20/09/14 Rothbury Circular ‘A’ Eddie Ashburner ‘B’ Janet Heckels
A misty, drizzly start to the day as 40 members set out for Rothbury stopping for coffee at the Heighley Gate Garden Centre. The weather was dry and bright as the ‘A’ party left the coach park and followed a lane passing Whitton Tower before joining footpaths to Whittondean. Moorland tracks were crossed, stopping to admire ancient carvings on a large rock adjacent to the path. We felt the wind as we ascended Dove Crag and sought shelter on the top of Simonside amongst the rocky outcrops when we stopped for lunch. There was a steep descent off the tops and as we walked through woodland we kept standing aside to let fell runners past. They had come from the agricultural show at Thropton. Later, we sat in a field for a fruit stop and the same runners passed us again, this time on their way back to Thropton. We walked through the hamlet of Great Tosson and followed stony tracks to reach the River Coquet which we crossed using a footbridge. Further on, we came acoss a herd of longhorn cattle with plenty of calves. We passed over the stile without any incidents but some of the cows were looking rather intimidating with their long curved horns. A pleasant riverside path was followed back to Rothbury. An evening stop in Morpeth.
Flowers: broom, convolvulus, foxglove, harebell, honeysuckle, ivy leaved toadflax, red campion, st johns wort, tormentil, white campion and white dead nettle.
Other: bilberries, bracket fungi, brambles, dead mans fingers fungi, haws, 2 mute swans and 4 cygnets, rabbit and rowan berries.