Sunday, June 6, 2010

Beacon Fell Country Park

Bowland Visitors Centre at Beacon Fell
Bowland Visitors Centre

Yesterday was Holly's monthly meeting at Junior Rangers for a round of pond dipping, which gave me chance to go for a solo wander around the fell.

For those that don't know it, Beacon Fell has a purpose-built visitors centre with cafe and toilets set most of the way up the fell with ample free car-parking dotted around the fell (those immediately outside the centre can get full).  The park consists of coniferous woodland, which is being managed to introduce a range of native broadleaf species.  There are also areas of heathland, bog, meadows and ponds which support a range of flora and fauna.  There are a series of easy walking trails, some of which offer disabled access through the "tramper" service (think all-terrain mobility scooter).  The fell is also popular with cyclists and horse riders.  The Carwags car park has adjacent barbeque facilities for those who prefer to cook and chill out.

Orme View by Thomas Dagnall (stone sculpture of a man's head squinting at the view)
Orme View by Thomas Dagnall

The visitors centre is packed with information about what's happening in the rest of Bowland, so is a great starting point for visitors to the area.  It currently features an exhibit by the Bowland Hen Harrier Project (there until early July) showing big-screen footage of those rare birds of prey during the breeding season, with presenters on hand to answer questions.

In the woods on Beacon Fell
In the woods

I had a lovely, peaceful walk around the fell, largely undisturbed by other humans.  The heathland and woods (dark enough to fire children's imaginations) were alive with birdsong and the chirruping and buzzing of insects, and the warm day brought the kind of pine-fresh aroma promised by a Glade commercial.

Heathland on Beacon Fell
Heathland

Holly returned happy, having managed to fish some newts and dragonfly nymphs from Queen's Grove pond.

Tarn on Beacon Fell
Tarn

For more on Beacon Fell see Beacon Fell Country Park

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