Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Wast Water paddle

The view up Wast Water to the peak of Great Gable flanked by Yewbarrow and Lingmell  was once voted the best view in Britain. I still prefer some of the views from Arnside Knott, but on a reflective morning, this isn't that bad a place.  Not bad for a paddle either.  Photographers are thick on the ground here, but that wasn't why we were here. It was just chance that when we arrived at 11 am the lake was still still; ten minutes later the wind picked up and the lake was ruffled.

The reason we were here was to take some water samples at Scoat Tarn, two miles uphill from here. I was keeping my former colleague M company as she went up to get her quarterly sample. Scoat Tarn is part of the Environmental Change Network, and there is a long record of samples charting gradual change in water chemistry. Initially it was included in the network as it was particularly affected by acid rain.  In the last twenty years it has been gradually improving as the coal burning power stations have been replaced with less polluting gas, and better still, with wind and other green energy. Now, like Burnmoor Tarn that we went to in November, the value of the site will be in monitoring the influence of climate change.

It's a long day of travel and walking for 5 minutes taking water samples, but I enjoyed every moment of place and company. Maybe I need to get out more.

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