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Author Topic: Manchester Coach Rambles Group Trip to Dufton 15th August 2016.  (Read 2615 times)

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Manchester Coach Rambles Group Trip to Dufton 15th August 2016.
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2016, 03:03:55 PM »
Saturday’s newspaper informed me that that Creationists ie those who believe that mankind and ‘animalkind’ was in such an almighty mess a few thousand years ago that a purge by means of a Great Flood and new start was needed and the solution was a two-by-two escape onto Captain Noah’s ark. Enterprising Americans have just invested $102 milion dollars in a reconstruction of the Ark in Kentucky in an attempt to convince sceptics that God created the universe in six days just over six thousand and a bit years ago. Sorry, but despite a hundred million dollars and an animal powered treadmill and conveyor belt incorporated into the Ark to remove the faeces of this great collection I remain unreservedly sceptical about a six thousand year old earth.

As for great floods that is a different matter! My breath was taken away yesterday as the Manchester Ramblers Coach crossed the now tranquil River Eden and I paused mid-sentence suddenly remembering the TV coverage of the mass destruction wrought by the floods of December 2015. The arched bridge stood above and stood against the huge destructive force of the walls of water which were to be carried down from the moors on which we were to walk. Reinforcement work on the embankments were still being carried out but eight months on, the historic high street, pubs and shops of Appleby stood resplendent. The water which had flooded the cellars, come through the windows and left its mark high on the walls of ground floor rooms has gone and the only remaining evidence of the floods for the passing traveller was that the town now stood pristine. As I passed through I could not help but be impressed that the whole town seemed to have received a facelift and a fresh coat of paint: it was only when I crossed the river bridge that I remembered the reason for the transformation. 

I have visited Dufton on Manchester Coach Rambles on three occasions in the last forty years. The lower grade walks explored the Eden Valley but my ultimate destination has always been the same: the spectacular High Cup Nick, a spectacular cliff lined u-shaped valley topped by a layer of volcanic rock. Once the streams weather cut through this tough layer of basalt the underlying rocks could not offer anything like the same level of resistance to erosion and floods such as that of last December wore away the lower beds much more readily.

One of the most striking impressions of the moorland here was its silence. Here and there small white markers indicated feeders containing medicated grits enabling the grouse to break down the worms within their systems so the moorland is managed for grouse shooting but I have to admit that that two days after the ‘Glorious Twelfth’ I neither saw nor heard a single grouse. No skylarks, no hares: nothing other than a couple of other groups of ramblers from St Helens. Once away from the group the silence was tangible.

The greatest curiosity of all was the discovery not of a Pokémon hunter but of a Womble within the group. A few weeks ago I saw the hand of a fellow walker remove heaven knows what from a skip of rubbish / agricultural waste as we passed a farm:  a small polythene clear bag appeared around the wrist of the same person yesterday doggy-bag style and I couldn’t resist asking what was in there: it turned out to be a few ferns and flowers and the reason was that she was a textile designer looking for inspiration for designs from all kinds of bits and pieces. Absolutely fascinating! I look for rocks and fossils and we have our bird watchers and mushroom and fungi seekers so it was great to see this new example of someone searching for something different from the countryside.

Next Coach trip Haworth on 28 August 2016. Ring Brenda 0161 836 8710 for tickets.