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New Steps for Old

New steps to River Breamish

If you’re one of many who enjoy the walk around the Hedgeley Lakes at Powburn, you’ll probably be aware that some of the railway embankment steps had fallen into disrepair over recent years.

These are the steps leading down from the embankment that overlooks the west lake, just to the side of the memorial bench dedicated to Allan Forrest (late Chairman of Powburn Show) [GPS: 55°26’53.964″ N 1°54’26.22″ W]

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Yellow Hedgeley

Yellow Hedgeley Lakes

So, what’s the colour of Spring for you? As a resident of the Breamish Valley I can’t help but think that you’ll say it’s ‘yellow’. I mean, just about everywhere along the Breamish Valley is yellow right now. The whole valley is smothered in flowering gorse, giving a wonderful scent of coconut drifting on the Spring air.

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Empty Spaces

Empty spaces in the valley

It can’t go unnoticed that the spaces around us are predominantly empty of people at the moment. While it’s somewhat strange, it is heartening to see that the majority of people are heading the UK Government’s stay at home policy.

For my daily exercise yesterday (Saturday 28 March 2020), I walked around the Hedgeley Lakes and back home following the path along the A697. In the seven-and-a-half years that I’ve lived in Powburn, I’ve never seen the A697 without a single vehicle on it on a Saturday: extraordinary times!

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Hedgeley Lakes development 360 degrees

A lot has happened since June 2017 when John Carr-Ellison of Hedgeley Estates led a public meeting in Powburn to discuss the Estate’s plans for the management of the Breamish Lakes. Work has progressed on developing unique and diverse habitats for both migrant and resident birds.

Thanks once again to photographer David Hanks, who was accompanied by Robbie Burn (Chair of Hedgeley Parish Council), we are able to view this rare development as a bird’s-eye, 360-degrees view:

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Hedgeley Lakes 360-degrees

Hedgeley Lakes 360 degrees view!

Following our recent post showcasing photographer David Hanks’ Branton Lakes 360-degrees aerial ‘movie’, David has been out with his drone again: this time, photographing the Hedgeley Lakes.

His work provides another striking perspective on our local landscape. He’s created two movies: one shot at 100m (which gives the same perspective as the Branton Lakes 360-degrees movie that was also photographed at 100m) and one shot at 50m. You can view them here:

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Hedgeley gravel quarry

Can you see Hedgeley gravel quarry?

I’d mentioned last November that, “Even though there’s a gravel quarry at Hedgeley I’m typically blissfully unaware of its existence living at Powburn as I do.” In addition, even when walking around Hedgeley Lakes you wouldn’t necessarily know that gravel was being extracted: it’s not easy to see the extraction machinery when the trees are in full leaf.

However, now that we’re well into Winter and the trees have shed their leaves, it’s now possible to see a little of what’s there and what’s happening. You can get a glimpse of the shape and scale of the machinery needed to extract the gravel close to Low Hedgeley Farm, Powburn.

Gravel quarry at Hedgeley Lakes

Gravel quarry machinery seen from Hedgeley Lakes

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Hedgeley Lakes Autumn views

Hedgeley Lakes Autumn colours

A couple of days ago I walked to and around the Hedgeley Lakes, Powburn. This one-time gravel quarry is now an interesting conservation area under the management of Hedgeley Estates. Even though it doesn’t have the same aspect as Branton Nature Conservation Area (Branton NCA has more planting that breaks up the eye line/skyline around its borders), it has much to offer. There’s wildlife in abundance and the local bird hide provides a welcome place to stop and observe the goings on. The central island was lowered about a year or so ago on the advice of conservationists, who advised that lowering it would encourage more birds to nest there. Indeed, this seems to have worked.

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