Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Wavering Down and Cross Plain, Mendips.

Cultivated and uncultivated
Saturday last, feeling somewhat recovered from germs (though still not fighting fit by any means), we took the opportunity in bright sun but fearsome cold to take a walk up Compton Hill, above the village of Compton Bishop. Then across Wavering Down, then over Cross Plain, above the village of Cross down past an old quarry site for a pint, and then back home.
Cross Plain belowFor me it was hard work breathing wise but the legs could have gone on forever. For Amanda the reverse, the knees were rebelling but the breathing was fine ... once warmed up. As per previous post, the lumbar spine has been bitching ever since, but once I’m back in the pool perhaps that will change the overall `physical dynamic’, to use unnecessarily flowery language. We would like to point out that this time last year in Spain we were super duper fighting fit. The difference couldn’t be more stark.
Crook Peak, Brent Knoll
Back to the present. For context, this route starts in the same place as the walk up to Crook Peak but turns right (east) at the top of Compton Hill not left (west). As walks go it isn’t that long maybe three miles, but it is steep in places and the views are spectacular. You walk among sheep, and gorse and bracken, across close cropped grass and patches of land, where with a little more erosion, I think you would find something akin to Limestone pavement. Between that condition and its current condition is this thin layer of soil covered in tough grass. Here and there the soil is deep enough to hold a lot of water and the red mud sticks the proverbial to a blanket.
Crook Peak
Down in the quarry at the end of our particular walk you can see the layers of limestone. Right at the foot of the man made cliff you can see a stain on the rock where water percolates down onto the slab, this is stained black from saturation and then drying. It’s a fascinating look at the way water makes its way through an aquifer and out through cracks, and gives a clue to the workings of Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole a way inland. Take a close look at the picture of crystallised pocket in the cliff, this clearly predates the quarry and gives an idea of what’s probably going on elsewhere in the rock that makes up the Mendips.


As ever enjoy the pictures.
The Hills are Alive
Drystone wall repairs, with profile boards

Cheddar Reservoir and Glastonbury Tor

Limestone pocket with crystals
Water Stains at the foot of the Quarry Cliff

Drywall Protection

House on Cross Plain

Where's me Wellies

The Hills are Alive

Burnham on Sea Beach in January

Aside from walks on the hills north and south of Burnham on Sea this month, we have taken (or I have taken as I get rather bored being stuck indoors) walks along the beach during the last month. The idea is that we are getting in shape to do the Mission Mendip Walk later this year (whether I can take that kind of punishment I will know in a couple more weeks, it’s an 18 mile walk and my lumbar didn’t half complain the other day. However it may just be a case of building back up). But I digress.

When the sun shines ... and even when it doesn’t, Burnham beach always has people walking their dogs, walking themselves, running, kiting, land yachting, metal detecting , fishing or kicking a ball about.

Maybe it’s because there are no Groynes, maybe it’s because the town is almost an island right on the seas edge, self contained with a captive audience. I think I’m saying other beach fronts I’ve been to are busy, but none to my recollection have been quite so busy or well utilised as Burnham on Sea given the towns apparent size.

The pictures below are all from this month, taken by myself or Amanda. Amanda has taken some excellent zoomed shots; mine a little less exciting. They extend from our neck of the woods round by the river mouth (River Brue) out as far as the Lighthouse (mentioned recently in the Huffington Post as one of the world’s most beautiful http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/homeawaycouk/worlds-most-beautiful-lighthouses_b_3676915.html).

The mud can appear, silver, blue or tea coloured dependent on the light conditions. It can look like gently moving water or be pan flat depending on the previous tides conditions. The Quantocks can be erased by a subtle mist lit by a white sun, and the sea can be fearfully rough as it slams the steps and sea wall. There is architecture and interest, little quirks, and a sense of wholeness that belies that fact the seafront part of town is maybe only 600mtrs end to end (that’s the bit with building along it). Enjoy the pictures.

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