Unfortunately, the original walk, as printed in the programme, had to be cancelled. This was due to work being carried out on the pipeline, which had cut across the intended footpaths in the area of Halton West/Paythorne. John Fox quickly arranged an alternative route.
It was a bright, sunny day, as we all congregated on the Green in Long Preston. Nineteen people had turned up. Jan drew attention to the old signpost by the village green, which showed a hand pointing out the directions. There aren’t that many around.
Along Green Gate Lane, the celandines were in profusion along the hedgerows and also plenty of coltsfoot. Then we turned right into New Pasture Lane and meandered along to the Ford, which we crossed over a rickety bridge. On the way, we passed an embankment which was completely covered with primroses; a gorgeous sight. In our haste to see them, we all missed some violets in a small clump, which Jan had spotted. There were lots of deep gullies with the beck down below and the cold wind became stronger as we slowly climbed uphill onto Langber Lane. Some of us spotted a kestrel flying above and that evocative sound of the Dales, the cry of the curlew, was a delight to hear across the moors.
We then turned right and walked to Bookilber Barn. As there were no builders on site, we all had a good look round. It is immense in size and it was interesting to see the massive oak beams. We then headed across a field down to Scalehaw Lane, past the Primary School and finally back to the Green.
Just as a matter of interest, this walk was done in 1996, when Hilary Baker was the leader. It was when the barn had just been burnt down; they headed towards Crake Moor then turned south again and returned to Langber Lane and down to Newton Moor; a much longer walk than ours.