A circular walk from Leathley: Jan 1st, 2020
The new year began with perfect weather for taking portraits of trees. A route was suggested in an area that I knew only vaguely from riding the quiet lanes around here. I was introduced to a whole new set of tracks and footpaths. It proved a revelation.
The route started by following the old byway of Riffa Lane, soon turning very muddy beyond Leathley Hall.
Many individual trees must have been planted on this estate at around the same time, scattered about with a sure vision of the future. We’re reaping the benefit now. I feel ever more strongly that we should be doing the same for future generations.
Tree hunting forays were made to left and right, while still following the furrows of Riffa Lane, the Chevin visible to the south-west and providing a bearing.
The route continued through Riffa Wood before looping around to Stainburn. It was hard not to anthropomorphise and confer personalities on the stones as well as the trees.
From the hamlet of Braythorn, another old lane was followed to the west, recrossing West Beck and leading to a field path in the direction of Lindley.
A haze filled the Wharfe valley to the south.
The route dropped into the Washburn valley, passing by more grand old trees.
The walk finished following the River Washburn to Fishpool and along the road back to the starting point beside the Village Hall at Leathley. The reflections summed up the entire walk of trees and puddles.