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Image for article FELL WALKING – THE EXTRA DIMENSION

FELL WALKING – THE EXTRA DIMENSION

Image for article FELL WALKING – THE EXTRA DIMENSION

The planned trek into previously unknown fell country, or the return to old haunts with a host of memories; the exercise and exertion, the glorious views and the satisfaction of reaching summits and completing routes, are well known to millions.

But there is another dimension, which is explored by far fewer; namely the natural inhabitants of this part-tamed but nevertheless relatively wild area.

Fell walking is made even more interesting and enjoyable by observing wildlife and even more so by deliberately planning some walks with the avowed intention of trying to find particular species of plants, birds and animals; an activity still further enhanced by photography.

Additional benefits are to be found in walking at particular times of the day or of the year. Winter walking has a thrill all of its own, while witnessing dawn from high in the fells is to experience magic indeed.

Similarly as regards wildlife, the wafting flight of a heron over the lake as the early morning mist rises from the placid waters, the curled fox basking in the dappled light among the trees, the golden glow of mountain yellow saxifrage on Pillar's north face as the first beams of sunlight stream across from the east. Unforgettable moments when most folk are still abed, and Lakeland stirs to the bleat of the lamb and the meow of the buzzard. 

Toward the end of the day, when most folk have retired to hostelry or bed, silence settles once more, but there is increasing activity in the countryside.

The boar badger will cautiously extend his snout beyond the confines of the sett, and if there is no unwelcome sound or scent, he will emerge closely followed by sow and maybe cubs to begin the night's foraging, primarily for worms, but for virtually anything edible. 

Deer, too, can be seen slowly emerging from deep daytime cover, only to vanish again with the deftest scamper if startled or disturbed.

So much to see for those with the necessary fieldcraft, determination and patience; a world apart of constant interest and fascination.

 

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