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Walk leader



Stamfordham – Richmond Hill – Ouston Moor – Harlow Hill - Duns Law – Spital – Welton Hall – Whittle Dean Reservoirs - Coldside - Ouston Moor - Stamfordham (10 miles).


Very cold with a chilling wind, but the sun shone throughout.


George, Ken, Ashley, Ron, Sandy.


Michelle and Michael - visiting Michelle's brother in America.

Evelyn - visiting her mother.

Bernie - teaching commitments.

Carol - temporary landlady to Michael, Anne and Felix.


The roads in and around Stamfordham were covered with a thin layer of frozen snow. Most of the fields were hard and rutted except for one very muddy one on the homeward leg. Luckily our boots were fairly clean by the time we returned to the cars. The tracks were hard and icy. Sandy hurt her back and left arm as a result of a fall on the ice, but carried on bravely with what turned out to be a fractured radius. As a result Ron and Sandy had to go to the hospital instead of coming for the meal. Ken informed us that he was already known to the military as a result of previously wandering on to MOD property with a camera that did not belong to him.

Found a cache of rocket launchers beside the old military airfield at Ouston. Some had been used to form a fence but some of the others were obstructing the path waymarkers. As a result we wandered on to MOD land. A military looking man with a short haircut and a dog with a redcoat advised us that we were tresspassing and complained that we were taking photos of the rocket launchers despite the fact they were on the public footpath. Navigation a bit “iffy” from Ouston to Harlow Hill.

Lunch was taken on a small bridge not long after Sandy’s fall. We had difficulty getting through a kissing gate that had been designed for very thin people. Met a small black and white pony and its cute, friendly foal that was partial to polo mints. It obviously had not been told by its mum not to take sweets from strangers.

The track at Spital was under water and ice so we had to climb over the fence to get round it. We inspected the overflow culverts from Whittledean Reservoir. Only one man was braving the cold to fish at the reservoir.

We met a Jack Russell terrier who did not shirk from his duty to defend his farm and see us off the premises.

Our second stop was at the woods on Ouston Moor. On reaching the road we kept on it to walk back to the car as the alternative route though the fields looked too muddy.


Birds: buzzard, three nearly full grown signets (one turning white), oyster catcher, skein of geese, heron, kestrel.

Mammals/others: several cold sheep.


The Highlander, Belsay. George was the only survivor from the walk, but was joined by Evelyn. Excellent haggis, turkey and asparagus pie and rhubarb crumble. Jackie Charlton, looking very fit, stood back to let George pay the bill.

Photo Gallery


Group at the start



Boggy Route


Rocket Launcher

rear view

Rear view












Icy Fields







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