Keep safe!

Keep safe!
You are responsible for your own safety and that of your dog. The walks listed in this blog are not detailed guides. Plan your route! Click the landrover image for safety advice from Bowland Pennine MRT.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gregson Lane Dog Training Club and the Good Citizen Dog Scheme

Every Tuesday night for the past 18 months or so we've made our way to the community centre at Gregson Lane, to give our dog a good education. Last night, along with our school chums, we were rewarded with a Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Gold Award.

Although we were obviously pleased that we have brought up a well mannered dog, and have taken our "parental" responsibilities seriously, it was with a touch of sadness that we left the club, knowing that the trainers and all the other volunteers who keep the club going, have done their part, and that we will soon have to find some alternative Tuesday night entertainment.

We'd certainly recommend the Good Citizen scheme, and Gregson Lane Dog Training Club in particular, to anyone. The dog has had a great time socialising with his mates, and so have we. Our trainers, Denise and Arthur, have given great advice and are clearly committed to helping ensure that every dog gets the best start in life!

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme was established to promote socially acceptable dogs and to teach owners how to train their dogs. After all, dogs are not born with the fountain of all knowledge. Just like humans dogs need to be educated so that they can live in harmony with society.

The Scheme is open to all dogs regardless of age or breed. The aim of the Scheme is to promote responsible dog ownership and in turn, enhance our relations with our canines, and to make the community aware of the benefits associated with owning dogs.

We obtained a list of local training groups and contact numbers from the Riverside Vets.

Have fun!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

St Sundays Crag and Fairfield (Cumbria)

Week two of building work, the house is still a tip, the dog is no longer stressed about the comings and goings but who needs an excuse for a days escape.

Yesterday saw a return to the high fells of Lakeland and another hike with the dog, rather than a dog walk, if you know what I mean. We parked up at Patterdale and followed the steep path up Thornhow End, Birks and up to St Sundays Crag. The going was steep but relatively easy for the most part but there were plenty of sheep around so that, together with the craggy nature of the area, meant the dog was on the flexi-lead throughout.

We decended to Deepdale Hause and then up the steep rocky slopes to the summit of Fairfield. Unfortunately for us, the some terrible weather moved in within the space of 5 minutes and we were subjected to battering winds, mist, rain, hail and sleet - the dog was most unimpressed!

Needless to say, we didn't dwell too long on the summit and carried on round to Hart Crag, and better weather, before descending the steep path to Hartsop Above How. This descent was quite a slow stretch and we'd have struggled without the flexibility of the flexi lead to enable us both to work our way down the hillside in turn.

The path flattened out for an easy descent to Deepdale Bridge and Patterdale. The dog was able to run off the lead for a good stetch here, with no sheep around until the lower slopes.

This was probably the dogs toughest walk to date, about 10 miles of hard going. Hoefully he'll remian tired for the rest of the week!

Doggy rating 5/10 (because of the descent from Hart Crag)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Birchen, Baslow and Gardoms Edges and a dog friendly pub (Derbyshire)

Last Sunday saw another trip to Derbyshire and a lovely 4 mile walk around the edges above Baslow. The route was a bit steep in parts but generally nice walking. There were though few places to let the dog run free, with plenty of sheep dotted around the route.

We parked up next to the Robin Hood pub, off the A619 just outside Baslow. From the busy car park we turned left up the road a short way and up through the woods alongside the golf course, on a a good sandy path. The path ran underneath Birchen Edge, where we spent a short while watching the many rock climbers clinging to ridiculously small cracks in the gritstone. Our guidebook suggested that Birchen Edge was "sombre" but at this time of year it is anything but. The firey colours of the bracken and leaves in the birch trees were spectacular.

We continued along the path, through a marshy field, to the A621 Sheffield Road. Crossing the road with care we headed up the lane opposite for a short way before taking the path left through a gate and along the top of Baslow Edge. Passing Wellingtons Monument we took a path just before a gate leading alongside a wall and then steeply down through the trees back to the Sheffield Road.

The final stretch, taking the path on the opposite side of the road, led us past Gardoms Edge and back to the pub.

This was a lovely walk but because of the sheep and cattle dotted around, even in woodland areas, the dog didn't get off the lead. He was though made most welcome in the hikers den in the Robin Hood pub, where we enjoyed some good traditional Sunday pub fare. The pub also has plenty of outside seating space should the weather be fine. I'd recommend this as a good dog friendly pub in the Derbyshire/Peak District area.

All in all, a nice day out.

Doggy rating 6/10

The Langdale Pikes (Cumbria)

The builders are in, the house is a tip, the dog is stressed, so a day off and a trip to the Lakes seemed like a good idea yesterday.

The dog hadn't been up a "real" mountain before so after stopping for a bacon sandwich in Ambleside we headed up Langdale and parked at the Stickle Barn NT car park.

Our route followed Dungeon Gill, past Loft Crag (which I decided was a little rough for the dog) and to the top of Pike o'Stickle. The scramble to the top of Pike o'Stickle was a little steep too but we found a reasonable ascent, turning up a short way before the main path reached the cliff edge.

Reaching the top, I caught my breath whilst the dog (still not panting) drooled pathetically at the sight of the egg and cress sandwich I retreived from my rucksack.

Refreshed, and having shared the egg sandwich, we crossed the marsh and up to Harrison Stickle and onwards to Pavey Ark before decending steeply to Stickle Tarn. Here the dog had a game of fetch and a cold swim before the final decent back to the car park.

All in all this was an enjoyable day. The dog was, in the main, on the flexi lead but seemed to enjoy it none the less.

It should go without saying that this is a serious walk in the mountains. Make sure you check the weather forecast are well prepared and leave notice of your route. For further information look at the Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team website

Doggy rating 7/10

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Redmonds Edge and Great Hill

The Google map and satellite image for todays walk is pretty freatureless, but the walk up to Redmonds Edge and along to Great Hill from the United Utilities Car Park just off Belmont Road, near to Conyries Plantation, is anything but. There are views galore and, to keep the dog entertained, mud glorious mud!

From the car park we crossed Belmont Road and followed the signed footpath up across the open moorland. As the path began to skirt round to the right, a very muddy looking path led to the left, directly up the hillside to join Redmond's Edge. Even the dog looked uncomfortable at times, trying to avoid the worst of the pools of smelly mud which were, as I found out, deep enough to fill ankle high hiking boots.

Finally, our endurance came to an end and we joined a paved track leading across the edge to the signpost at the top of Great Hill. I stopped to admire the views across huge tracts of Lancashire whilst the dog eyed up some walkers enjoying their lunch. We the headed down another muddy path to Belmont Road. From here, the best option is a scenic return to the car park through Hollinswood Hall and the Plantation but we had a quick hike along the road to our starting point.

There were a couple of stiles along the route but the dog was able to pass through adjacent "doggy gates". There were one or two sheep around on the moors, so the dog was on the lead for a lot of the route, but in those areas where we had a good clear view around us, he enjoyed a run and some good games of "fetch".

We completed the route of around 3 miles in a couple of hours.

Doggy rating 6/10.