Globe Flower just coming into bloom
At Cronkley Farm the route follows the Pennine way over
A view of the Tees from the ridge of Bracken Rigg.
From Bracken Rigg we will be heading up onto Cronkley
Fell by the Green Trod which can be seen on the hill on the right.
Once onto the open moor you will find a good number of
these boxes of grit. The grit is medicated and is picked up by Red Grouse
where when stored in their crop it helps to break up the tough heather
shoots. The medication helps to prevent the spread of a worm which can
easily kill off the bird.
Now heading up the Green Trod, an old drove road across
the moor where stock was driven between Alston and Thirsk.
White Force, today a waterfall with no water. Due to the
recent dry weather.
Looking back down the trod.
Bailey cools his tongue.
There are information boards on the route. It has to be
remembered that this is a very important area for the protection of rare
flora and wildlife.
The drove road narrows as it nears the top of the fell.
The beck on the left is bone dry.
Looking back towards Teesdale
Once on the top of the fell you pass by seven fenced off
areas like this one. The enclosures help to protect delicate habitats.
This enclosure is home to a good population of Bird's Eye primrose.
These flowers can be found in other areas but possibly not in such numbers
Information boards on the environment. Illustrated on
the board is the Spring Gentian, a flower I had come up here especially to
A Spring Gentian. This tiny plant with a flower the size
of a daisy is a stunning blue. At first I thought these few would have
been my lot for the day.
Inside the enclosures further on there were large
numbers of these beautiful flowers, the sunshine making them show
outside the fencing there was also the first flourish of
the Mountain Pansey both in its yellow....
...and purple form.
Despite the numbers seen here, the Spring Gentian is a
very rare plant in Britain. Apart from here in Upper Teesdale is can only
be found on the west coast of Ireland.
As well as its rare plants, Cronkley Fell offers fine
views across the North Pennines. Cow Green Reservoir in the mid distance
with Great Dun Fell and Cross Fell behind.
Passing the last enclosure gives a good idea of the
geology which make this place so special. The limestone breaks down into a
grit which is very like sugar to the touch, hence its name.
White Well Spring.
The dogs lap up the cool clear water.
A perfect Spring day to be out on the hills.
Even here, outside the enclosures the Bird's Eye
Primroses can be found but in smaller numbers and much smaller in size.
The River Tees and Falcon Clints. In the distance is the
remote farm of Birkdale.
Main Gate, Cronkley Fell before the path drops down to
the river side.
Descending to the Tees.
Raven Scar and the Tees.
Black Sike and the Juniper regeneration protectors.
The River Tees and Raven Scar. From here we followed the
river bank downstream.
Part of the route is made easier by the walkway. The
opposite bank is the route of the Pennine Way.
Widdy Bank Farm, now used by English Nature as offices
The route now folows level pature land as we leave Widdy
Bank behind us.
One of the only exposed areas of Skiddaw Slate found in
Teesdale. This was known as the pencil factory where the slate was shaped
Knott Hill Farm.
Zeta takes it easy.
Wheysike House and Marsh Marigolds.
A Lapwing chick perfectly camoflagued in the
and then we were back to our start point at Hanging Shaw
after an excellent walk with plenty of special interest.
This walk is featured in this book which we stock here in the gallery.
Click here for
more information. *update 22nd May. We are
now currently out of stock of this guide book. new stock on order.