Just by way of a change, this was a Natural England guided walk lead by a chap called Peter. Me and Angela were safety backup and general know-it-alls..
We had Ten "punters" including two other NE guides and a lad who went to the same school as me (!).
These walks are events mounted by the Upper Teesdale and Moorhouse NNRs, and the point is to encouage access and to provide interesting background info about the landscape.
Our route took us along the Pennine Way from High Force Hotel and up on to Bracken Rigg. It basically chucked it down in the morning - and we had a few peeps sporting a fine collection of brollies. Nevertheless, we had a good look at the Juniper woodland around the Force and how we're trying to regenerate it by collecting the berries (fine smell of gin by the way), the 12th century charcoal pits and iron works and the bronze-age farms on Bracken Rigg. (Y'see, travellers on the PW don;t get this kind of detail!)
After lunch, it stopped raining and the sun almost came out and we went off along the Green Trod - so-called becasue it used to be a drove road and the cow muck has formed a green strip through the countryside.
Blea Beck was in slight spate, so we had to divert around it to a bridge - but then we had a look at some 7th century farmsteads, more juiper woods, humane rabbit traps and a fine lateral moraine - and back to the start for a beer.
Our birders had spotted buzzards, lapwing, curlew, oyster catchers (doesnt seem much of a challenge!) red and black grouse, pipits and tits of all kinds, jack snipe and a few other things - and an abandoned lapwing nest with just the one egg.
6 Miles altogether and 750 feet of climbing