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Wednesday Wander Errington Woods & The Flat Earth Triangulation Pillar...

Last Wednesday we wandered from the central car park at Errington Woods, which is situated just above the town of New Marske on the edge of the NorthvYorkshire Moors. We had two new wanderers this week, Emma Caswell & Julie Thompson, a warm welcome to you both...

Initially, we followed the lower path which meanders through Marske Bank Plantation. This gave us a good warm-up before the first hill, the level terrain making it easy to run on the soft earth and soot mixture which makes up most of the paths and tracks within the woods. From the mid-19th century, until 1923 the whole area was a rabbit warren of ironstone workings, with the lower path forming part of the railway installed to transport the oolitic rocks away from the mines.

Once we reached the first climb we turned south and headed up the side of the plantation before taking a track which runs halfway up the side of Marske Banks Plantation. This is another decent track which rises and falls as it follows the contours of the ridge. After about a mile we turned bending our back into the hill and climbed up steep wooden steps which took us up to the edge of the woods and crop fields beyond. The steps certainly get the legs, lungs and heart going. There is a little segment on them to have a go at as well...

Once at the top, we followed the tree line east to Beacon Hill trig point. Unfortunately, visibility was limited and there was no view of Roseberry Topping or the moon shining down on us, as there had been for my recce the night before. After a brief natter about trig points and triangulation, we continued on along the track which runs along the edge of both the field and the plantation. Again this is a nice runnable track, which even though we have had a fair bit of rain of late was not too claggy underfoot. Making for a good mile or so of pacey trotting. Eventually, the path leads to a gravel farm track before becoming a metalled road taking you into Upleatham. Ham at the end of Upleatham denotes it as a village or homestead, In this case, the up comes from it being on higher ground than its neighbour Kirkleatham. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, a survey of buildings, people livestock and crops in parts of England and Wales to determine how much revenue the crown could accrue by its taxation, it is likely that the village was in existence well before the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Within the village, there are several interesting buildings, including St Andrews Church which is believed to be one of the smallest in the country. The present building replaced a larger one that may have been founded in the 11th century. For the bibliophiles amongst you, there is a small book exchange library housed in a redundant phone box just off the main street.

Once through the village, the road turns to a substantial track that takes you all the way to the A174 at Toft roundabout. We however were taking a smaller path up into the aptly named village wood. As the wood stands above the bulk of the homestead below it is easy to imagine coppicing, pollarding and charcoal burning taking place within its leaf-strewn interior. Smoke spiralling up between the twisted boughs of Beech Trees, as a discordant host of Corvus Frugilegus, better known as the Rook, settle for the night in their rookery of twigs high above the ground.

Yes, I do digress a little bit but I'm sure you get the picture...

Following the path through Village Wood, we came back to the main track leading us back to the car park. There is a good segment that goes all the way from the iron barrier at the head of the track to the kissing gate at the car park, it is around 1.2 miles in length and flat apart from a little lump in the middle.

In all, we wandered just over 6 miles and climbed about 650ft, though the gradient of the steps up to Beacon Hill made it feel a good deal more.

Thanks to all last week's wanderers, especially Emma & Julie I hope you were not scared off by either the steps or the talk of triangulation methods...

Until next week trot on...💪💪🦍

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