Summer walk: Kippford

Kippford 10/06/17  ‘A’ Ken Armstrong  ‘B’ Pat Gardner & Janet Heckels

After another horrendous weather forecast for this Saturday our numbers fell from 56 to 48. The forecast was for a prolonged period of heavy rain and high winds. However, undeterred we travelled towards Dumfries stopping for coffee at the Haughton Hall Garden Centre. As we continued our journey to Kippford, there was a short rain shower and at Colvend 11 members alighted for the ‘A’ walk. The coach travelled on to Kippford and after Brian our driver endured a difficult manoeuvre to park the coach in a very tight car park we had lunch on the coach due to the high winds outside. The sky was covered in grey clouds and the tide was in so the estuary was full. The small boats and yachts were bobbing in the water quite erratically with the wind. 32 members set out on the ‘B’ walk following the coastal path through the delightful village of Kippford. We admired the various sculptures made from driftwood scattered along the route. We deviated into woodland around the Mote of Mark and emerged at the seashore in Rockcliffe. The high tide and wind brought good scenes of white water when the waves hit the rocks. After a toilet stop we continued along the coastal path admiring exclusive houses and their gardens. We left the seashore path and ascended on a path passing a smuggler’s grave. Joseph Nelson was a crew member of The Ann, a boat based in Whitehaven. It sank with all hands on 2nd January 1791 but his body wasn’t washed ashore until 20th July 1791. He was buried where he was found and his widow Ann arranged for the stone to be erected. We decided not to climb Castlehill because it was shrouded in mist so we followed the path leading past a caravan site and reached the main road back into Rockcliffe. We walked through woodland and eventually descended through a steep street to the sea front  in Kippford. After time for refreshments we travelled to Sandy Hills for the ‘A’ party. Once again the weather forecast did not materialise although at home heavy showers prevailed until mid afternoon.

Flowers: birdsfoot trefoil, blackberry flower, bloody cranesbill, dyers greenweed, foxglove, greater stitchwort, herb bennet, herb robert, ragged robin, red campion, scurvy grass, sea kale, sea thrift, silverweed, tormentil, yellow flag.

Other: gooseberries, oyster catchers, pied wagtail, sloes.

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