With the dry weather continuing we managed once again to get in to the big world for another adventure this week and our travels took us to a place where we could have so much fun.
Finglandrigg Wood was until now unknown to any of us and was another one of those places you would normally just pass by in the car on your way to somewhere else.
Our original destination was to be Silloth by the sea and our route was to be via the backroads out of the city.
Dad prefers the quiet country roads when he has time as he says you can stop easily if something takes your eye or you can enjoy the drive a little more at a slower speed.
We left the City behind us and headed out on the B5307. After about eight miles we noticed a pull in spot ahead and a big white notice saying National Nature Reserve.
With a place to park the car and the prospect of some new sniffs we just had to stop and investigate.
At the entrance to the reserve was a large noticeboard explaining that we should be kept on a lead so as not to frighten sheep or disturb the wildlife. The information panel also went on to explain the route we could take and what we could hope to see on our visit.
Leading away from the carpark, past some picnic tables and a bike rack, was a slightly muddy farm track. It was at this point mum pointed out that her shoes were ideal for the paths at Silloth and not ideal for tramping. She should have known better coming out with us and dad.
We soon left the track and emerged into a woodland with a dry cinder type footpath underfoot. Marker posts with green and blue arrows showed us which way to go but Charlie just led the way.
To one side of us were cattle grazing in a field whilst to our right was the quite open forest.
It was not a heavily wooded forest but quite airy and full of sniffs.
Mum commented that she did not see many of the usual flowers or plants living on the ground as she would have expected and wondered how unusual this seemed.
Above us in the trees were many bird boxes and quite a few unusual conical shaped white fronted houses. The entrance holes to these were more like a slit and mum thought these could be homes for bats.
The firm path gave way to a slightly damp path after about 15 minutes. Although sprinkled with large amounts of wood chips the path was a little soft in places and we heard again about mums shoes…. Oh well, we were enjoying ourselves.
We continued along the path and stretched out before us was many hundreds of meters of what looked to be decking made from recycled plastic.
This kept the worst of the dirt from our legs and tummies. Dad still hasn’t arranged mud flaps for us yet.
The gaps between the boards were also quite close so we didn’t get our paws stuck.
Following the blue arrows we came upon a strange construction to the edge of a field.
The associated sign board read that it was an Chalybeate Well. I investigated and looking down the hole bordered by the three stone slabs could not see anything to drink. We were quite looking forward to a bit of a drink and were disappointed.
Mum read the sign nearby that explained that this kind of well was used in olden times for it’s healing properties as the water was rich in sulphates.
After seeing the muck at the bottom of this well I don’t think we would be drinking from it.
We retraced our steps back to the last marker post and started to follow the red arrows to Little Bampton Common, as the path in front of us looked a little muddy.
It was noticible as we passed through the gate between the woodland and the Common area how the vegetation changed and how open the sky had become.
Yellow flowered gorse bushes now littered the landscape and we had grass under our paws. The ground also felt a little soft and springy.
The path led us to a wooden pathway which stretched out in front like a big white snake.
Wire mesh covered the boards to stop mum and dad slipping. The installation of this bit of path must have taken weeks of work as it made it’s way across a peat bog.
If we peered over the low safety edge we could see water for a drink but it did look a bit funny all black and strange.
It also smelt a little unusual, like the garden compost bin at home.
Around half way along this path was a seat where we took a moment to take in our surroundings.
The landscape, like the water seemed a little wierd. We could not see any animals or hear anything scuttle on the ground but we knew we were being watched.
We found that we could only walk on the wooden platform or we would be swallowed by the soft ground. This was unlike anything we had experienced before.
Time was getting on and we were in need of a drink so we turned back and headed back to the car where some fresh water awaited us.
On our return journey mum spotted some foxgloves and a wild daffodil. You can read about these over at OldVarieties.com
You can read more about this area in this leaflet
Our adventures continue….
Buster and Charlie