Sunday, 28 April 2013

Success for the Ribble Rivers Trust

28th April 2013
                   During last year I followed and filmed along with other members of Burnley Film Makers many  events organised by the Ribble Rivers Trust to promote an awareness of our local heritage.
       Their bid was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund and they have been successful in achieving a grant award of £674,000, the project will see almost £1 million pounds being spent on the naturalisation of the rivers of Burnley with the involvement of the local communities.
                     Victoria Dewhurst, Community Engagement Officer for the Urban Rivers Enhancement Scheme (URES) said, making physical improvements to the river habitats, controlling invasive species and improving biodiversity, we known that local people are essential to the success of URES and we are working to encourage and equip our communities with the skills,experience and confidence to take ownership and pride in our rivers.
                      This is the short film we made, we hope it helped with the success of their bid.
    I've copied and pasted the film off their website hoping it will give them more publicity.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

The best of Lancashire's coast

Friday 19th April 2013
             It's been a beautiful spring day today for another walk in an area of Lancashire I never tire of. We did our usual walk with our friends from Arnside,over Arnside Knott via Eaves Wood to Silverdale then back along the coastal path overlooking Morecambe Bay. The Brimstone butterflies were about  in  Eaves Wood , the Early Purple Orchid leaf rosettes were showing and the Wild Daffodils were at their best along the coastal path almost 4 weeks later than last year.

                             The pepper pot in Eaves Wood

   The promise of things to come ... The Rosette leaves of the Early Purple Orchid

                                      Along the coastal path

                       The wild Daffodils along the coastal path

                          The vast expanse of Morecame Bay


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Pen-y-gent..... meaning (hill of the winds)

Wed. 17th April 2013
             Yesterday we made our annual trek up and over the summit of Pen-y-ghent and the mountain certainly lived up to it's name. Our aim was to make a short H.D. film of the Purple Saxifrage that grows on the Limestone cliffs along the 1900 ft contour of the hill. I've walked up Pen-y-ghent dozens of time in all seasons but I've never experienced the windy conditions (that this hill is known for) like we experienced yesterday. It soon became apparent that making a film was impossible and in many exposed locations dangerous because we were blown off our feet and had to hang on to the rocks when the gusts came.
       I managed about a minute of footage in some of the less exposed areas but the all exercise was completely unsatisfactory. I reverted back to using my small compact still camera.
            Compared to last year the flowers are almost one month behind.

                                     The western aspect

PurpleSaxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) growing on the south facing rocks

                                       The path to the summit

                                                The cairn

There's still about 6ft. depth of snow below the west facing cliffs but the warmth of the rocks as influenced and has a warming effect on the plants growing there

          The plants obtain all their nutrients from the calcium rich rocks

On our way back the clouds melted away giving clear views of Pen-y-ghent's western cliffs

The lane leading back to Horton in Ribblesdale showed how the influence of the sun compared to the shade  has on the spring flowers

                                      Snowdrops in the shade

                                 Lesser Celandine in the sun

Finally just a short bit of yesterday's windy footage

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Another Walk With Eric

Wed. 10th April 2013
     Today's felt like a real spring day 12c this afternoon, at last the sun has some warmth in it. Today we've had a look at the Upper Ogden Clough Valley which cuts deep into the higher reaches of Pendle Hill. Along the beck side the Dipper was active and we spotted our first summer migrant the Wheatear.
       We've just booked 5 nights in our motorhome starting on the 7th May in Upper Teesdale to co-inside with the flowering of the Alpine Gentian (Gentian Verna) but I fear we may be too early because of the late spring.
       I've already filmed this beautiful flower in May 2010 on a memorable walk with Eric, this is one of my favourite walks, starting at Langden Beck and following the River Tees down passed High Force and finishing at Middleton-in Teesdale a walk of about 10 miles.
        The film was shot on a small Panasonic NV-GS500 video camera on standard definition cassette tape and edited on Sony Vegas Movie Studio upscaling to High Definition, copyright free music by AKM.

Monday, 8 April 2013

A bit of warmth this weekend

Mon. 8th April 2013
        The sun has come back for a couple of days this weekend raising the temperature to a magical 10 C.  One of my favourite alpines the Purple Saxifrage in my scree garden as finally flowered a good 3 weeks later  than all the previous years. this is an indicator that  it won't be flowering at it's best until the middle of April this year on Pen-y-ghent because of the deep snow cover,  it's going to be 4 weeks later this year, it was at it's best on the mountain on the 20th March in 2012.
   On Sunday morning 2 Siskins were on our feeders, we saw our first butterfly this year ( Small Tortoise Shell) and a Honey Bee on the Crocuses.
   This morning the east wind is back with a few light sleety snow showers and a high of 4 C.

            A flying visit up to John Williams's garden on the moor yesterday showed  very few signs of spring, in fact John was snowed in last week for 6 days until the road were cleared.

                                  Snow still in the stream channel

Still a wintry scene

The moss garden is still spreading

The same view end of  May 2010....The season has some catching up

                    The same view end of May 2010... roll on Spring

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Slow Advance of Spring

Thursday 4th April 2013
                 I've got to go back to the springtime of 1963 & 1979 when conditions were almost the same as the late spring we're experiencing this year. This unrelenting easterly wind and freezing temperatures has held back early spring by at least 3 weeks compared with previous years, the season has reverted back to the normal springs of the 1940's and 1950's.
       In our area of N.W. England we've got off lightly compared with some parts of the country, the blowing  snow filled the country lanes  leaving very little in the fields accept for the deep drifts behind the walls that tragically buried many sheep and lambs. My walks into the countryside have been limited by this cold cheerless weather and home decorating but here are a few shots I've taken during the last couple of weeks.

                                 A snow covered window

                                     Snow on the avenue

          The ducks have now taken up permanent residence in the garden

                Cockden Lane near our house after snow clearance


    Just one of several trees we planted with our children about 35 year ago

           I'm still growing the tree seedlings to plant out in about 2 years

           The road to Downham in the Ribble Valley on Easter Sunday

   Still a wintry scene around Downham with Pendle Hill in the distance

           The young Salmon will soon be hatching in this freezing beck

                                        Reluctant to move

           More young lambs but it's still bitterly cold with no new grass

Down by the old pack horse bridge over Swanside Beck the Lesser Celandine and the first Primrose

                 The Assheton Arms in Downham over looking the village

                    The end of our walk... the village of Downham