We needed to make sure that we had a good route for the Ford and Ford Moss walk, so we went out to recce it on Saturday.
We started off from an area just off the road near to Ford. Parking is free and there is plenty off space. We went through a little area of woodland before emerging onto Ford Hill. This was the first opportunity to see the scenery. There is a great view of the Cheviot hills from here over to the South West.
We continued on over the cow field before reaching an arable field. The path goes straight across this field and luckily the farmer is not only providing field edge habitat for wildlife but has kept a path clear across the field for walkers.
We soon reached Ford Moss. This SSSI is very unusual for the area, being a peat bog over a lake. It has also been used for mining in the past and remnants of mines and chimneys can still be seen. We skirted round the south of the Moss and under Goatscrag hill. There are rocks all over this area that have cup and ring markings. We didn’t find them though.
A little way from Goatscrag hill is Routin Lynn (or Roughting Linn). It is reported to be a pretty little waterfall, although we didn’t find it. We think that we know where it is now and will try to find it on the walk proper. There is also a highly decorated rock nearby too. From here we tried a few different options for the route. However, I think that we will follow the original route that we planned and return to Goatscrag Hill before continuing on around the Moss.
Oddly, Ford Moss has a community of Exmoor ponies. We didn’t expect to see them but on returning to the Moss open access area we spotted them on the path. As we approached them they moved away from the path. We decided that lunch was due, so we parked ourselves on a rock and watched the ponies from a distance. After a few minutes the ponies headed towards us and stopped a few feet away. This was an unexpected bonus.
Continuing on through fields and along roads, we reached Hay Farm. This is the home of the only Rare Breed Approved Conservation Centre in the country, which is dedicated to Heavy Horses. They have Clydesdale horses here and we were lucky enough to see one in the field next to it. These horses are huge and incredibly impressive animals.
We returned to Ford through another field and walked back to the car.
After stretching a little we decided that a cream tea would be perfect reward and drove down to Heatherslaw and crossed the bridge to Heatherslaw Mill.
We look forward to seeing you there. For more information take a look at the Ford and Ford Moss walk page.