13/5/17 Rothbury ‘A’ Bill Sillitoe ‘B’ Eddie Ashburner
55 members set out on a cool and overcast morning. The coffee stop was at Heighley Gate Garden Centre. 20 members set out on the ‘A’ walk and about 5 minutes later the ‘B’ party set away with 31 members leaving the car park and crossing the main road for a gentle uphill walk to reach a track behind the houses called Mill Lane. We then walked along a disused railway track which was festooned with primroses all along its edges. We deviated into a field and stopped for lunch. Luckily the sheep and lambs kept their distance. We crossed fields passing Craghead, a disused dwelling, and eventually reached West Raw Farm where an automated message told us we were being watched. After an uphill climb on a minor road we followed a bridle way over a flank of Garleigh Moor. Tremendous views of the surrounding hills and Cragside House could be seen. The gorse was glorious with its bright yellow flowers. There was a very light shower of rain as we descended to a main road where we walked in single file to reach the local primary school. Here we deviated along a minor road to Whitton where we encountered a farmer moving a flock of sheep and lambs. We all stood back and watched them walk by. We entered a field high above Rothbury and admired the views once again. There was a steep descent back into Rothbury. The ‘A’ party arrived back quite early so after a prolonged stop we travelled directly home. Flowers: bluebell, broom, bugle, crosswort, dog violet, eyebright, forget-me-not, germander speedwell, gorse, greater stitchwort, green alkanet, herb bennet, ladys smock, marsh marigold, milkwort, primrose, ramson, silverweed, tormentil, tufted vetch, welsh poppy, white campion, white dead nettle, wild strawberry, wood sorrel. Other: curlew, dipper, jackdaws, mallads, mute swans, pied wagtail.