Black Rabbits, Angry Birds and Semi Intelligent Manufacturing Units – a walk up Wessenden Valley

I had a shortish walk today up the Wessenden Valley in my home town of Marsden to keep my legs moving a bit before next Saturday’s Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge. It only took about 3 hours and I thought it might be a bit boring as I’ve done this walk quite a lot – but there was lots to see. And I had a nice chat with a guy doing part of the Pennine Way.

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First off : Black Rabbits. There’s a field near the start of the walk that is full of black rabbits (and a few brown ones too). They seem to be confined to that one area and I haven’t seen them in any number elsewhere on the hills. Maybe some domesticated bunnies that escaped and bred? Whatever their origin, the colouring isn’t exactly camouflage and the dog is transfixed by them.

As she is by every sheep we go past. Which is kind of tiresome when you walk past dozens of these semi intelligent wool manufacturing units. I think sheep were introduced in number around 1700 or so in Marsden (yes, that long ago). Before that, I’m guessing there, were far more trees on the moors, certainly on the valley sides.

Sheep in Wessenden Valley
Yet another wary sheep watching our progress - stitched together phone photo

The angry birds reference : lots of little black and white-tailed birds (I really do need to check what they are but I know they weren’t skylarks) did lots of high-pitched yelling at us today. More than usual, I think it’s either a distraction tactic to get us (the dog mainly) away from any ground nests or they were just feeling shouty (non-scientifc viewpoint).

Product of the week (just pretending I have blog features like the bigger blogs do..) : I bought the dog a portable water bowl this week and it worked well, giving her some water out of my backpack was really easy. The one I got was from Mountain Paws ( . If you have a dog and are out on long walks I think they’re a good idea especially when there aren’t lots of stream around in drier times (dry times are sadly rare in Marsden). I didn’t get sponsored by them to mention the product by the way, clearly not enough traffic to my site for me to be getting spontaneous product trial requests from manufacturers or advertisers 🙂

I met a nice guy on this morning’s walk who was walking part of the Pennines Way from Hawes down to Edale – about a week or so of walking. He was from East Kilbride and had been made redundant last year so was doing stuff to make a change and get out of the house. Nice fella, I didn’t get hs name but wish him well.

Icky fact of the week : I’ve been putting surgical spirit on my feet to harden them up. I read that this was a good thing to do. Do any seasoned hikers agree with that? Actually, if you are seasoned I guess you don’t need to harden your feet?

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1 thought on “Black Rabbits, Angry Birds and Semi Intelligent Manufacturing Units – a walk up Wessenden Valley”

  1. Marvellous. We do live in a fantastic place.
    Don’t mess with your feet. They’ll be fine next week.
    Good luck you’ll enjoy it.


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