Sunday, 8 June 2014

Rub Of The Green.

Saturday was to be fair with broken cloud & advancing heavy rain  forecast for mid-afternoon, so the plan was to be out & back home before the rain came. I had no designated route planned so just took the route choices as they came.
Everything in the plant kingdom at the moment is healthy, lush & very green & is an absolute joy to be part of when out & about on the bike & worth getting the legs stung for, so with plenty of fluids & energy snacks I head for the hills.

My first choice was to cycle 
through the Woodhall Dean Nature Reserve with the thought to nip across a field towards the Halls farm.
The junction where the Weatherly burn to the left meets the Woodhall burn straight ahead which then forms the Dry burn.

Lots of gnarly old oak trees throughout this walk.

Jumping a fence into a cattle field in the grounds of the Halls farm & this scene looks like a herd of buffalo at an African water hole, but in fact a herd of Aberdeen Angus at a Scottish flooded field.

The foothills of the Lammermuir Hills looking over towards Hartside & it's over these very hills where the 'Herring Road' runs from Dunbar to Lauder in the Scottish Borders, a route of 24 miles where the women would carry baskets weighing up to 25kg of salted Herring to the Border markets !

Along the Sneep road which heads up into the farm.
I spotted this old Glenfield & Kennedy from Kilmarnock water tap on the outside of one of the derelict farm buildings, often there would also be a cast iron trough underneath the tap so horses etc could drink from it.

No through road up to Hartside & the Herring Road beyond, but for me I'm heading in the other direction.
Little bit by road up the hill through the trees heading to Meiklerig woods.

Meiklerig woods, a mix of established hardwood & softwood trees with a track from end to end through to Meiklerig farm & only a stones throw from the village of Stenton.
From Meiklerig farm overlooking Traprain Law With Stenton in the foreground.

Just on the outside of Stenton village is the 'Rood Well', it is enclosed by a small circular building with a doorway on which is a locked grill. The conical stone roof is topped by a flowered finial which is said to have came from the church & may date back to the 14th century. The present well-house has a plaque stating that it is a 16th century historic building. A path used to run from the Well to the church but has long since disappeared.
The Biel burn, a great little burn for catching little brown trout.

Through the farmland of the Biel estate & everywhere is just so green at this time of year.

Crossing the old & new A1 roads through Tynefield & onto the coast along the John Muir country park.

Into Lochend woods in Dunbar where this huge & amazing looking walnut tree resides, along with this pizza oven built by the Dunbar community woodland group.

The John Muir stone within the Lochend woods, a tribute to probably Dunbar's most famous inhabitant & below a couple of information panels about the wildlife that you are likely to see around the many pathways throughout the woods, as I've mentioned in a previous blog that these woods which were once part of an estate many years ago have been really neglected with old washing machines, building rubble & all sorts of junk being dumped in & around the woods, now however there is a new housing scheme & with the community woodland group & local council these woods have been greatly transformed with lots of interesting paths & managed woodland making for a healthy & worthy addition to the town.

Heading for home it was either a cycle around the coastline or head inland, choosing the inland option I cycled along a relatively unused track way which runs beside the East Coast rail line for a short while then under the rail line & A1 dual carriageway.
A very strange thing to come across ? This little boat washed down stream, I can't for the life of me figure out where it might have came from !!!
Giant Hogweed, imported from central Asia as an ornamental plant during the 19th century & soon became widespread throughout the U.K. & Europe. The sap from the plant can & will cause extreme & painful burns & blisters with long lasting scars & cause blindness if it were to become in contact with the eyes ! It can grow to height between 6' 7"-18'1" & the leaves can grow to a width between 3'3"- 5'7" A dangerous but strangely beautiful plant !

Battling through yet more long grass to the bottom of Doon Hill then a left turn to head along to the nearby farm of Little Pinkerton where I spotted this Ordnance Survey Bench Mark on the bottom of a gable end on one of the old derelict farm cottages, exactly what I like about being out on the bike no matter how many times you use a route there is always something new to see along the way.

From Little Pinkerton through Meikle Pinkerton & finally passing Easter Pinkerton & within 10 minutes the kettle was on to boil & a further 10 minutes after I sat down to enjoy my coffee when the heavens opened & it poured with rain, so today the timing was perfect :-)

Oh...Just before I sign off from this post...

...along my travels I came across this Badger sett which as you can see is being monitored with motion sensitive cameras, a pretty cool find.

Thanks for visiting & I hope you enjoyed the blog
Cheers for now.