: The Bowland CROW
1st May 2008
January 2001 the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (C.R.O.W)
was passed by Parliament. This provided a new right
of access in England and Wales such that…
person is entitled … to enter and remain on any
access land for the purposes of open-air recreation.
“right to roam” as it has become known was, however,
limited. It only applied to areas that…
wholly or predominantly of mountain, moor, heath
or down and registered common land.
the definition was so ‘loose’ it required a major exercise
over the next few years by DEFRA and The Countryside
Agency to map those areas where free, responsible, access
was to be allowed. There were lots of appeals by landowners
to have areas excluded and the process took several
the meantime Scotland took a more logical approach and
in 2003 passed The Land Reform (Scotland) Act.
presumption in favour of access, if taken responsibly,
over most areas of land and water.
exceptions were very limited...
curtilage of buildings and farmyards, quarries,
railway property and airfields.
the biggest exclusion in England, land which is growing
crops, has a right of access in Scotland…
field margins, along tramlines (tractor drills)
and between rows of vegetables was within the right
so long as no damage or disturbance was done.
for hill lovers CROW is still a major step forward.
One area close to us that was opened up in September
2004 is the Bowland Fells; 312 sq. miles of wild moorland
primarily owned by the Duke of Westminster and the Duchy
of Lancaster, to which only extremely limited access
had been allowed so as to preserve it for use as grouse
MWIS forecast was for a wet morning, but clearing up
to provide a sunny afternoon.
and Stan were away but Tony decided to forego the jobs
that needed doing at home and have a day in the hills
to test out his new bargain (£5) rucksack bought
the previous day at the Lowe Alpine sale, whilst I took
the opportunity to try out my £15 bargain cag
bought at the same sale.
were joined on his first Bootboys outing by Stuart H.
rain was hammering down as I set off to pick them up
before heading south for the Bowland fells and the chance
to exercise our Right to Roam on the lands of Dukes
had decided on a route on the Western side of the fells,
starting at the car park next to the Jubilee Tower near
the village of Quernmore. There was a chill wind blowing
as we set off along quite roads for the first three
miles of our route towards the hamlet of Tarnbrook.
feature of today’s walk was to be the bird life. As
we walked down the road we saw lots of lapwings, to
me the bird I always associate with the arrival of summer.
We also spotted curlews, an oystercatcher, and a woodpecker.
I suspect Tony and I would have missed most of these,
particularly the woodpecker, had it not been for Stuart’s
experience as a twitcher.
area is also famous for being home to the
majority of the hen harriers resident in
England but sadly none were seen today.
Tarnbrook we left the road and headed up
the fell on a good track towards Ward’s
Stones. Just beyond the farm we saw a very
different line of "washing" to
the ones Don usually photographs
this time we were getting the odd periods
of sunshine and were warming up. We also
started disturbing the grouse and they were
to be a feature of the rest of the day as
they exploded out of the heather.
Line" at Tarnbrook
the luncheon hut
was to be a real treat for Tony. Not only
did we stop for lunch at 12 o’ clock, but
it was also to be taken in luxury. The map
showed “luncheon huts” half way up the climb.
In the event there was only one but it had
benches to sit on and was out of the cold
wind. Perhaps Prince Charles had sat on
just this bench before going out and shooting
a few peasants (sorry, pheasants)!
long after leaving the hut the path petered
out and we had to negotiate a way through
an area of heather and peat bog.
It was going OK when suddenly Tony ‘exclaimed loudly’
as he collapsed in the heather with his leg nowhere
to be seen. It had gone into a 2 feet deep gully hidden
by the heather and for a while we feared that he might
have damaged his knee badly. But he’s a tough lad and
after a few minutes he carried on, cursing me loudly
under his breath for my ‘navigating’ (yes, I did hear
a while the climb began to level out and we escaped
the worst of the heather before reaching the first of
the large gritstone boulders that litter the top. Unusually
the top of the fell has two OS trig columns and we made
our way to the eastern one of the two.
Photo on Ward's Stones
Bay from Ward's Sontes ridge
view from the top was extensive. In particular the full
sweep of Morecambe Bay was visible, with of course Blackpool
Tower standing out to the south and beyond it the hills
of North Wales could be seen.
route now took us down towards Grizedale Head through
more peat bogs and little pools before climbing again
to the top of Grit Fell. Tony’s knee was holding up
well, although there were occasional ‘exclamations’
as he stumbled on the boggy ground.
top of Grit Fell provided more splendid
views. The full sweep of the Lakeland fells
could be seen (covered in a lot of cloud,
vindicating our decision to head South);
then the Barbon Hills; and the real Three
Peaks (the Yorkshire ones), with Ingleborough
the photos Tony and I took do not do justice
to the views from these fells. The day was
fairly overcast and hazy so the light for
photos wasn’t very good. On a really clear
day the views from here will be absolutely
from the top of Grit Fell
Grit Fell it was simple, although very wet underfoot,
descent back to the car.
had been a pleasure wandering these wild hills that
lie so close to major cities such as Preston and Lancaster
yet still seem so wild and remote. Proof that there
are still quite places to be found in our crowded island.
Thank you Mr Westminster!
1st May 2008
For the latest totals
of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let
me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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Avoiding the Graupel;
Lyth in the Old Dogs; 22 January
: That's Lyth;
: Tony's Memory Lane;
: Fell's Belles! Thank You Mells?
: The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!
An Outbreak of Common Sense;
Askham Fell and the Lowther Estate;
: Thanks to the MWIS
19th March 2008
: High Street and Kidsty Pike but no Fairy
: Prelude to Spring
2nd April 2008
: Spring in Lakeland
6th April 2008
Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
10th April 2008
: What's It All About, Tony?
17th April 2008
: The Hidden Mountain
22nd April 2008
: The Bowland CROW
1st May 2008
: High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
7th May 2008
: Travelling Light
14th May 2008
BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda
23rd February - 1st March
Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which BOOTboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature
years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as
often as possible!
As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that
our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.
As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an
item of footwear but is in memory of Big
Josie, the erstwhile landlady of
the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day
1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!
If you want to contact us, click on