Pottering In the Potts Valley 21/04/2024

Led by Clare
Six members of Cumbria LDWA and one member of Lakeland LDWA met at Newbiggin-on-Lune on a cloudy but dry day. Following the Dales High Way (DHW) north-west across Ravenstonedale Moor, the small body of water that is Cow Dub was plainly in sight over to the right but Sunbiggin Tarn remained shyly out of sight over the intervening ground. Over the road the route continued on the DHW into the extensive limestone scars & pavements of Great and Little Kimmond before descending to the North-East and the farm at Maisongill.
An inquisitive but protective group of cattle with their calves provided a photo opportunity at Asby Grange before reaching the road agan at Whygill Head. Following the road east to Water Houses farm the route then followed the Potts valley upstream as far as the eponymous farm buildings (uninhabited but with impressive stone barns) before ascending steeply to cross the moor to Crosby Garrett.
The bus shelter in the village is well appointed with seating for all, and lunch was taken here before deciding on the best return route, there being some doubt as to whether the cycle/footpath at Smardale was passable following its recent closure for maintenance. Two members of the group made their way to Smardale Bridge via the footpath South of the village, meeting the old railway line at Scandal Beck, while the remainder went down the road as far as Smardale Hall before traversing Smardale Fell to reach Smardale Bridge.
Just before Smardale Hall the group tried with only partial success to rescue a lamb that appeared to be in poor shape, and immediately afterwards came upon a car stuck in the ford, with police and a recovery team on site. The concrete slipway had apparently been damaged by recent flooding and the damage was not apparent to the car occupants who merely saw the sun glinting off the water surface.
Following the old railway line from Samardale Bridge soon led back to the starting point at Newbiggin.
Walk length: 16 miles