Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Walking from Home~

26th March 2020

Boulsworth Hill

Boulsworth Hill


Homework Back Gate

Many folk watched the Prime Minister's address to the nation from No.10 on Monday 23rd March 2020. It was in response to the growing threat to the population and the NHS from Covid-19 a strain of coronavirus. The core of the message was that in order to slow the spread of the virus..."you must stay at home" and only those who couldn't work at home would be able to continue working and only then only if the work was important and not on the list of premises and trades that should close. Whilst our business type was not on the list, the core of our customers were likely to close and so it made sense to lock the doors and attend to phone calls and emails from home.

Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill

In the first photo I could say I was checking emails, but actually I was remotely operating the camera and taking the photo. The second photo shows our back gate which enters on to a footpath. Less than five minutes later, we gain this view of Pendle Hill - I never tire of this view and cloud-level permitting, I see it every day. Mr.Johnson said we were allowed to leave our home once a day for exercise. Karen and Molly have both opted to come along for this one.

Wall Repairs

Every so often the wall collapses and the local field owner comes along and repairs it. I'm not sure why this section of wall is vulnerable, but excessive rainfall - as we have certainly endured recently - will soften the steeply sloping ground and horses do trot over to this corner to see what is going on.

Key on a string

Lost Key

On an earlier occasion, I found this key, so I tied it to the little oak tree. Hopefully the owner will find it. This rough ground after the first two farmers' fields are nothing to look at, but everything to a great many dog walkers and now lots of folk without dogs are also getting out for their daily excercise.

To Nelson Golf Course

Since Molly arrived six years ago, we have been up here almost every day. I have made many new friends, but just now everyone is doing their level best to avoid each other - the rule is 2m apart from the next man (or woman, or rather not say) and only closer if you live in the same household. There has been some debate as to whether you can use your car to facilitate your once a day exercise - is once a day practical or enough when you are either very active or have a dog(s)?


The next section, along the foot of the golf course, is quite narrow and Molly is considering the issues around Social Distancing. In the event, the two in view were going the same way as us.

"The Pendle Way"

The weekend prior to the Monday address by Mr.Johnson had seen masses of folk head for tourist hotspots despite earlier guidance to keep away from each other. The schools had already been closed and many saw it as an ideal opportunity to escape to the countryside after five months of poor weather and five weeks of storms, who can blame them?

Through the Golf Course

On this stretch, it was easier to maintain the 2m gap as walkers pass each other. The course is closed due to the rules on gatherings and social distancing etc.


Beyind the eastern edge of the golf course, we head up the hill to an area marked on the map as Finsley. I think many old farms populated the landscape long before the golf course was built just over one hundred years ago, maybe Finsley was one of them.

Old Farmhouse

How odd, almost perverse, crazy that the "lockdown" comes just as the weather improves! Still it is better for those of us who have nothing better to do than a bit of gardening and dog walking (once a day, of course).

Boulsworth Hill

Boulsworth Hill

Now, if you fancy a bit of social distancing, Boulsworth Hill has much to offer. It is not easy to get to and has few mad enthusiasts (unlike Pendle Hill). But can I drive the short distance to a start point? Actually, I could walk from home if I felt like it.

House for Sale Pendle Hill
House for Sale
Pendle Hill

The house for sale is one of the area's premium properties and was for sale at something like £890,000, not sure where they are up to just now, but the local press advert originally mis-priced it at £89,000 and I wondered if we could get a bargain. It has a swimming pool and other nice stuff. Pendle Hill comes back into view as we pass the northern edge of the golf course.

Nelson Golf Course

At the time of writing, the ground staff are still working and keeping the course in good order. Normally there would be a flag in this green and a few suitably-attired golfers in attendance, I think it's the 10th.


The footpath crosses the course once again and Molly occasionally strays on to the fairway.

Rupert and Alfie

Rupert and Alfie

Rupert, the Great Dane, has a fine temperament and here is playing with Alfie. Molly doesn't do much doggy play nowadays.

Pendle Hill

A fiery commotion has erupted over the large numbers of hillwalkers aiming for Pendle Hill in this fine weather. The council has closed the Barley car park and farmers have taken to putting up signs proclaiming the "countryside closed", or "Pendle Closed". All a bit unsettling really, how can farmers decide which footpaths and areas of Open Access we are allowed to use? I understand the need to prevent the spread of the virus, but it isn't the farmers prerogative to shut areas and public footpaths or tell folk where they can or cannot park. The police have now got involved under the new government guidelines and will fine people who arrive in the area without just reason.

Last Bit

So, we have been out for just over an hour and enjoyed some fine weather and landscapes right on our doorstep.

In the garden The Steps
In the Garden
The Steps

Our garden is really just a bit of field with a fence around it and I have never found it easy to cultivate a tidy or pretty garden and have very much given up on trying to do so. But it's a decent bit of space and we get loads of birds who seem to like an untidy space.


The Sunset

The legislation introduced on this day to address social movements and population behaviour in the light of the threat posed by Covid-19 didn't quite match Mr.Johnson's speech and notably the allowance to leave your residence for the reason of exercise is not limited to once a day, nor is it stipulated that it should be taken from home. If you can find it:

2020 No.350 Public Health, England

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020

For legal reasons, I am not linking to the site where I found the legislation, but it's not too difficult to find.

My opinion is that mental health has been overlooked during this crisis. Fresh air and exercise are good for both the body and the soul. Imagine only being to take the air once a day? Also, I can go for a short drive in any one of four directions from home and then go for a long walk, probably see less than 10 people in wide open areas. Or I can walk these fields and nowhere else and see up to 30 people on each occasion and possibly have to walk past them, not within the 2m distance preferred by the government guidance.

The government guidance is important and keeping away from other people whenever and wherever possible is vital. It is not a good sign when footpaths and walking territories are effectively closed by landowners, not law makers or enforcers. The police are supporting the efforts to "close" Pendle Hill but under the what premis? The government guidance or the law? This is the same police force who couldn't put a stop to the illegal use of scrambler bikes on Pendle Hill when they knew who it was and the times when they were cutting up the landscape.

Time taken: Just over 1hr over a distance of about 3 miles.

Weather and conditions: Sunny and calm.

Greetings: Distant and respectful, given the current situation.

Refreshments: We took a bottle of water with us.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2020 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....