Wednesday 27 June 2012

Plotting Grid References online from and to maps

Here are some helpful websites:- 
Where's the path - can plot route and see heights. give Grid Ref and Longitude and Lattidude can give postcode UK Grid reference finder. OK Grab a Grid reference - Duo - Two maps together - OS map and arial - Mapometer - plot the route of your walk.

Sunday 24 June 2012

Olympic Torch at Skipton 24 June

Waiting for the torch to arrive at Skipton 24 June 2012

He's coming!!

"Telephoto" - Close up

Round the roundabout and back down the High Street
And then he went. Over in a flash.

Above is a video clip of the pre-torch razamatraz 

Here are some of the activities that were taking place in the High Street at 2-3pm, two hours earlier..

Cave Rescue

Cave Rescue and Upper Wharfedale climbing Wall

Climbing Wall

Shakespear  Company -

Shakespear Company - 



 Well I had been lucky to have a good position to watch the torch.- I had seen two friends and waited with them for 1 and a quarter hours, up on the grass of Skipton Church. A long stand. but worth it. The early bird?
Here is an early bird I saw catching a worm on the grass of Skipton Church ten minutes later. There - swallowed and gone. I wonder if it wriggled inside.

And here are some scenic shots I took afterwards, first in a display on the senses at the church, then at Skipton, then the flooded Ribble near Settle

Click on this to see it big, then read the texts

and so on the road home.


River Ribble in Spate on 22 June 2012

River Ribble at 8.35pm 22 June

Focussing in  (from picture above)  and closer..

See the notice board in the river - the water
level is now rushing against the notice itself. it has risen 20cm since 3.30pm

another view.

Time for a quick trip to Watershed mill

I'll do more pictures of Watshed Mill and Winskill Stones above Langcliffe on a separate posting shortly
Now down to Settle

Ah this is the Sunny river Ribble on 20th June

On Wednesday 20th June I squeezed in an extra visit with the IEEM group
and at 9.30am we  found  big grasses with huge auricles beside the Ribble.
The path is above us on the right with the tennis court netting beyond.

and this is 22nd June
54 hours later we would have been submerged up to our necks
 - and in another 4 hours (see below)
the water was above our heads up to the pavement

The water spills on to the pavement -9.30pm Friday 22 June
- yes the day after midsummer.

At the early visit of 3.30 I walked down to Queens Rock

though Queen's rock itself was covered with water.

And I walked back up to the bridge - which has
stood there since the 1600s (though widened)
                                      I wondered if the students would have been able to recognise the grasses now?

Settle Hydro Reverse Archimedes Screw was turning quickly ..  And the netting  to prevent  twigs entering was doing it swork - though I susupect the person who looks after it will have been down several times already to clear material..

Choppy at the weir.

From the same point looking downstream.
I am glad my camara survived

My 9.30pm visit showed the water reaching the path
 .. and in the opposite direction..

overtopping it. I did not progress. It got deeper and there was a current.
In the distance I saw people also come to a stop -- see close up in next picture

And here's a good video I took of the water at the riverside walk

Thursday 7 June 2012

Charles Kingsley

For many year quotes from Charles Kingsley have illustrated the walks and field courses I lead from Malham Tarn Field Centre - whether on Pond dipping, Grasses and Sedges, General Walks or Flowers. - including the flowers walk I led yesterday
When we ran A-level biology Weeks in the 1980s, Henry Disney (then the Warden and Director) would stop near the little stream spring in the field below what had been the Estate School and say "Charles Kingsley visited Walter Morrison at Malham Tarn House and used to take the children from the school for Nature Walks and tell them about the Water Babies at this stream."

There is a lot of science and chat about science in the Water Babies... do read it.
Charles Kingsley wrote an excellent poem about a stream, which I print near the end of this post.

He wrote the hymn: From Thee all skill and science flow (You can hear the music here too)
Note especially the penultimate lines:-When ever blue the sky shall gleam, and ever green the sod.
From Thee all skill and science flow,
All pity, care and love,
All calm and courage, faith and hope;
O pour them from above.
And part them, Lord, to each and all,
As each and all shall need,
To rise, like incense, each to Thee,
In noble thought and deed.
And hasten, Lord, that perfect day
When pain and death shall cease;
And Thy just rule shall fill the earth
With health, and light, and peace.
When ever blue the sky shall gleam,
And ever green the sod;
And man’s rude work deface no more
The paradise of God.
 There are two earlier verses as well about consecrating a house
Here is "The river's song"  that Tom heard in the Water Babies:
However, down he went; like a brave little man as he was, though he was very footsore, and tired, and hungry, and thirsty; while the church-bells rang so loud, he began to think that they must be inside his own head, and the river chimed and tinkled far below; and this was the song which it sang:—
Clear and cool, clear and cool,
By laughing shallow, and dreaming pool;
Cool and clear, cool and clear,
By shining shingle, and foaming wear;
Under the crag where the ouzel sings,
And the ivied wall where the church-bell rings,
Undefiled, for the undefiled;
Play by me, bathe in me, mother and child.
Dank and foul, dank and foul,
By the smoky town in its murky cowl;
Foul and dank, foul and dank,
By wharf and sewer and slimy bank;
Darker and darker the farther I go,
Baser and baser the richer I grow;
Who dares sport with the sin-defiled?
Shrink from me, turn from me, mother and child.
Strong and free, strong and free,
The floodgates are open, away to the sea,
Free and strong, free and strong,
Cleansing my streams as I hurry along,
To the golden sands, and the leaping bar,
And the taintless tide that awaits me afar.
As I lose myself in the infinite main,
Like a soul that has sinned and is pardoned again.
Undefiled, for the undefiled;
Play by me, bathe in me, mother and child.
So Tom went down; and all the while he never saw the Irishwoman going down behind him.
On reading Charles Kingsley's biography (1819-1775), I discovered that he campaigned much on Sanitation Issues -
That may not sound romantic- but improving water and sanitation has improved peoples health more than medicine!!
Here is an excellent brief biography:-
Quoting from this:-
   In 1849 a cholera epidemic started in Jacob's Island in London's Bermondsey district. Kingsley and his friends, manifesting the practical stress of the Christian Socialist movement, worked incessantly in the district to arrest the outbreak. Indeed, he later became so well known for his work in sanitary reform that he was asked in the spring of 1854 to speak before the House of Commons on the unhygienic conditions prevalent in urban areas and the low remuneration of parish medical officers. The following year he led a deputation on the issue of sanitary reform to the prime minister.
      Kingsley's horror at the frequently atrocious sanitary conditions in Victorian cities accounts for some of the most striking episodes and passages in his novel Alton Locke (1859). This work, purporting to be the autobiography of a working-class Chartist poet, had as a principal aim the exposure of the dreadful working conditions, especially the shocking lack of hygiene, of tailors in London's West End....

 In 1855 Kingsley published Glaucus; or, The Wonders of the Shore (1855), an introduction to natural history and one of the first books of its kind to be written specifically for children. Manifest in Glaucus is the author's firm belief in evolution. Kingsley, uncommon among clerics battling with the religious and moral problems introduced by Darwinian theories, saw no conflict between the teachings of science and the teachings of religion. Indeed, he consistently emphasized that by studying science one was in effect studying the work of God and getting to know him better.   Kingsley's knowledge of science was such that he became a fellow of both the Linnaean and Geological Societies and was even cited by Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man (1871).

1848:-  Soon, together with Maurice and the barristers John Malcolm Ludlow and Thomas Hughes, author of Tom Brown's Schooldays (1856), Kingsley was fully committed to the Christian Socialist movement. He was never particularly radical, however, and as he grew older he increasingly became an establishment figure.

He died in 1875 of pneumonia.
I'll leave this post, descending with Tom down the cliff -

You would have been giddy, perhaps, at looking down: but Tom was not. He was a brave little chimney-sweep; and when he found himself on the top of a high cliff, instead of sitting down and crying for his baba (though he never had had any baba to cry for), he said, “Ah, this will just suit me!” though he was very tired; and down he went, by stock and stone, sedge and ledge, bush and rush, .......

So I'll go and prepare for my next sedges and rushes and grasses course..

Malham Tarn and Moor - 6 June - Flowers - Scargill House Group

Lisa Chadwick asked me to take the holiday group she was leading at Scargill House round Malham Tarn Fen. Knowing what an excellent time this is for flowers I was doubly pleased to agree.

(Wildlife Walks - Mon 4 to Fri 8 June - Hugh and Lisa Chadwick-Firman)

The group bought £18 of greeting cards towards the Rainforest Fund - Thanks.

Come and share the day with us:
First we have coffee in the car park

Lunch on the boardwalk

Lunch as seen from a Polytrichum commune hummock

Lunch, looking toward the peat pools which were dug  for
student pond-dipping exercises -
and to give dragonfly nymphs more place to grow - 

Charles Kinsley
In the background is the field with the stream next to the Field Centre road and beyond that the building used as the Estate School in the time of Walter Morrison (former owner of the Malham Tarn Estate), when there were many  families working on the estate. Charles Kingsley used to come and visit Walter Morrison, and (we say) used to take the children from the school and take them to the stream and tell them stories about the Water Babies.
"Charles Kingsley wrote some hymns" I say - "I must look them up". (No-one knew which one). "He wrote a good poem about the water going to the sea - pure and clean at the source, dank and foul as it went through the cities, then it became purified and free in the sea.... though I wonder if the pollution was just spread out.. or made the sea more polluted..  Must look up the hymn."

I did so in the evening and found an excellent green sermon by him and lot on his history - this is now in a separate post.

Photographing sundew and cranberry
We had a rest and at Malham Tarn House and then continued
Walking towards Ha Mire

Examining flowers beside the stream

Yellow mountain pansies on Malham Lings

Photographing the pansies

Yellow Mountain Pansies with the Field Centre in the Background

Photographing more yellow mountain pansies


Photographing Mountain everlasting flower or Cat's-paw
After the group left I walked around Malham Moor taking more pictures
A pink version of Mountain Everlasting -
I have walked over these hills many times before
but not seen them flowering in abundance
like this - we had just hit the time right. - 

Algae on a post. Growing richly here due to the bird droppings -
It is the highest fence post by a wall and the highest wall for miles around

A good day.
I hope the group enjoyed the rest of their holiday.