I avoided Cumbria last weekend – for obvious reasons, and my thoughts go out to everyone affected by the floods. I went instead to Yorkshire and chose a walk along the Ure – Wensleydale’s primary river. It’s been about 4 years since I walked along it and I resolved to revisit and reacquaint myself with it.
I had no idea though, that it too had recently burst its banks and flooded a wide swath of land either side of its usual course. I parked in Askrigg and wandered down to the stepping stones that take you across to Brush House on the southern bank.
I had to negotiate a couple of flooded fields on the way down, but I had my Sealskinz on and my heavily dubbined leather boots, so feet were secure enough. The river was up high and the stones were flooded; you can tell by how much if you compare my last visit in 2004 to this one.
The river in 2004 (Oh dear what was I thinking with that hat?)
The river last weekend – you can just about make out the stones on this side of the river beneath the torrents.
As I walked further along, the extent of the flooding soon became apparent. Although the water levels had returned to pretty much their usual levels, they had left behind detritus and flotsam all over the place. Any barrier to the passage of the river had accumulated a mound of debris behind it, even those that were normally dozens of yards from the river.
The path close to the river has been eroded.
This gate is a long way from the river, but it’s been almost completely covered by it at some point.
All in all a rather sobering walk. And this is nothing compared to the damage in the Lakes.