Sunday, 27 July 2008

Mountains, Sheep and ...... Silence

As the good weather continues here I decided to go for a run out in the car today. I didn't want to go far so I decided to go to Warnell Fell (fell is Cumbrian for hill) which is about fourteen miles from my home. I hadn't been there for a long time and it was one of my favourite places.

So my dog Max and I got into the car and drove south and around twenty minutes later we were parked at Warnell. It is set high in the fells, which are really the foothills of the Lake District, close to the picturesque village of Caldbeck. From up there you get a stunning panorama of the surrounding countryside. To the north you can look over to Carlisle and Scotland beyond. West past other fells to the Solway Firth. South and east the Lake District mountains rise up majestically. Today, because of a heat haze the views weren't as clear as usual, but they still captivated me.

What I've always loved most about Warnell Fell is the silence. The day to day world we live in is so polluted by noise be it traffic, music, TV, people, noise all around us. At Warnell it's like being in another world, it is so peaceful, the only sounds are the occasional mournful baaing of the sheep that wander free over the fells, the occasional cricket in the grass or a skylark's song. It is just so wonderful to be away from society's noise for a while!

Max and I walked around the fell, past the long disused quarry, the sheep giving us cursory glances and then continuing to unconcernedly munch the grass. The thistles were in bloom and the heather was just starting to bud - I must go back in two or three weeks when it is in full bloom and covers the fell with a blanket of purples and lilacs. Some parts of the fell can be quite boggy, and reeds grow there, but due to the recent warm and dry spell there was little wet ground. There was a gentle breeze, just enough to keep me from getting too warm in the sunshine.

I've been coming to Warnell since I was about fourteen years old, my mother loved it there and as I walked I thought of her. It hasn't changed at all, it has a beauty coupled with wildness. Nature here goes through it's cycles year in year out and has seen many generations of people pass through. I love the sense of permanence there, the peace and the permanence.

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