These are some websites that were found useful for the North-West England
The Cumbria Wildlife Trust.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The Environment Agency.
The Forest of Bowland AONB.
Friends of the Dales, to protect and enhance the Yorkshire Dales.
The Friends of the Lake District, to protect Lake District landscapes.
The Lake District National Park.
The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association.
The Lancashire Wildlife Trust.
The Land of the Lune, a guide to the region within the Lune watershed.
Mark Averyís blog, about the environment and environmental campaigns.
The National Biodiversity Network, makes wildlife data available on the internet.
National Character Area profiles.
Natural England, the governmentís advisor on the natural environment.
The North West Naturalists Union.
Open Spaces Society, protecting open spaces, common land and public paths.
Out of Oblivion, about the cultural landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.
The Peopleís Trust for Endangered Species, concerned with endangered species throughout the world.
Rainy Day Rambles in the Lake District, a set of Ďsketchesí about the Lake District.
The South Cumbria Rivers Trust, concerned with the aquatic environments of South Cumbria.
Val Corbett Photography, photographs of the Lake District.
The Wainwright Society.
Where2Walk, describes walks in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales.
The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, concerned with international wildlife conservation.
The Wildlife of the Lune Region.
The Woodland Trust.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The Yorkshire Dales Biodiversity Forum, on wildlife conservation in the Yorkshire Dales.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
And here are some blogs about walks in North-West England:
Best Foot Forward.
Fat Goat Walks.
The Happy Hiker.
My Yorkshire Dales.
Walking the Cumbrian Mountains.
Thatís a lot of blogs. Why am I adding another one with Saunterings? Well, why not? These bloggers are presumably enjoying producing their blogs: most have been doing so for years! They provide a catalogue of their walks that they are happy to share with others, although I suspect that they are not too fussed if others find them less interesting than they do themselves.
I hope that Saunterings is a little different. The blogs above have many photos and few words. Saunterings has relatively few photos and relatively many words. I realise that this is against the spirit of the age: the typical on-line reader has the attention span of a grasshopper (present company excepted, since youíve reached here). I picture a typical Saunterings reader taking 5 or 10 minutes in a tea break, or travelling on a bus, or waiting at the dentist, to read the latest blog entry. Well, I can but hope.
The words in the blogs listed above are almost all about the details of the walks: which paths they followed, what views they had, which peaks they conquered, what the weather was like, who twisted an ankle, and where they had tea and cake afterwards. I donít know if these bloggers really expect their readers to follow in their footsteps. I donít expect anyone to follow mine. In fact, Iíd urge them not to, as itís much better to work out your own route. Anyway, from these blogs and with trusty guides such as Wainwright, there are thousands of walks to select from, if desired. I hardly need to provide more.
In Saunterings I give few details of my walks. The walk is not the point. I rarely go for a walk just for a walk, or for the scenery, or for exercise. I go because I have some topic, issue, angle, aspect, theme, subject or concern that I want to look into. My words are more about this topic, to do with walking in North-West England, than about the walk itself. The walk provides a context or a framework for discussing whatever is on my mind. I want, if possible, to learn something while preparing for the walk, during the walk itself, and in reflecting on the walk later. I would like, if possible, to say something thought-provoking about the walk and not just report that I have walked it. As I say, I can but hope.
Top photo: The western Howgills from Dillicar; Bottom photo: Blencathra from Great Mell Fell