Bolam Lake Circular ‘A’ Ken Nevin ‘B’ Janet Heckels
For the first time in many a year the first outing wasn’t with a full or nearly full coach. 45 people (including 4 new) travelled directly to Bolam Lake on a damp overcast day. Coffee had been arranged at Bolam’s cafe giving priority to the ‘A’ walkers. Brian, our coach driver did a magnificent job in manoeuvring a 57 seater coach through the car park because space was tight due to other vehicles parked on the bends leaving little room for him to negotiate. 19 members left on the ‘A’ walk while the ‘B’ party, 26 in number, set away on the first part of the ‘A’ walk but in reverse. The ‘B’ walk followed a lakeside path to the overflow car park then after a short stretch of road walking crossed soggy fields (caused by overnight rain) and negotiated extremely muddy sections to reach the edge of woodland where some of us spotted 4 deer. As we ascended a track between fields leading to East Shaftoe Hall we passed the ‘A’ party coming in the opposite direction. Once on higher ground we stopped for lunch admiring the distant views but feeling the chilly breeze. We walked through a gate onto Shaftoe Crags then passed through Salter’s Nick, a craggy outcrop of rocks and zig zagged through the oozy peaty mud to reach a field containing cattle. Fortunately they were so used to people that they just ignored us. We followed a track to the main road where in one of the fields, 5 lambs were spotted: 2 sets of twins and a single lamb. The night before, Look North News showed a picture of lambs at Bolam, perhaps these were the same ones as these were the first I’d seen this year. After walking alongside the road we deviated into woodland on the Bolam Lake estate and meandered on well defined paths to return to the car park and cafe. We arrived back at 3pm just in time to enjoy refreshments before the cafe closed at 3.30pm. While in the cafe, there was a heavy shower of rain but it didn’t last long. The ‘A’ party arrived just after 4pm and we travelled directly home.
Flowers: gorse, opposite leaved golden saxifrage, snowdrop. Other: 4 deer, frogspawn, lambs, tadpoles.
photo c. K. Gilliland