9/07/16 Haltwhistle to Gilsland ‘A’ Eddie Ashburner ‘B’ Pat Gardner

48 members travelled directly to Haltwhistle where there was time for coffee before the walks commenced. We decided not to stop in Hexham due to the railway bridge being closed for renovations and the traffic chaos it was causing at busy times. It was dull and overcast as 17 members set out on the ‘A’ walk following the Haltwhistle Burn upstream through lush woods and dramatic scenery of the Burn Gorge. We reached the military road and crossed the bridge then entered a rather wet clarty field which brought us out at the Cawfield picnic site with its huge lake that was once part of a quarry. There were lots of frogs in the water. After a toilet stop we continued along the Hadrian’s Wall trail to the remains of aesica roman fort, now. only a grassy field but with the only remaining original roman altar on the Wall which had a selection of coins on its top. This was followed by a steady walk on grassy tracks with ups and downs. We stopped for lunch then continued on to Walltown picnic site and information centre. While enjoying refreshments there was a sudden sharp, short shower of rain and we all found shelter under the shop canopy. (The ‘B’ party weren’t so lucky.) We left the trail and followed field tracks to Gilsland passing on the way a group of lads one of which was wearing nothing more than underpants and his boots. Quite a sight on this cool, chilly afternoon. There was time in Gilsland for refreshments before the coach arrived. The evening stop was in Hexham. Flowers: birdsfoot trefoil, broad leaved marsh orchid, broom, bugle, chickweed, red clover, white clover, early purple orchid, eyebright, foxglove, germander speedwell, harebell, hedge woundwort, hemp agrimony, meadow cranesbill, meadowsweet, mignonette, milkwort, red campion, rest harrow, rock rose, rosebay willowherb, silverweed, thyme, tormentil, tufted vetch and yellow archangel.

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