Kentmere Walk – 8 April 2014

On Saturday 5th April, 8 “hairy hikers” (John Blowes, Anthony Chick,Alan Fleming, Geoff Parker and his brother David, President Malcolm Watkins, Alan White and George Wilson) from Carnforth Rotary Club took part in the Kentmere Walk organised by the Rotary Club of Kendal South Westmorland. Following registration at the Mill Yard, Staveley, the 8 intrepid walkers commenced at 9.15am on the 10 mile Blue route “Kentmere Canter”.

The weather was slightly drizzling as they made their way along Kentmere Valley Road onto Brow Foot Lane crossing over Ulthwaite Bridge onto Croft Head. After walking about an hour they stopped for a short tea break. By now the weather had closed in and it was raining heavily. Trudging up to Meadowplatts plantation en route to Checkpoint 2 manned by 2 quite miserable looking Rotarians sheltering in a gazebo on the hillside. While checking in, a local farmer arrived on his quad bike together with 3 sheepdogs greeting them by saying “Grand day for it lads” before going off to gather his sheep.

Progressing towards Kentmere village, the farmer was spotted gathering sheep although one dog was having a problem with a ewe and its lamb which was refusing to move. The farmer in frustration came bounding down the hillside and nearly went “arse over tip” but moved the sheep along.

Arriving at Kentmere Village Hall which was Checkpoint 4 for hot drinks, a snack and the toilets, the walkers were informed by the steward that their registration forms should have been signed at Checkpoint 3, even though their route didn’t pass through Checkpoint 3! At this point it was discovered that two of the party were missing. Alan White and David Parker had been 50 yards behind the main group prior to entering the village hall. The Checkpoint team were informed that two people were missing from the group and the 6 walkers set off to look for the other two. After half a mile walking towards Kentmere reservoir the two missing walkers were spotted trudging towards them having passed the village hall without stopping before discovering their error!

Panic over for the main group and after a further half mile they stopped for an early lunch as the rain had eased a little. Fully recharged the group headed over a wooden bridge and started the steep climb over stone walls and eventually onto a Tarmac road and through a gate onto Green Quarter Fell. The going became bad underfoot with the rain pouring down and at 1500′ the conditions were unpleasant! The route took them past Birk Rigg, Staveley Head Fell and then descended down a tarmac road at Park House.

By this time the motley crew had spaced out somewhat, and the advance party stopped at Barley Bridge by the weir to wait the arrival of the stragglers. On regrouping the wet and dishevelled walkers made their way back to Mill Yard completing the walk at 2.55pm.