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Looking to Birk Nab from the Cowhouse Bank car park
Looking to Birk Nab from the Cowhouse Bank car park

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Route No. 226 - Wednesday 5 September 2007
Cow House Bank, Baxton's Wood,
Roppa Wood, East Moor Wood - 9 km
(Moor between Bilsdale & Slightholme Dale)
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


Forestry operations in Baxton's Wood
Forestry operations in Baxton's Wood

There is a good view point here with a couple of bench seats to help you enjoy it. There used to be an aluminium sculpture here - two distorted circles about 2m diameter that you could use to frame the view if you stood in the right place. But it was vandalised almost as soon as it was erected and only one circle was left only to be stolen, presumably for its scrap value. There is a small model of the sculpture in York, I think it's in the art gallery.

This morning my neighbour Jim, and I drove to the car park in the woods at the top of Cowhouse Bank, map ref. SE613886, a few kilometers north of Helmsley. We started walking at about 9.45 am heading NW through Baxton's Wood along the track on the edge of the escarpment. It's a very gentle rise along the track but it was enough to slow me down considerably. We continued on this track for about 2.5 km to a minor road at map ref. SE593903.

Forestry operations in Baxton's Wood
Forestry operations in Baxton's Wood

Looking across the valley of Benfield Gill and Pockley Moor
Looking across the valley of Benfield Gill and Pockley Moor through a gap made by the felling operations

A lovely Scots Pine against the blue sky - thank goodness it's not part of the timber crop
Scots Pine against the blue sky - thank goodness it's not used for timber

We followed the track beyond the trig point for almost a kilometer to map ref. SE580905. Here a track on the right drops down the bank to the corner of Roppa wood at the bottom.

We crossed the road at map ref. SE593903 and continued to the trig. point at map ref. SE588906.

Approaching the trig point over-looking Helmsley Moor
Approaching the trig point overlooking Helmsley Moor

Looking along Bilsdale from  the track near the trig point at map ref. SE588906
Looking along Bilsdale from the track near the trig point at map ref. SE588906
The hills at the head of Bilsdale
The hills at the head of Bilsdale (Cringle Moor, Cold Moor & Hasty Bank)
Descending the track to the corner of Roppa wood
Descending the track to the corner of Roppa wood

More of the pink/purple crust you find all over the moors
More of the pink/purple crust you find all over the moors

We walked through the pedestrian gate into East Moor Wood at map ref. SE595919 and followed the path through the woods to the forest track at map ref. SE601921.

We followed the path along the side of Roppa Wood to the edge of Helmsley Moor at map ref. SE586916. Here we turned right to walk along the path to East Moor Wood.

A dead weasle, front & back view
A dead weasel, front & back view

Crossing Helmsley Moor to the edge of East Moor Wood
Crossing Helmsley Moor to the edge of East Moor Wood

Pedestrian gate into East Moor wood
Pedestrian gate into East Moor wood

From the ford we followed the track up to the road at map ref. SE609902. At the road we turned right to walk along the road back to the car park at the top of Cow House bank.

At the track we turned right to walk along it to the ford and footbridge over Bogmire Gill at map ref. SE608902

Track through East Moor Wood
Track through East Moor Wood

Ford & footbridge across Bogmire Gill
Ford & footbridge across Bogmire Gill

Jim was able to stride out for the first time today and continued to the car park. He returned in the car to pick me up and we drove into Helmsley for our usual coffee etc. The whole route (Jim's walk) was about 9 km and would normally take around 3 hours to walk.

But that was the problem, it's at the top of the bank and it's quite a steep climb. It was beyond me at present so plan 'B' came into operation and I sat on the grass verge at the end of the farm road to Cow House Bank Farm.

Track from Bogmire Gill to the road at map ref. SE609902
Track from Bogmire Gill to the road at map ref. SE609902