Reader's Photo of the Week
Watch your hands may be the message from Robin Hermes. “I was looking for Dragonflies the other day in Goldsborough, I had my camera in my right hand and was moving grass with my left hand and the enclosed Common Blue Damselfly landed on my finger, I was lucky to be able to get the enclosed close up which came out quite well.” A photo to remind you of summer when the weather turns nasty. If you are submitting a photograph, which must be of an outdoor theme or sighting, then please ensure it is set to a high resolution of 400kb or largerzzzz, thanks!
Walk– Pateley Bridge, Glasshouses via Harewell Hall
This walk is around 6 miles long, it includes a long drag up to the Two Stoops and at this time of year a haul through high bracken, difficult for small people. Facilities are available in Pateley Bridge and there's a nice caf, part of the mill complex, at Glasshouses.
There are frequent bus services to Pateley. You are advised not to follow this walk without the OS Explorer Map 298 of Nidderdale. At this time of year the birds are quiet, we didn't even hear any grouse, although hirundines and swifts were going about their business and the inevitable woodpigeon were around. This is a well known walk with excellent views and a detour to Harewell Hall through a less well known but lovely, green valley.
Start from Pateley and walk over the river bridge and left after the row of shops to walk above the cattle market and onwards to Bewerley. You may wish to stop at Bewerley Chapel before turning right along Peat Lane to a bridge over the stream.
Look out for the false teeth which were embedded into the concrete when the bridge was constructed, no, I have my own teeth thank you! Enter Skrikes Wood, cross a footbridge and where the path splits take the right-hand route, uphill. This clear track meanders its way uphill before joining the Nidderdale Way, still inside the wood, the track lurches to the right and steepish track, cobbled in the past before emerging from the wood into bracken and then through a stile and next a kissing gate onto the metalled surface of Nought Bank. You then cross the road and follow a track through the heather to The Two Stoops, Once three stoops, these were built by local folk during a depression and the benevolent Yorke family rewarded their efforts with money and bread. The views from here are spectacular and either here or on the top of Guiscliffe provides a great place for your lunch.
After enjoying the views climb the ladder stile over the wall and continue along the top of Guiscliffe, firstly alongside a wall and then above the precipice.
There are signs warning you of the dangers that lurk here. These include holes and steep drops hidden by vegetation as well as the more obvious cliff face and ought not to be taken lightly, be careful, be very careful! When you do find a track through onto the top of the cliff the rewards are brilliant views of Nidderdale from New York to Gouthwaite Reservoir, so don't forget the camera. The next bit is difficult to find; eventually, well before you reach the mast, the track splits and goes each side of a stone wall, take the left-hand route and make your way to the stone wall which you can follow downhill, keeping it on your right-hand side. When you reach a pair of gates go through the left hand metal gate and turn immediately right to continue your travels alongside the wall until it stops on a grassy rise.
You can see on your left a track which leads downhill through the bracken before going uphill to a gate on the far side of a lovely green valley. Walk up to this gate and go through it before heading across the field and down a different green valley across the pasture land. Eventually you reach a small pond and gate. Go through the gate and then follow the track to your right, up and along the wall side until you reach a cattle grid which marks the entrance to Harewell Hall.
At this point commence your return by walking along the metalled track into Glasshouses village. At Glasshouses cross the river bridge and if you wish take a well earned break at the caf which can be found immediately right past the bridge and along a narrow passage. I can thoroughly recommend the food here.
Finally almost opposite the caf entrance is a track taking you alongside Glasshouses Dam, past the fish farm before ending in a lovely riverside walk into Pateley Bridge.
Anita Hawker lived up to her name recently, she spotted a sparrowhawk in her garden and included a fine photo which I hope to feature in coming weeks. Gillian Ranzenberger, Killinghall, writes, “just a note to let you know there was a house martin nest under the eaves of my friend's house in Killinghall, on the Otley Rd. They have it seems reared their young successfully. A few years ago they always had a nest, then the birds stopped building. It was lovely to see them back again.
An unusual sighting this week by Kevin Dunn who spotted a “wheatear – actually on the road outside the Drover’s pub half way between Bishop Thornton and Markington. I’ve never seen a wheatear on a road before!” Wheatears, a lover of stony areas in the uplands, are known to turn up in unlikely places during their return migration, so keep a look out for them.
Anne Horner tells me, “This afternoon Liz and I went down to the river via Bilton Beck path (Harrogate) we passed some young boys who appeared to have been fishing and looked a happy few lads. Imagine our surprise and disgust when we reached the river the bank was covered in their debris including fishing line with hooks still on the line.
The damage this could have done is obvious to any animal lover. I wondered if through your page you would remind children and their parents to learn to fish responsibly and obtain a licence!”