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Birk Nab seen from the track between Piethorn and Old Kiln farms
Birk Nab and Coning's Birks seen from the track between Piethorn and Old Kiln farms

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Route No. 225 - Saturday 1 September 2007
East Moor Wood, Piethorn Farm,
Pockley Moor, Lund farm circuit - 10.5km
Near Helmsley, North York Moors . . .

Map OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area
Route Map on 'Landranger' base
from OS Open Space service
Open this route in Google Earth


Note: I walked the above route with my wife because it's all I can manage at present, but the rest of the group walked a longer version of the route and continued across Pockley Moor to Stork House, a ruined farm at map ref. SE622944, then across Hodge Beck and up to Ankness farm at map ref.SE638935. They then dropped down to Hodge Beck again at map ref. SE640918 and climbed back up to the track below Birk Nab at map ref. SE629912 and rejoined my route at map ref. SE 624920. This route is about 18km.

The red phone box at East Moors
The red phone box at East Moors

We set off at about 10.45 am and walked about 200m south along the road to map ref. SE608902 where we turned right to follow a track down to a ford and footbridge across Cowhouse Beck.

This morning we met our usual group of friends for our monthly walk, this time at the red phone box at East Moors, map ref. SE609903, about 6km north of Helmsley.

The ford and footbridge over Cowhouse Beck
The ford and footbridge over Cowhouse Beck

Track through East Moor Wood
Track through East Moor Wood

Here the track splits into three branches and we took the right hand branch. We followed this track for about 2 km to the edge of the wood at map ref. SE597925.

Once across the beck we followed the right hand fork of the track for about 250m to the edge of East Moor Wood at map ref. SE606906.

Track through East Moor Wood
Track through East Moor Wood

Wood ants' nest in East Moor Wood
Wood ants' nest in East Moor Wood

At the edge of the wood there is a little "unofficial" bit of the walk where the paths don't quite join up. At the boundary of the wood on the right hand side, there is a low, very rusty fence made of ancient pig netting which is very easy to stride over. On the other side is a grassy track and about 100m NW on this track (map ref. SE597925) is a public footpath across the valley to Piethorn farm.

By now the rest of the group were out of sight ahead on their longer walk as we walked along the track to the edge of the wood. There were a great many huge wood ants' nests and the whole forest floor was covered in these large ants foraging.

Wood ants' nests in East Moor Wood
Wood ants' nests in East Moor Wood

 Bogmire Gill
Bogmire Gill
Crossing Bogmire Gill
Crossing Bogmire Gill
Looking over East Moor wood from the track near Piethorn farm
Looking over East Moor Wood from the track near Piethorn farm

The farm road from Piethorn farm
The farm road from Piethorn farm

There used to be a pretty ford across Bonfield Gill at this point, but now the stream has been piped under a rubble embankment.

From Piethorn farm we followed the track out to the road at map ref. SE607924. On the opposite side of the road is a path heading north east for about 700m to Bonfield Gill at map ref. SE611930.

The path through the heather to Bonfield Gill
The path through the heather to Bonfield Gill

Approaching Bonfield Gill
Approaching Bonfield Gill
Rubble embankment across Bonfield Gill
Rubble embankment across Bonfield Gill

Looking back across Bonfield Gill
Looking back across Bonfield Gill

After our lunch we set off again along the track heading south east for about 1.5 km to map ref. SE624920. Here we turned right to follow the footpath down the moor to recross Bonfield Gill at map ref. SE615906.

We continued along the track, climbing on to Pockley Moor. We stopped for a lunch break at a junction in the tracks at map ref. SE618933.

Mountain bikers consult their map on Pockley Moor
Mountain bikers consult their map on Pockley Moor

Looking across Pockley Moor to Birk Nab
Looking across Pockley Moor to Birk Nab
Track across Pockley Moor
Track across Pockley Moor
Tracks on Pockley Moor (stoat?)
Tracks on Pockley Moor (stoat?)
Tracks on Pockley Moor (stoat?)
Tracks on Pockley Moor (stoat?)
Pinky/purple crust all over the North York Moors
Pinky/purple crust all over the North York Moors
A sheep came to its end in the moorland bog
A sheep came to its end in the moorland bog
Discarded eeg shell - I hope the chick was reared successfully
Discarded egg shell - I hope the (lapwing?) chick was reared successfully
Looking north along Bonfield Gill
Looking north along Bonfield Gill

Bonfield Gill
Bonfield Gill

We drove into Helmsley and had a coffee in a cafe there whilst we waited for the rest of our group to join us. They arrived after about 45 minutes having walked over 18 km compared to my 10!

From the ford across Bonfield Gill we followed a path through a small wood and across the fields to Lund Farm, and back to our starting point by the red phone box.

Path heading towards Lund farm
Path heading towards Lund farm and the end of our walk.