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Dartmoor up for Sale

March 3, 2015

I wrote the other week that bits of the Lake District – once public land – are up for sale.

And now it’s Dartmoor.

South West Water is flogging areas of the Dartmoor National Park including nearly 400 acres at Holne Moor to the highest bidder.

Holne Moor has incredible archaeology and is access land.

A great deal of public money has been spent on its acquisition and conservation

Worth pointing out that when that water company was publicly owned, all of this land belonged to all of us.

Now, in Pound Shop Britain, it’s up for grabs.

Click on the link for more:

http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/Parcels-historic-Dartmoor-sold-auction/story-26095557-detail/story.html#yYzZYXG0eEHAkXyp.01

Snowing in Cumbria

March 2, 2015

Yep, the white stuff is back!

The Open Spaces Society Manifesto

February 28, 2015

Do click on the link and have a look.

http://bit.ly/OSS_Manifesto

 

Work in Progress

February 26, 2015

Wearing my other hat, as a writer, I thought you might like to hear about the books we have coming out later this year.

Here’s a quick update about what we’re working on at the moment.

I’m writing the final chapters of an historical novel set in England during the 1190s. This will be published in the Spring.

Anne and I are writing a detective novel set in 1931 on the south coast of England.

During the summer I’ll be bringing out the second William Quest thriller – set in 1854. I’m just doing the final pre-writing research. It will be an immediate sequel to the first novel in the series, The Shadow of William Quest.

We hope to publish another full-length Inspector Abbs novel by the end of the year. This one will be set in London in the spring of 1874, just after the events described in our novella A Christmas Malice.

My most recent novel, Balmoral Kill, is now out as an eBook on Kobo and Nook, as well as Kindle and in paperback.

You can buy any of our books online by clicking on the pages above. And do look at our Gaslight Crime blog at http://www.gaslightcrime.wordpress.com

Atrocious Delay in Lakes and Dales National Parks Enlargements

February 25, 2015

I suppose National Parks administration is the next thing the government will privatise.

Approaching the Lakes and watch out for the signs: Welcome to the Tesco National Park.

And I’m not really joking…

 

In the meantime

Please do click on the link and look at this.

 

http://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2015/02/24/campaigners-condemn-atrocious-delay-in-lakes-and-dales-park-enlargement

Walking to Lily Tarn

February 23, 2015

A week ago we walked from Rydal up to Lily Tarn.

Lily Tarn (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Lily Tarn (c) John Bainbridge 2015

It’s a funny thing but in all my explorations of Loughrigg Fell, I’ve never walked the ridge immediately above Ambleside. Never visited Lily Tarn

We went out early so had the fell much to ourselves – being half-term the Lakes have been very busy – and indeed by the time we were heading back to Rydal we passed great crowds on the path to Loughrigg Tarn rather resembling an

Windermere from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Windermere from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

old-fashioned Everest approach march.

We followed the Under Loughrigg Lane, passing Fox Ghyll, one the home of Thomas de Quincey, and then the footpath past Brow Head Farm and out on to Loughrigg.

At Todd Crag (as called so by Wainwright, the Ordnance Survey puts it a half mile away, we admired the views over Windermere. Far down below, looking like an aerial photograph, were the remains of the Roman fort of Galiva.  In the other direction is a wonderful view of the Fairfield Horseshoe still bearing some of the traces of the recent snow. The Langdale Pikes still looked positively Alpine.

Galive Roman Fort from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Galive Roman Fort from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Lily Tarn isn’t far away. The one tiny island with its solitary silver birch tree giving it a kind of artistic perfection. At one point you can see the tarn with Windermere far below in the distance.

Windermere from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Windermere from Todd Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Afterwards we wandered around the grounds of Rydal House, near neighbour to Wordsworth’s house at Rydal Mount. Rydal House is a Christian retreat, a b and b and a bunkhouse. There’s a lovely cafe which I recommend.

Rydal House (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Rydal House (c) John Bainbridge 2015

In the grounds is the Grot or grotto, a favourite of the Romantic poets with its picture view of Low Falls, the beau ideal of Romanticism.

Always interesting to walk in the steps of such famous writers and artists.

And I thing Lily Tarn is an absolute delight. If you only have a couple of hours to spare and you’re in the area then do go and have a look.

A Ramblers Manifesto – My Alternative

February 22, 2015

The other day I suggested that the Ramblers Association’s manifesto for lobbying MP’s before the General Election was too timid. So here’s what I think they should be asking for:

1. A commitment to produce an access law equivalent to the Scottish model in the lifetime of the next parliament.

2. A recognition that footpaths and bridleways are the common heritage of us all and that these paths should not be closed or diverted without an exceptional reason, and always, if then, only in the best interests of walkers and riders. And an acknowledgement that our ancient paths are an important part of Britain’s social history. There should be ring-fenced money to allow local authorities to properly fund public rights of way.

3. A commitment to make it easier for the public to claim greens and open spaces for public use.

4. A commitment to properly fund National Parks and Areas of outstanding Natural Beauty.

5. A move towards the creation of at least one new National Park in each UK country during the lifetime of the next Parliament.

6. A commitment by all political parties that the preservation of wild and unspoiled countryside should override any commercial or infrastructure considerations.

7. Total opposition to the construction of the HS2 and HS3 high speed railway lines.

8. Total opposition to plans to construct a dual carriageway through Devon’s Blackdown Hills.

9. The creation of two new National Trails in Britain during the lifetime of the parliament, with the suggestion that they be the existing Coast to Coast Path and The Two Moors Way, which have both suffered thanks to austerity cutbacks.

10. The Coastal Footpath around all of Britain’s coastline to be completed by 2018.

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