Sunday, 17 June 2018

Sunday 20th May was the day planned on the Ramblers programme for a big walk. 11 miles taking in 2 Donalds ( hills over 2,000 feet south of the Highland line) plus 4 other named tops and nearly 3,000 feet ascent. Starting from Afton Reservoir the 5 walkers led by Brian Henry set off onto the Core Path which led through the Afton Wind Farm which was under construction. It was here that a calamity happened when one walker had a boot failure and the sole came free of the boot. Unable to continue the walker and a driver returned to the cars and drove home. The remaining 3 continued onto the hillside to reach Windy Standard. A strong southerly wind was blowing which affected the walking speed. After Windy Standard the group moved onto Alhang, the 2nd Donald. Continuing the circuit around Afton Reservoir and passing the source of the River Afton the next hill was Alwat followed by Meikledodd Hill; both are over 2,000 feet but not included in the Donald list. Then it was over to south side of Blacklorg Hill and contour round to Cannock Hill. The last summit was the top of Craigbraneoch Rig which afforded views down the Afton valley and then drop down to the reservoir for the return home.
There was very little wildlife seen throughout the walk, some meadow pipits, skylarks rising in song, a few ravens and one curlew; but then we were near wind farms and wildlife is notoriously absent