Come and join us on our fortnightly coach trips from Consett to interesting places in the Northeast. We normally set out for a full day at 8am. Our walks are about 9miles for A walkers and 6miles for B walkers, while some members prefer to just visit places of local interest. The following is an account of a typical walk I investigated recently and will propose for the Club in the future.

We parked our car within Greenleighton Quarry (NZ035915) and set off to Greenleighton Farm. The path had been re-routed because of fallen trees from an earlier storm. Passing along a track through a wood, we emerged onto Access Land. After walking along a well defined track over the moor, we passed sheep pens at NZ028935 and came down to the upper reaches of Fontburn Reservoir.

We found a quiet spot beside a stream for our lunch of sandwiches and fruit. There’s an earth mound nearby which is a 3000 year old, Bronze Age burial site with a large stone slab, thought to be the cover of the burial chamber. When we resumed the walk we followed the path along the north bank of the Fontburn Reservoir on the Waterside Trail.

There were more fallen trees before we came to a number of walkways across wet areas and a bridge over a stream. Cream, sweet smelling Meadowsweet and Rosebay Willowherb plants are prolific because of the dampness here. A few anglers were spread out along the shores of the reservoir. One had caught two trout and another had caught a roach. The view to the north was dominated by the Simonside Hills.

Farmers were busy gathering their crops with tractors while the good weather lasted. There were plenty of mushrooms to pick along the way for a tasty evening meal. Unless you are familiar with the edible ones it is best to leave them alone. After crossing the dam wall, the path on the south side of the reservoir eventually turned left through a gate onto Access Land; steadily climbing toward the horizon. We crossed a footbridge and went past a few shake holes where the ground has collapsed because of underground streams.

We looked back over a splendid view of the surrounding countryside; there below was Pheasant Lodge with its earth roof. Eventually we arrived back at our car at the quarry, happy and tired for the journey home. The walk was 5.5miles long.

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Content Compiled by Lewis Pilbrough

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