Monday, 18 June 2012

A Wander up The Porter (or) Little Don River

This is the last in the series of walks around Langsett Reservoir I will be posting for now. Similarly to my walk to Pike Lowe, this walk covers areas I think few people are aware of. While the walk is a very pleasant one, it isn't without risk if undertaken at the wrong time of year.

The walk was done on the 10th June and the river was just passable. I returned on the 17th June following heavy rain and the river had become impassable, so be aware of the conditions. If in doubt, don't attempt to cross the river. Generally, if it is low enough, you should be able to walk across the stones as though stepping stones and not get your feet wet.

The Porter (or) Little Don river is at the far west of Langsett Reservoir as covered in my previous walks. It's start, or finish, depending on how you look at it is visible from the bridge that goes over it. At the southern side of the bridge the river valley can be accessed.

The Porter of Little Don enters Langsett Reservoir.

The river flows through an extremely picturesque valley with a lot of opportunities to spot wildlife. There is also a path which parallels the river high up on the northern slope of the valley following the edge of the woods up there. This makes for a safer option in the event you don't follow the valley floor and river.

A couple of photos of the valley the river flows through.

The area the river flows through is all Open Access, but  remember that there are rare plants, wildlife etc that should be respected. So having a wander around is fun. I would also advise that you watch for the areas of Sphagnum Moss as these can be quite dangerous if stepped in. About a mile or so up the river from the bridge  you come to a wooden foot bridge (literally a couple of logs with planks on top). At this point the path takes a turn up the northern slope towards the outskirts of a private area of land.

The path that goes off to the right above the river.

Skirting around the southern side of this private land you come to a farm building. The gate through the fencing at this point is down in the valley. The area around the building is covered in rabbit warrens. On the day of my walk I saw around a dozen rabbits in one field alone. Flying over head were Curlews and Raptors. This area of the walk would benefit from binoculars if you are interested in birdlife.

The abandoned building at the far end of the privatre area, path to the left.

The path continues on up the left side of the building, onto Horton Road, up and over the hill. Twice the path dips into small cloughs and across streams.

Hroton Road (from the Swinden Lane looking back).

After the second clough the gate through to Swinden Lane can be seen off to the right.

The gate into Swinden Lane.

After about 700 meters you come to a T-junction. At the junction turn left and follow the path that goes on a steady right turn down and into some woods.

Swinden Lane.

As you enter the woods there is a path off to the left through a very narrow gate. The path here drops down through a forest, Crookland Wood,  and in the bottom passes a pond to the left.

Crookland Wood.

The path passes the pond and across a small wooden bridge. The path climbs up a small slope and meets up with the path that leads down to Langsett Reservoirs circular path. Alternatively, there is a path that leads straight on and back to the car park at Langsett Barn.

A great walk, but please remember to take care. I would advise that if you have only limited experience then avoid the walk along the river and take the alternative route higher up. I don't take responsibility for any injury or accident while following one of these walks. They are mearly guides to make you aware of these walks and are carried out at your own risk.

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