Tuesday, 17 November 2009

ABC Wednesday - Rusland

R is for the Rusland Valley
which lies folded between the lakes of Windermere and Coniston Water in the southern Lake District. The road in is lined down one side with over 50 beeches. We are blessed they are still there. The National Park Authority wanted to clear fell them all in the name of 'safety', but a local campaign sprang up to combat this vandalism and had the trees surveyed. Result, all perfectly sound apart from half a dozen. For the history of the trees see here
In the end the campaign was successful and only a few were chopped down (including the largest one) and new beeches were planted to replace them. A story with a happy ending.

The next destination is a small nature reserve which is designated an SSSI.
A raised bog, woodland, open low fell and lakes in between Rusland Hall and Hay Bridge
The Hay Bridge Nature Reserve has been established for about 30 years. In the past it did not have boardwalks as it has taken time for the ground to revert to its natural condition. Before the boardwalks water could be up to your fetlocks after long spells of wet weather and it is still
reet clarty in places, translation if you are not from the north of england, quite muddy in parts.
There is firm ground by the streams that run through the wood. It is a peaceful, magical place and the only sounds that can be heard are birds. There are red deer, badgers, brown hare, weasels and stoats.

Q How do you tell the difference between a stoat and a weasel?
A. One is weasely distinguished and the other is stoately different.

How did that 7 year old child get in here?
In spring and summer there are lots of flowers, but even at this time of very late autumn, there are still some in the streams. In summer there will be huge numbers of dragonflies and damselflies at this place.
There are also a few large sheltered ponds surrounded by trees, wonderful for of all types of wildlife, and beautiful when the water lilies are in flower. For an overview of the species at Hay Bridge Nature Reserve see here
But not all is wetness. If you walk on to the little mound only 125 ft above sea level where sits the Tissie Fooks memorial, and where you too can sit and contemplate, (the hills pointed out cannot be seen on this hazy day)

the surrounding woods and pasture are all in view.
Leaving the reserve behind us and walking on, the sheep at High Longmire stand to have their picture taken, the farm is hidden behind the trees. The valley has scatterings of farms and
Kirkthwaite Cottage

some with immaculate lawns
and some with a river running by at the bottom.
Here I end my tour at Rusland church. Our car was parked outside and the heavens opened as we walked then ran down the road, but I could not resist this photo of the light in the church door. Unfortunately as you can see the photo gods were not smiling on me as, unknown to me, I did not manage to keep the rain off the lens.

Run Rapidly over to se a Range of Rs at ABC Wednesday


Mara said...

When I first saw the title, I thought: Russia? In England?? (Rusland is the Dutch name for Russia). It turned out to be a lovely place. At least the photos look fantastic!

Sylvia K said...

What a lovely place! And your photos are fantastic! Such gorgeous colors! Thanks for taking us along!



Anna said...

A lovely part of the world and great photos too. I have lived in the north west of England for thirty plus years and still needed a translation of 'reet clarty" :)

photowannabe said...

Beautiful tour of the countryside and a perfect choice for the letter R. Terrific pictures.

Carol said...

Great photos. The Rusland Valley is beautiful an still has some fall color.

Hildred and Charles said...

Wonderful country and beautiful photos. I love the church picture, rainspots and all.

Leslie: said...

Thank you for the lovely tour of your countryside. Beautiful images. :D

jabblog said...

What a beautiful place to walk. All your photographs are so atmospheric. We are lucky enough to live within easy reach (minutes by car) of three SSSIs and they share the 'damp' characteristics of yours;-)

Jay said...

That was lovely, but ... how on earth did a park authority think to cut down perfectly good trees? Vandalism is right!! Yikes - glad you were able to save them!

Looks like a lovely place. I'd like to visit that pond in summer for the dragonflies and damsels. We have an SSSI near here, too - it's limestone heath and has rare orchids and pasque flowers and glow-worms and suchlike.

And actually, I rather like the rain on the lens. Really makes you feel you're there! LOL!

Q said...

Thank you for taking us on this amazing hike.
I think the light in the church door photograph is very nice...the rain drops just were the perfect touch.

Janie said...

what a beautiful area. I'm glad the public campaign saved those magnificent beech trees. I love the little cottages and green hills.
I like the light in the church window, even if there were a few drops on the lens!

Tumblewords: said...

Rusland is gorgeous. I'm so glad the citizens fought to save the trees. An admirable cause.

Roger Owen Green said...

Rustic, rural, rugged - respite.