pennines.  Our main target for the day didn’t put up the elusive fight that I expected, as we were no sooner on higher ground than Peter spotted a Greyhen sitting on a dry stone wall.  A Blackcock was feeding in the rough pasture nearby, and suddenly broke off to engage in a couple of minutes of unexpected solo display.  More Black Grouse followed throughout the day and Red Grouse popped up in the heather every few metres.  Kestrels hovered over the fells, Common Buzzards soared along ridges and a flock of Golden Plover was an unexpected find.  Swallows swooped low over streams, fattening up in preparation for the long journey ahead of them, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Teal and Wigeon were around the edges of a lough in the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall and the day wouldn’t have been complete without a charm of Goldfinches 🙂

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Along the frontier

by on Apr.04, 2013, under North Pennines, Northumberland

After our Holy Island trip I had 2 days of Outdoor First Aid training, to renew my OFA certificate for another 3 years.  The course was delivered by Dave Jones at Inspirational Training and was a lot of fun – even the outdoor casualty scenarios on the second day in a brutally cold, howling easterly wind!  A very pleasant surprise was finding myself on the same training course as one of my former pupils, Tom Hopper.

What came next was something of a departure from my routine work, as I guided a TV research team along Hadrian’s Wall for five days.  After visiting numerous archaeological sites, museums, cafes, castles and pubs during the week there was one highlight that stood out above all others;  The team were looking around the Housesteads Roman Fort while I sat in the car, re-arranging our activities for the following day.  I was just starting to think that they’d been gone for quite a while when my mobile started ringing; “Martin, it’s Nic.  We’re walking to Steel Rigg.”  I drove to Steel Rigg, made sure I was well wrapped up and started walking towards Housesteads to meet up with them on the path above Sycamore Gap.  With several inches of snow beside the path, a bitingly-cold easterly wind and frequent snow showers, it was a glorious afternoon to be walking along the Roman Wall with outstanding views over the North Pennines, Jackdaws tossed in the wind like black leaves, Curlews wandering aimlessly on snow-covered meadows and faint snatches of Meadow Pipit song carried on the breeze.  whatever the weather, Northumberland’s still outstanding 🙂

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