Scorton Is a Lancashire Village Amid Much Beauty

Stouts Bar

Stouts Bar-Scorton Lancashire. is a must see village for any one visiting the area. Photograph courtesy of Alexander P kapp.
Stouts Bar-Scorton Lancashire. is a must see village for any one visiting the area. Photograph courtesy of Alexander P kapp.

Notes from a Lancashire Country Man.

Scorton village in Lancashire is situated on the edge of the Trough of Bowland a picturesque area of natural beauty.The village is a must see location to any one visiting the area. The spire of the church can clearly be seen on the left hand side as you drive north along the M6 motorway as you approach junction 33 which is situated just beyond the Forton Service Station.

A road from the village leads up into open countryside which boasts a variety of habitat from open fells, pastures , heathland, woodland and rivers. From the summit of Calder fell a panoramic view takes in grey stone farm buildings in the valley below which itself is dotted with livestock, predominantly sheep. Another fell rises from the foot of the valley, on the opposite side to an even greater height. On the opposite side of the lane the land rises and falls gently as the fells sweep out to the horizon. It is from the lane at the summit of the road that I began my foray.

It was the end of May, hot in the village below, but up here on the fells a genial breeze helped to moderate the temperature, making the walk all the more pleasant.The intermittent bleating of sheep is a background noise incorporated into this rugged landscape, as is the bubbling call of the curlew, a song that never fails to lift my spirits. This large wading bird with the instantly recognisable long, down-curved beak has bred in this region for as long as records have been kept, and probably for many centuries before that.

Top. Curlew. Bottom, Beacon fells

The bubbling call of the curlew is emitted on the wing. It is a call of the wild. Note how the photographer has captured the point beneath the birds tail which is formed by the bird holding out its legs horizontally.  The photograph is by kind permis
The bubbling call of the curlew is emitted on the wing. It is a call of the wild. Note how the photographer has captured the point beneath the birds tail which is formed by the bird holding out its legs horizontally. The photograph is by kind permis
Beacon Fell at the Trough of Bowland Lancashire is a place of outstanding natural beauty. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Grey.
Beacon Fell at the Trough of Bowland Lancashire is a place of outstanding natural beauty. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Grey.

Curlew

Its plumage, is of a pale brown colour with darker streaks, dark wing tips, white rump, white belly with dark bars, the long bill is horned coloured. The bubblingsong is delivered whilst in flight, when the legs project just beyond the tail. In common with all wading birds, when winter approaches the curlew will make its way to the mud banks and salt marshes near the coast. Two fine examples of this kind of habitat can be found within easy flying distance for them at the near by Morecambe Bay and the Solent estuary.

From the summit of the fell a rocky pathway leads down to a wooded area some distance away. I followed the pathway which meandered through scrub land, which , in the main, consisted of common gorse, whose brilliant yellow blooms reflected the sun light so strongly that I had to divert my eyes. Around the base of this impenetrable spiny tangle there was shallow scrapings and droppings, evidence of the nocturnal activity by rabbits.

Passing through this veritable jungle of scrub the path widened into a cart track that ld to the woodland, redolent with bird song. Towering trees cast heavy shadows over the leafy track, yet, shafts of sunlight penetrated the canopy dappling the woodland floor. Walking along this cool avenue of trees I came upon a fast flowingriver, stones and pebbles diverted the water a round them leaving in its wake frothy white bubbles. It was at this location that i encountered a bird that I have long admired-the dipper. This member of the thrush family is a denizen of leafy waterways. When our glances met the bird bobbed up and down in quick succession, a sure sign that it was uneasy at my presence. I retraced my steps for a few yards so as not to disturb the bird unduly, then with the aid of my binoculars observed it from a less threatening position.

Dipper

The dipper is a handsome bird associated with fast flowing rivers.Photograph by kind permission of Andrew2602
The dipper is a handsome bird associated with fast flowing rivers.Photograph by kind permission of Andrew2602

Dipper

In areas of the south it was once commonly referred to as the water ouzel or water colley, colley being the old name for a blackbird. However, the dipper is not black like its cousin, but rather it is of a rusty brown colour on the upper parts, flanks and belly, it has a white throat and breast. This species is the only song bird that can swim both on the water and under the water's surface as it seeks out the innumerable insects and their larvae. It is known to walk along stream beds in this quest. This habit and its characteristic bobbing habit make the species unmistakeable. The song is a wren like warbling sound often delivered whilst standing on a rock or other water side perch. I managed to obtain a couple of minutes observation before it was off, skimming along the water's surface in the manner of a kingfisher.

The woodland track went on turning this way and that, away from the river and its sounds, before coming suddenly upon the open fells once more. After the shade afforded by the trees the heat from the sun met me with a vengeance, the breeze on the fell tops did not reach this lowland region. In the short grasses and other vegetation, strewn with rocks a diverse range of flora awaited me. Tormentil with its four yellow petals and creeping foliage was prominent, it is a smaller and daintier plant than its larger cousin the creeping cinquefoil, which has its common name suggests, has five petals in its flower formation. trefoils and clovers where much in evidence as were cat's ears and species of Verronica.Rushes and club rush also competed for space in this vast area of heathland. Butterflies and other insects fluttered and buzzed around the flowers as did the bumble bees which were represented by six species during the time of my visit.


Tormentil

The dainty flowers of the tormentil Photograph by kind permission of Tigerente
The dainty flowers of the tormentil Photograph by kind permission of Tigerente

On the return leg

On the return leg of my ramble, having past through the woodland with its flowing river {no dipper this time} I observed a buzzard circling effortlessly on the thermals, high above the fells, a good view was afforded by a backdrop of clear blue sky. I felt content on reaching the summit, once again on the country lane, accompanied by the bubbling song of the curlews. It had been another memorable foray into the countryside of north west England, provided by mother Nature, free of charge, available to any one of any age with the eyes to see and the ears to listen.

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Comments 2 comments

D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 6 years ago from Lancashire north west England Author

Darlene, I know you have a passion for nature thank you for joining me on my strolls.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

I love the piture of the village, what a perfect place to live, I would love it their. The bubblings wings are so wide. Let's us take a wake in silence to hear the sounds of nature all around up. This hub is paradise with as stroll to enjoy the sights and sound. Thank you

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