Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Moor House Upper Teesdale Nature Reserve

  1. #1
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    17
    Just got back from Cross Fell, the first time I've been since the new access agreements. Moor House (an English Nature reserve)has always been against walkers having free access and I was wondering what they would put on their notices now that we are free to walk over Cross Fell. Well their new notices still tell us to keep to the old rights of way for our own safety, mentioning hidden mine shafts (there are just as many on the rights of way). The moors are managed by English Nature in conjuction with the Earl of Strathmore's Estate and local farmers. The whole area is scattered with grouse butts.

    Is it just me being a grumpy old so and so or does anybody else out there feel that government funded organisations like English Nature shouldn't be getting involved in trying to hoodwink the public in this way. I noticed that one of their notices had scrawled comments on it.

  2. #2
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    172
    I was up there 18 months ago and confess to having ignored the requests to stick to rights of way ? those ways weren't going my way, so I went my own way.

    I believe English Nature has a remit to protect our wildlife and wild habitats but someone should address how stringent the necessary measures need to be.

    If Cross Fell attracted potentially damaging coach parties and picnic expeditions then fine, impose some protective bylaws to prevent erosion, litter etc. But as it's one of the wildest spots in England the "rules" need to realistically reflect what goes on up there.

    A handful of hillwalkers or backpackers are not going to damage anything that either the area's harsh weather or grazing sheep haven't already damaged.

    I'd love to see English Nature act to protect some moors that might be being damaged by land management - for example, drains being dug across moors to improve grouse habitat; jeep tracks being built across moors to ease access for farmers or gamekeepers or shooters*; and maybe they could do something about those larger wind farms that turn what was once a moor into a power station...

    * I'm personally all for moorland management (burning etc) for grouse shoots by the way, but not for extending those areas that are shot.

  3. #3
    Mini Goon Mike.Knipe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    176
    Just caught up with this (look, I been busy, see?)
    The Moorhouse reserve is owned by Natural England (aka English Nature) and hasnt been managed for grouse shooting for about 50 years - i.e. since they bought it. The main purpose of the reserve is research into climate change and there are alpine and arctic plants which are protected. There is free, open access to all of Moorhouse, but there are a few very small areas (exclosures) which are fenced off, mainly to prevent sheep from scoffing very rare plants. You can enter these fenced-off areas to look at the plants if you want. The reserve stops short of Cross Fell, however and an area to the North of Cross Fell has recent heavy investment for grouse shooting - in terms of new roads, buildings and butts. I wonder if this is what John saw. I'm not sure who owns this but its not Strathmore. Its all open access but parts of it are periodically closed just like anywhere else. You can walk wherever you want on Moorhouse most of the time, but you do have to watch out for mineshafts (There have been fatalities in the past where people have fallen down holes)

    The Upper Tees part of the reserve (roughly East of Cow Green, plus Mickle Fell), however, is owned by Lord Barnard, The Earl of Strathmore and a couple of smaller landlords and is managed for sheep, grouse, water, artillery and tourists. This area is managed in partnership with these interests and a few large areas are closed to the public to protect rare/sensitive ecology.
    I'm a voluntary guide for Natural England on Moorhouse and Upper Teesdale by the way... Initially, they were quite worried about Open Acess, but in practise there's been no increase in the number of people wandering off path or away from the ridges where, traditionally, there's been de facto access for many years.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    9,267
    I followed the Pennine Way through the North Pennines, and over Cross Fell, in the middle of September. I saw the new 'access area' signs and had a good look at the maps because, as mentioned above, I knew there would be significant exclusions. However, I also picked up a large, colourful leaflet - 'Open Access in the North Pennines' - which includes a very basic map suggesting that you have access to anything that's not a dale or a reservoir! I was appalled to see the new roads carved all over the wild moors north of Cross Fell, and the nasty little porta-huts that now clutter that part of the AONB. Beforehand, this was the largest area of England without roads - but now roads are eating into it and ruining that sense of isolation. For my part, I've always wandered wherever I wanted in the North Pennines, and I'll continue to do so. Then again, I saw very little evidence that any other walkers are leaving the beaten paths to take advantage of the new access. The Warcop Training Range is of course completely forbidden, as usual. In the old days the signs said you "pass at your own risk", which I was quite happy to do, but now they just say "keep out", and have recently sprouted pictorial "no access" stickers. I'll still walk there if I want!

  5. #5
    Mini Goon Mike.Knipe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    176
    Quite right Mr Dillon - apart from established ridge routes and the occasional wandering bagger, hardly anybody gets very far from the main paths - probably because its often quite rough going, I suspect.
    There's certainly been a loss of the feeling of remoteness recently in the North- anybody who's been to the Shepherd's Hut bothy will now appreciate (not!) the benefit of a brand new estate road all the way from Maiden Way.
    I'm not specially impressed with English access law, as compared with the Scottish version, and, as a dog person, Ive lost a lot of freedom to roam, especially in the North Pennines. Its important that, in areas like the North Pennines, we carry on wandering as we've traditionally (i.e sometimes ignoring "keep out" signs) been able to do and not lose out due to the mean-kneed English civil-service namby-pamby boot-licking, bottom slavering to the chinless hooray-henry shotgun-popping buggers who've just b*******d up a bit of wilderness.... It'd all be forest without them y'know...
    Oooh, sorry about that...koff - ahem..

  6. #6
    Mini Goon Mike.Knipe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    176
    Duplicate message deleted (sorry - dont know how that happened...)

  7. #7
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    17
    'The Moorhouse reserve is owned by Natural England (aka English Nature) and hasnt been managed for grouse shooting for about 50 years"

    I know this ? the grouse shooting issue was an aside but their roads and boggy LandRover tracks have done far more damage than straying walkers. Also I mentioned Strathmore in conjuction with Moor House not the grouse moors. My main point here (which remains unaddressed by Mike in his defence of English Nature) was that English Nature flies in the face of open access by telling us that we should keep to the footpaths in case we all fall down mineshafts. And if there's de facto access why are they asking us to stay on rights of way? There's never going to be mass walking tourism off-route in Cross Fell ? the going's too hard ? but the hardy souls who do want to roam shouldn't be discoraged in this way.

  8. #8
    Mini Goon Mike.Knipe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    176
    John.
    There is no conspiracy to prevent you from walking about on the North Pennines.
    Honest.
    No, really.



    Just dont fall down any holes......

  9. #9
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    17
    That's very patronising. Warn people by all means but why are you telling them to keep to the paths? You could be telling them where the dangerous place are.

  10. #10
    Mini Goon Mike.Knipe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    176
    Bored now....

  11. #11
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    172
    Seems to me that everyone's singing from the same hymn sheet. What worries me more than easily ignored requests/instructions to "stick to the paths lads, stay off the moors" is the construction of roads that Paddy mentions, in what I'm sure must be an SPA/SAC as well as an AONB.

    Even if they're not on Naturist England property, NE would surely have some control over this, and could order a halt to it.

    Otherwise Mike, in his volunteer capacity, might soon have to hand out parking tickets.

    The other worrying thing would be the anemometer I'm sure I saw last year... was it on Murton Fell? Dufton Fell? I don't have my notes...

    Mike might know whether there's been an application for a wind "farm" in that area.

  12. #12
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    17
    Hi John
    I asked a friend of mine who lives in Kirkoswold and he said that there were had been plenty of windfarm planning applications for the Alston Fell area but he doubted that there had been any on Murton Fell.

    A company called Catlin owns the shooting rights. They're an insurance company I believe.

  13. #13
    Widdler Richard Webb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Afghanistan
    Posts
    18
    Never had any problems there pre so called open access.... Have only been once to the area, Allenheads since the new law.. The sight of all the fussy little notices at every roadside was almost enough to send me back home. How do you put up with it?

  14. #14
    thanks for all of that love kyle alan yarrow

  15. #15


    luke norris here email me

  16. #16
    Widdler
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1


    The road from the Maiden way has now been extended to the top of Bulmans Hills and a green plastic path added to the end of that.

Similar Threads

  1. Arnside & Silverdale - Gait Barrows Nature Reserve
    By Dave Brown 2 in forum Trip Reports
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 29-05-2012, 06:53 AM
  2. NW Lancashire - Brockholes Nature Reserve
    By Dave Brown 2 in forum Trip Reports
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 13-04-2012, 07:59 AM
  3. Upper Teesdale
    By Hadenuff in forum Trip Reports
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28-03-2012, 08:53 AM
  4. South Cumbria - Haverigg & the Hodbarrow Lake Nature Reserve
    By Dave Brown 2 in forum Trip Reports
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 15-07-2011, 08:44 AM
  5. Forest -in Teesdale
    By The Monk in forum Walking and Climbing
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-05-2004, 09:10 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •