Another gorgeous day of walking ahead, we met up just outside of Ford, to enjoy a walk taking in Ford Village and Ford Moss and a few extra things thrown in for good measure. A quick warm up and we were off.
There is a little bit of woodland walking before crossing into a field. The farmer must have known we were coming as the cows were in a different field. Lucky for us it appeared that all of the fields in which we had encountered cows and young previously were now empty.
We walked through more wheat fields up to the entrance to Ford Moss Nature Reserve. The farmer here had been very considerate and had left an area for wildlife at the field boundary, as well as a clear path on the right of way.
Ford Moss is a beautiful, peaceful area, full of rare flora and fauna. We would be returning here later to see some specific fauna.
We walked around Goatscrag Hill and on, in the general direction of Roughting Linn. However, as we had not found the waterfall on our earlier recce, we needed some help from Paul to find it this time.
Find it we did but it required a bit of scrambling down a rough path. Some slippery rocks were managed on bums. A fallen tree had blocked the path, so we had to negotiate a slippery slope and then limbo under it, to much hilarity.
It was definitely worth it. This place is beautiful and tranquil, and has a very different feel to the waterfall at Hareshaw Linn near Bellingham.
Maybe it benefits the waterfall to be so hard to find, as we had it to ourselves. The waterfall was the only sound, apart from the chatting of the walkers that is.
We had lunch here as it was a cool and shaded and there were less flying (and biting) insects. The horseflies were at their height, so this was a welcome relief.
Chris wanted a unique group shot for the local paper. So, we took inspiration from Steve Ellis at Gemini Outdoor and did the standing in various places and pointing randomly thing. Thanks Steve.
At last we were approaching the area in which we had seen the wild Exmoor ponies when we checked out the route earlier. Chris had been looking forward to this all day and couldn’t wait to see them. However, the ponies had other ideas and we couldn’t see them anywhere.
Resigned to the idea that wild ponies don’t appear to order, we strolled on disappointed. Especially Chris, who was considering whether the “No ponies” situation was a breach of the Trade Descriptions Act. We walked on further and luckily we soon avoided a lawsuit when Paul spotted ponies.
Initially, the ponies were keeping their distance, while they munched on some grass. Paul and Chris walked over to see them. This seemed to contribute to them moving towards us. With some patience and Mary using her South West accent curiosity got the better of the ponies and they came over to see us. One was especially interested and came within a few feet of us. Much to Chris and Mary’s delight.
The return leg of the walk took us through a short section of overgrown woodland. Lots of nettles, obstacles and bracken caused some issues, especially as it was taller than some of the walkers.
After a full ten minutes of battling fallen trees, ditches and bracken from a world that time forgot, we emerged onto a nice path up to the road. There were calls for dock leaves to relieve nettle stings and nature duly provided, replacing nettles with broad leaved dock.
From the jungle the walking was much easier and gradually climbed up Ford Common, before opening out onto a large field sloping to the North. Rather than the spectacular vistas of the Cheviots we had seen earlier, we were presented with a similarly spectacular vista to the North. This was Scotland. The border is only about five miles away at this point and the Scottish Borders looked very appealing.
The last highlight of the walk is the Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre. We didn’t go in but we did enjoy seeing the stately Clydesdale mares in the fields, with a single foal.
Closer to the centre is a smaller field, where the Clydesdale stallion lives. Unlike some of the more highly strung breeds, the Clydesdale is a gentle giant and this horse was very happy to allow us to stroke his head, even though he could have almost stepped over the fence.
Whilst this was a lovely walk, the heat and humidity made it a tough one for many of us. The obligatory cool down was welcomed this time, to avoid the stiff legs the day after. Time for tea.
Thank you Ruth for helping out and thank you all for joining us and see you next time.
Julie and Martin.