Monday, 23 February 2009

Our 1st walk of 2009 to CLAPHAM

Our first walks of the 2009 season will be to the rolling dales of North Yorkshire starting from Clapham a familiar venue last visited in May 2006

Clapham is situated at the base of Ingleborough mountain (one of Yorkshire's famous "Three Peaks" - Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent) and is a well known starting point for its ascent.

Running through the village is Clapham Beck. This is fed from Fell Beck which starts on the slopes of Ingleborough and sinks into Gaping Gill, England's highest waterfall, where Fell Beck drops 110 metres vertically down a pothole, and exits via Ingleborough Cave into Clapham Beck. The beck then feeds into the River Lune via the River Wenning. The beck is crossed by four bridges in the village (two footbridges: Brokken Bridge and Mafeking Bridge, and two road bridges).

Above the village is a man-made lake built and expanded in the 19th century. This provided pressure for the water turbines and the drinking water supply, while the outflow fed an artificial waterfall at the top of the village.

Clapham lies on the Craven fault zone. This is a complex geological fault which marks the division of the sandstone rocks of the Bowland area and the limestone of the Ingleborough area. However, the valley of Clapham Beck has cut through the limestone and into the underlying Ordovician basement. The basement rocks produces soils that are acid, and not alkaline like those on the limestone. This is beneficial to the many species of rhododendron that have been planted along Clapdale and which would suffer in alkaline soils.

More details of Clapham here

There will be 2/3 walks;

B Walk;

Leader; George Man

Distance approx 7.5 miles

Our route takes us up a track to Clapdale Farm then drops down a steep slope to the valley bottom path leading to Ingleborough Cave. We continue on this past the cave, then climb up a grassy slope to join Long Lane Track. From here we continue uphill to a cairn ( about 1300 Feet ) near Long Scar before walking down to Crummack Farm and a farm road leading to Austwick. Over a stile and a couple of fields we enter Austwick passing through the village to join a path across fields back to Clapham.

There are around a dozen stiles on this walk some easier to negotiate than others.

C Walk;

Leader; Alex Strathearn

Distance: 5.5miles

The walk to start the new season begins with a leisurely stroll through the attractive village of Clapham, crossing over 'Clapham Beck' by means of an ancient stone bridge, onwards passing the Church to approach the main entrance to Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail.

There is a small nominal charge of 60p required to enter the estate. A ticket machine at the entrance issues tickets accordingly, but unfortunately does not give change if a £1 coin is inserted.

The walk then begins to meander up the trail passing through woods and a most attractive lake towards Clapdale. On emerging from the woods we cross an old wooden bridge before ascending upwards onto Thwaite fells.

The walk then joins a bridleway with drystone walls on either side, with extensive views over this part of the North Yorkshire Moors. At some stage we will stop for lunch, and hopefully weather permitting admire the local scenery.

The walk continues onwards to reach the village of Austwick. After passing through the village we begin the final return section to Clapham passing over open fields. Since all the fields are separated by drystone walls, we have to negotiate some seven stiles. The final approach has a small section of mud to skirt around. We are now back in the coach park.

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