Sun beaming through the curtains and once again summer is here, well it seemed so looking out on the world this morning.
Breakfast was finished with much haste, our leads are attached and we are off for a walk to Rickerby Park. It is 7am.
Recent rain and the much cooler conditions have allowed mum and dad to do some much needed housework and to tend to the plants in the greenhouse without fear of missing out on a grand adventure.
So today it was our turn to get out and have some new sniffs.
Parking the car was a bit of a problem this morning as some naughty people had left rubbish including an old BBQ in the parking area.
Council cleaning people do a great job cleaning all of the parks and streets in the City but they must feel saddened when they come across a mess like this in a park full of sheep and cattle.
After saying hello to a fisherman trying to catch his breakfast, we left the car park and headed off in the direction of the Stoney Holme golf club following the path at the edge of the River Eden.
Dad mentioned that the water passing by our vantage point overlooking the River Eden, could have been in Appleby around 60 minutes ago and maybe one of the horses at Appleby Fair may have been bathing in it.
This gave Mum and Dad something to talk about whilst they tried to stop Charlie from scooting down one of the many trails from our high path and into the calm, reflective water.
Charlie is like a piece of steel attracted to a magnet as he is constantly drawn towards water.
It is a good job he is kept on his lead or he would be in swimming around and drinking gallons.
Our path was occasionally obstructed by often quite large, hard to miss if you are running through the grass, piles of waste left by the cows.
Avoidance is the name of the game however, like cracks in a pavement, the more you try to miss the more you end up standing in or on as the case maybe. It also turns our fluff a lovely shade of green.
With the Memorial Bridge ahead of us our path our path follows the line of the River Eden slightly off to the left at about 11 o’clock.
It is a good job we are not following a map requiring this confusing marker post for directions.
Tarmac paths and well used earth paths criss cross the park which was opened in 1932 in memory of those who fell during the Great War 1914-18.
On this side of the park the river has started to erode into the natural earth banks causing them to crumble and decay.
This area is natural flood plain and during the winter can often be under many meters of water.
Work has started to try and stabilise the banks using willow trees.
It is hoped, according to the notice nailed to one of the fence posts, that the saplings will grow and create a flexible, live, growing structure which resists and deflects the water flows enabling the bank and vegetation to re-generate and stabilise to prevent further erosion.
A quick websearch into the use of willow to prevent bank erosion also uses a very similar form of words….
Willow it seems has been used since the Middle Ages to shore up river banks, so is not a new technique.
We will keep an eye on the progress off this project over the next few years.
The post and wire fence along this stretch of the riverbank is an attempt to stop the sheep and cattle from eating the recently planted stems of willow however, if you just strain your neck you can reach some lovely fresh grass.
Many of the older trees in this part of the park have small white plastic number plates attached to them.
Mum assumed that maybe it was part of a survey and that somewhere a complete list exists of the trees in the area. We wondered how many trees maybe documented. Five thousand, fifty thousand, a million maybe?
Our path turns sharp left here as we reach the top edge of the park and start our return journey.
At this point we must put our paws up and admit that the recent bad weather was our fault. Wel, actually Mums fault as she decided that given the hot weather Charlie was in need of a haircut. This scene in the park reminded me of the chaos in our back garden last week when the deed was done…. Fluff everywhere.
It looks like some of the sheep have also had a haircut here, or maybe it was one of those giant dogs used on the paint adverts.
Until next time, Keep wagging
Buster and Charlie.