19/03/16 Knaresborough Circular ‘A’ Jack Armstrong ‘B’ Margaret Palmer

The day was cold and overcast as 56 members set out on the first walk of the season. After a coffee stop in Ripon, we continued on to Knaresborough where the coach remained for the rest of the day. 19 members set off on the ‘A’ walk, while after lunch 35 members did the ‘B’ walk admirably led by Margaret Palmer who volunteered on the day without doing a recce. The ‘A’ party went along the main street and deviated into the park passing the ruins of the castle with 2 ravens sitting on a nearby wall. These birds were on leads rather than wild birds. We descended through the park and followed a back street passing a farm with long horn cattle in the smelly yard. We crossed the road bridge over the river and picked up the Harrogate Round track. The grassy fields were very muddy in places which made crossing the stiles quite treacherous at times. We crossed a busy road and walked down a lane lined with wonderful pear blossom trees. This linked to Bilton Lane, a track between fields which we followed until the villlage of Old Bilton. Field paths took us to woodland alongside the River Nidd. It was pleasant walking through the woods, sometimes high above the river and eventually we reached Bilton Lane again. We followed field tracks back to Knaresborough and after a prolonged stop travelled directly home. Flowers: blackthorn, coltsfoot, dogs mercury, gorse, lesser celandine, opposite leaved golden saxifrage, pear blossom, snowdrop and wood anemone. Other: grey squirrel, holly berries, ivy berries, lambs, mallards, rabbits, 2 ravens, red kite and 3 robins.

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