Having taken some time off midweek, I had taken a notion to ‘visit’ a stretch of country road I hadn’t been on in almost 20 years.
The usual check list, rukkie, boots on (you know me), phone, Baofeng dual band handie and off I headed the usual route over the golf course track and with the recent heavy rains it has started to get wet and muddy in parts mostly on the descent from the high point at the water tower. I passed through the first mile being told by the robotic female voice who tells me, my time etc. for my walk.
Endomondo is the phone app I use, it ‘times’ you plus records your route and uploads route detail to its website ‘live’ where you can be followed if need be, I have tried to encourage Katie to ‘follow’ me online as it would mean a steaming mug of hot coffee when I arrive home, tried yes but not successful. It is relatively accurate on both time and place wise as a recent test with Roddy IOB proved.
Anyway, back to the stroll.
I reached the bottom of the track and turned left towards Kilmacolm and not far down this single track road you next turn right at the first farm you meet, the smell of the farmyard suddenly hits you as you walk down the tarmac road, I noticed a couple of cars parked at the side of a bridge over the Gryfe, surely not poachers with generators ?
Luckily I knew what they were up to when I saw their equipment, electro fishing. I asked one of them the usual silly questions as you do, they were from the Clyde River Purification Board and were checking on the fish life. The Gryfe also enjoys a small run of salmon but no salmon reaches this far up as a set of falls further downstream is the end of the line for them. I watched as they ‘swept’ the river to beneath the bridge and off they set off to start sweeping upstream again. Funnily they were using a ‘loop’ and I had read up on Magnetic Loop antennas only earlier that morning. More on electro fishing HERE plus I later made a phone call to an old pal who is a watcher on another stretch of the river and he told me that there are some fish presently in the river and a few fish were being returned to help preserve the runs of fish. ‘Catch and release‘ is being practised on most fisheries now as the days of mass fish kills are now past plus the Atlantic Salmon Trust is doing sterling work in the improving of stocks as well as conservation of the ‘King of the river’, have a look at their work.
More on this immediate area once I head back from my destination. My intention was to walk approx 3 miles from home and retrace my steps back giving me a walk of almost 6ml.
I set off downhill before a sharp rise in height where the road turns more into a rough narrow track, I would imagine this is due to more lack of use although recent signs of tractor use is seen. I reached the side of the hill and not before long after setting off downhill, I reached a farm which has a reasonable horse exercise yard next to the road. 100 yards on past other buildings is the ‘B’ road between Greenock and Kilmacolm.
I stopped and walked down the main road for 150 yards and crossed at the junction of a road which then heads out to a couple of farms, I stopped at a stone bridge ( Burnbank Bridge) over the Green Water for a quick break.
Time to head back.
I just retraced my steps back to near Mathernock Bridge where the electro fishers had since left. This area has some interesting history, as early as the 1500’s there was a Waulk Mill just downstream of this bridge, I’ll let you learn more if you follow the work done HERE . Unfortunately there seems no update to this.
There is the remains of a WW2 anti aircraft battery next to the burn at the bridge, the visible remains of four gun emplacements and a control room lie just off the road, it was known as AA Battery High Mathernock, more on this HERE
The gun emplacements and control building are in relatively good condition, I had a look in the building rooms, the only remains are of a wooden table in one end room surprisingly the inside walls still have some whitewash on them ( did I just hear steps?) then it was off back on to the road, as you climb over the gate (carefully this time, Bob) you can see on the opposite field the remains of the accommodation blocks etc. The satellite image shows clearly the layout of buildings, last time I was here you could see the concrete bases of most of the buildings.
I reached the road junction and headed west back to the side track which leads me over the golf course, the water tank reached and it is all down hill from there to home.
6 mile in the bag on what looked a grey dank day when I started out and ended a fine mild day with occasional glimpses of blue sky.
No coffee waiting though….
A good walk mixing both rough track and tarmac with plenty of interest along the way, watching the river being electrofished was a bonus. The route also has differing height rises and falls. Radio wise, activity was mostly heard on the PMR frequencies, mostly weak and possibly signals from the Glasgow area. I think I may take my scanner on my next walk just as a test.
Once again thanks to Wikipedia and this time to Canmore which is a mine of information for Scotland, I have spent many hours trawling through my local (Inverclyde) information.
Endomondo is HERE