Walk completed August 28, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 54 – Blanchland to Allendale – 10 miles

Tony, Lost-a-lot, and George
Once again Ann ferried George and me to the trailhead (after a full cooked breakfast, of course), where we met Tony and Sally. Tony joined George and me for today’s walk, while Sally and Ann headed off for coffee, shopping, and whatever else it is that ladies do when the men folk aren’t around.

George on stile
Today was the third day of the four which George cobbled together to keep me heading north through the part of the country he and Ann call home. And what a day it was, through forests, moorlands, and pastures.

One farm we passed had dozens of dead moles strung on a fence. Apparently, the moles pose a danger to cattle, sheep and horses which can break a leg by stepping in a mole hole, so farmers want them destroyed. The reason for stringing the carcasses on a fence escapes me, and I doubt that other moles take it as a warning – they are blind as bats, you know.

There are so many moles in the area that we actually saw one run across the trail ahead of us. I had never seen a live mole before, and I thought that they were nocturnal, rarely leaving their burrows. Perhaps their burrows get overcrowded and they need to surface for fresh air. Live moles move much more quickly than dead moles, and they don’t make good subjects for photos, so all I can offer is another photo of moles on line.

Near the end of the walk, we came upon some odd looking tools, basically a rectangle of neoprene attached to a pole. Today’s puzzle is a multiple choice question: what is the purpose of these unusual tools?

1. To beat out heather fires on the moor.
2. To flush grouse for hunters.
3. To encourage LEJOGers to keep moving north.
4. To erase tracks left by moles.

© 2011 Ken Klug


  1. Don on the Mendips.July 24, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    You should have asked a local about the black rectangles on a stick. They use them to frighten Scots back North over Hadrian's Wall.

  2. Those moles are not very nice looking, thank goodness you also put nice pics of the little hiking group. Good looking threesome, I might add....and clean too!

  3. The mole cathchers leave the moles hanging up to prove that they've done their work (some are paid per mole caught). Of course they never exterminate them completely, as that would be to do themselves out of a job for next year. Alan