Harter Fell from Seathwaite in Dunnerdale, Saturday 18th May 

Leader: Dougie Bell

Photos: Reg Hesketh

Having parked at Seathwaite Village Hall (£2 per car donation), the track was taken to High Wallowbarrow and into Wallowbarrow Wood, carpeted with bluebells and with cuckoos calling. After being serenaded by warblers at Grassguards, the group followed the bridleway through Hardknott Forest, partially felled to allow natural regeneration.

At the foot of Harter Fell, refreshments were taken before tackling the steep climb to the top. On the way, there were good views to the Duddon Estuary and over to Sellafield; but at the top, they were obscured by a sudden mist. At the trig point, a radio operator was communicating with others on various Lakeland Fells. There was lots of chat to be had with walkers as they appeared from nowhere whilst the group ate lunch.

On the descent, Cumberland Geological Society members were encountered. Their leader kindly explained the lava flows in the area. Escaping enrolment, with the excuse of living in Westmorland, the fellwalkers followed the winding path, past an impressive double-pointed rock. 

Views of Bow Fell, Crinkle Crags and Seathwaite Tarn were pointed out by the leader. The path turned to scree, then steep loose rock and scree making for a tricky descent. Safely down the group crossed the Duddon at Birks Bridge. The main party then followed a fell path back to Seathwaite, whilst one member took the easier main road running parallel, alongside fields of bluebells.

The vote to take refreshments at the nearby Newfield Inn was a unanimous decision.

Reg Hesketh