To the woods near Carlisle today for our big walk of the week.
The Kingmoor Nature Reserve to the north of the City was to be our destination as dad didn’t fancy going to far with rain clouds circling overhead. He thought that at least the trees would provide a bit of cover if it did start to rain.
Parking in the car park just off Kingmoor Road, once dad had negotiated the tight entrance with the car, we put on our leads and started getting aquainted with our surroundings.
The 33 hectares that make up one of the oldest nature reserves in the country has recently been awarded Green Flag status.
This area has been enjoyed by the public for nearly 700 years, only becoming a nature reserve or is reported on some websites a bird sanctuary in 1913.
King Edward III gifted the original moorland to the citizens of Carlisle in 1352. Granting grazing rights and allowing peat cutting for fuel.
Following a quick glimpse at the notice boards at the entrance to the woods, our adventures started along a well made and dry track forming part of a circular 800m route suitable for buggies and wheelchairs.
We decided however, after a few yards to follow our noses along some side pathways and off into the woods.
Scattered all over the woodlands are sculptures, seats and things to see.
Tall marker posts indicate what trees can be found nearby, so a visit would keep children interested.
One of the oldest suviving horse racing prizes used to be contested on these moors. A tradition which dates back to 1599.
Many little signs.
What do these signs indicate and where do we find out more information, as yet again on a walk we come across new signs?
Mum finds it very frustrating when she can not find out about routes, paths or the history of why someone has taken the trouble to waymark a route. Here are two examples of trails we followed in part today but even searching the web we can not find out about them. Can you help?
Our path takes us into an area known as Kingmoor Coppice and a woodland planted between 1992 and 1995.
Here we meet up with these bullocks who are very friendly and say hello through the bars of the gate. We keep our distance so as not to scare the young things.
Charlie is being kept on a very short lead today, as mum is not happy with the way he is behaving. Constantly pulling on his lead he is always out in front but mum has had enough, and his wings, so to speak, are being clipped.
For a dog that has had lots of hours training spent on him, he has just lost his head today.
He even got right out at the full length of his lead only to take a right into the dirtiest, muddiest trickle of a stream before mum could reign him in.
It could be because of the millions of new smells or maybe it is a ‘moon thing’ that is making him have a ‘trying day’.
Either way, he is in the naughty books and mum is not pleased.
The walk for me however, is great. The soft woodland floor is great for my dodgy hip and the dry paths keep us both clean and reasonably tidy. The overhanging branches kept out the heat of the sunshine and help keep us cool.
We did miss a bit of a paddle and a slurp of water from a flowing stream as they had all dried to a claggy mess. So we were glad when our path swung around and we headed back to the carpark for a well earned drink.
It was here that we spotted this gigantic woodpecker. We missed him when we first arrived possibly due to our excitement but he is is carved into an old tree.
See if you can spot him when you go for a walk in the woods.
Until next time
Buster and Charlie.