July 2022

Staying indoors as much as possible during the current heatwave, I thought it was a good opportunity to write my July blog! Despite the heat the farmers are working hard in the fields cutting and baling hay. There’s a low hum of tractor noise from very early morning until late evening and there is a pervasive smell of new mown hay everywhere.

The other scent that is very distinctive in July is that of the meadowsweet. I was down at Crummock very early this morning and you could smell the meadow sweet before you reached the water meadow beyond the pumphouse: it is particularly abundant this year.

Continuing with scents I went to Lowther Castle the other Sunday to see the rose garden having watched it develop over the past couple of years. It was designed by Dan Pearson inspired by the Sleeping Beauty myth and planted in the shape of an old English Rose: it is absolutely beautiful, well worth a visit.

On my way back from Lowther, I made a detour at Eamont Bridge to visit Mayburgh Henge which is a large and impressive Neolithic henge. Its banks are very high and it is said to have been constructed of pebbles collected from the nearby river.

I have become interested in Cumbria’s neolithic past having read  two fascinating recently published books, one by Adam Morgan Ibbotson, Cumbria’s Prehistoric Monuments and the other Stan Abbott’s Ring of Stone Circles.

On a local level  I had often wondered about a tree in Holme Wood which is on its own on a raised mound: I am told this was a neolithic burial chamber and there is a second similar mound a bit further along the path.

Back to Foulsyke, the view towards the lake one morning last week was rather special and then when I turned round towards Foulsyke I was surprised again.