Around and about Austwick

Leader - Ian Smith
5 September 1999
Meeting Place - Austwick Post Office

 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 
This was a family walk with no great educational intent, but taking in a variety of splendid views and stopping off at some local beauty spots. On a dry hot summerís afternoon we set off between the stone walls of Wood Lane which soon narrowed and led to the lower reaches of Oxenber with views back towards Norber and Robin Procterís Scar. Skirting Oxenber, the path led us past Jop Ridding and then branched north past Wharfe Gill Syke to join the Austwick to Helwith Bridge road. A hundred yards along the road towards Austwick we took the bridleway north into Wharfe passing some well hidden cottages. The tree canopy above White Stone Lane provided welcome shade as we made our way gently uphill towards the Wash Dub field where the path crosses Austwick Beck. Here our President told of how, in the past, farmers had dammed the beck to form a pool in which they washed their sheep to help rid them of parasites. Austwick Parish Council has recently been given the field by Mr Leonard Chapman and is now applying for funds from the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust to restore stone walling, historic sheep pens, and the majestic slab bridge. A generous gift of £150 towards the project has already been received from the North Craven Heritage Trust. We then set off south, forgoing a side excursion to the Norber Erratics in view of the heat! A gentle downhill walk over fields led us back to Townhead Lane and then into the centre of Austwick where ice creams and cups of tea were greeted with enthusiasm in Pam and Ian Smithís back garden. I.S.
Wash Dub Field, Austwick