Outdoor Diary


Mark Richards Walking Blog

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Artisan Naturalists

september 06, 2018 11:37pm

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Made a sortie to north Manchester today to learn a little about the Artisan Naturalists of the cotton milltowns. During the 1700s and 1800s inspired and yet very poor mill workers studied the local fields, woods, cloughs and moors discovering the great riches of plant life. This was obviously just as the Industrial Revolution was taking hold and the countryside was rapidly being consumed, its air polluted by soot and smoke and the green and fair land smothered with the brick terraces of fellow workers. This was also a time when ever more access to the wild common land, that had been the inaliable right of humble people since time immemorial, was being denied. My focus was Prestwich where in St Mary's Church I found the graves of three prime moving Artisan Naturalists, in the main street the Railway & Naturalist pub and I observed saw the cobbled way down into Prestwich Clough, guided by former Manchester Evening News journalist Tom Waghorn and his daughter Helen Crossley.


COUNTRYSTRIDE second podcast recording walk

september 01, 2018 09:09am

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Wonderful blue skies throughout our day's walk on the last day of August 2018. Starting from the main car park in Glenridding we walked to the Greenside Mine site and up over Sheffield Pike speaking with Tim Clarke and Eddie Pool, with young Harry Anderson filming us as we went as excellent practice for his University of Cumbria TV & film degree course. David Felton wielded the microphone. We met several people along the way adding to the conversational insight and pleasure. It was a great day and we look forward to the edits of both the podcast and Harry's film of the day (which will appear on the website when this goes live). Eddie Pool is thre last srviving mining engineer who regularly went down the mine for 18 years until it closed finally in 1962.


First strides of COUNTRYSTRIDE

september 01, 2018 08:48am

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Fabulous first day's recording for the Countrystride podcast on Wednesday 29th August, climbing Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head. We shared the day with the core of the National Trust Fix the Fells team. We certainly learnt a lot, especially from Iain Gray (red top) with thirty years brilliant service engineering the boot-worn ways of Scafell Pike and beyond. He says he's determined to achieve many more years yet. His skill, knowledge and oratory is rightly much appreciated. The beating heart of the National Trust's Scafell Pike Fix the Fells team.  A massive thank-you to Lewis and Liam too. Conversations on the summit were uplifting with people, young and older, filled with the elation of standing on top the 'world'. Sadly we also witnessed from the summit Air Sea Rescue helicopters recovering walkers including very sadly one who had died attempting to descend Broad Stand, proof that even on a calm sunny day the mountains are cruel masters.

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Mark Richards

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