22/03/14 Weldon Bridge – Warkworth ‘A’ Eddie Ashburner. Druridge Bay–Warkworth ‘B’ Pat Gardner.
62 members set out on the first walk of the season in a 57 seat coach and a 7 seat minibus. The weather forecast was not particulary good – snow showers, high winds and thunder.The coffee stop was at Heighley Gate Garden Centre. At Weldon Bridge, just as 22 members set out on the ‘A’ walk following the River Coquet towards the coast there was a rain shower but it didn’t last for long. The coaches continued on to the Druridge Bay Country Park via a very scenic route on a B road unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles. During the journey we saw lambs, llarmas and a buzzard on the ground having just caught a rabbit. There was time at Druridge Bay to have lunch before the ‘B’ walk set off towards the coast for a 7 mile walk. Just before we set away, there was a quick shower of hailstones.Rather than descending to the beach, we followed paths through the sand dunes over Hadston Links then Togston Links. At Hauxley Nature Reserve we stood and admired a huge flock of Canada geese on the ponds and also in the fields beyond. Coquet Island with its dominant white lighthouse stood proud in the clear blue North Sea. At Amble we had time for either fish and chips or a rest near the harbour where we looked down over the wall to see several ‘cuddy ducks’ (Eider ducks). Although dry and bright the wind was cold and strong and we were soon on our way passing through the marina with its vast array of expensive looking leisure boats. Alongside the River Coquet we saw mute swans and a heron standing next to a weir waiting for its next meal. We walked around the ramparts of Warkworth Castle where the daffodils were just breaking bud, another few days and I think there would be a splendid display. After a prolonged stop we travelled directly home.
Flowers butterbur, celandine, coltsfoot, dog violet, gorse, primrose and wood sorrel. Other: buzzards and rabbit.