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Starting to cross the head of the valley of Hartoft Beck heading for Northdale Rigg
Starting to cross the head of the valley of Hartoft Beck heading for Northdale Rigg

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Route No. 437 - Thursday 13 October 2011
Russell's Wood, Hartoft Dale, Cropton Forest, Hamer Beck, Northdale Rigg circuit - 10km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 & 27 North York Moors Western & Eastern areas - the route overlaps the join between these two maps


Looking back across Rosedale from the corner of Russell's Wood
Looking back across Rosedale from the corner of Russell's Wood

Cattle grid at the corner of Russell's Wood
Cattle grid at the corner of Russell's Wood

Jim's spotted something on the path . . . .
Jim's spotted something on the path . . . .

At the top of the climb we turned right along a narrow road to a cattle grid at the corner of Russell's Wood at map ref. SE740957. There's a little gravel area where we parked off the road near the cattle grid. We crossed the road and set off walking on a public footpath down the side of Russell's Wood slowly dropping down into Hartoft Dale.

The weather has been poor all week with leaden skies and continual rain, but today the forecast was better. At least it should stay dry even though the low cloud will still be hanging around. So this morning we drove up Rosedale to the village of Rosedale Abbey and took the road up a steep climb towards Egton Bridge.

Path along the edge of Russell's Wood 
Path along the edge of Russell's Wood

. . . . it's a young fly agaric fungus
. . . . it's a young fly agaric fungus (fairy toadstool)

The path through Russell's Wood
The path through Russell's Wood

The path through Russell's Wood
The path through Russell's Wood

Leaving the eastern corner of Russell's Wood
Leaving the eastern corner of Russell's Wood

Farm access road heading down to Hartoft Beck
Farm access road heading down to Hartoft Beck

They were in fact curlews and it was the fact that they had been perching in tall trees that had confused us. They are bigger birds than they seem when seen out on the vastness of the open moor. They are in fact about the same size as a buzzard. We crossed the beck and followed the farm road up towards the farm. There was a pretty waterfall on a tributary of Hartoft Beck on our right as we approached the farm.

After about 1.3km we reached a minor road at map ref. SE753961. The path had brought us to a 'T'-junction where a stone cottage was being renovated. We turned right at the junction and followed the farm access road down to the crossing of Hartoft Beck. As we walked along the farm road by the beck two large birds took off out of the trees ahead and at first we struggled to identify them.

The path through Russell's Wood
The path through Russell's Wood

Cottage being renovated in Hartoft Dale
Cottage being renovated in Hartoft Dale

Shiny thing fixed to a board by the road
Shiny thing fixed to a board by the road

Waterfall on a tributary of Hartoft Beck as we approached the farm
Waterfall on a tributary of Hartoft Beck as we approached the farm

Looking across Hartoft dale from the edge of Cropton Forest
Looking across Hartoft dale from the edge of Cropton Forest

Climbing up from Hartoft Beck towards the edge of Cropton Forest
Climbing up from Hartoft Beck to the edge of Cropton Forest

Pedestrian gate to the path along the edge of Cropton Forest
Pedestrian gate to the path along the edge of Cropton Forest

At the edge of the forest at map ref. SE761960 we passed through a pedestrian gate to follow a path along the edge of the forest with a pleasant view across Hartoft Dale and down the valley.

We turned right in front of the farm. We climbed up the rough pasture land to the edge of Cropton Forest. There is a path but it's awkward to find.

Climbing up from Hartoft Beck to the edge of Cropton Forest
Climbing up from Hartoft Beck to the edge of Cropton Forest

Looking across Hartoft dale from the edge of Cropton Forest
Looking across Hartoft Dale from the edge of Cropton Forest

Path through Cropton Forest heading for Hamer Moor
Path through Cropton Forest heading for Hamer Moor

Fast flowing beck to cross at the edge of the moor
Fast flowing beck to cross at the edge of the moor . . . .

After our break we continued along the path through the forest to emerge onto the open moor at map ref. SE760969 where a fast flowing little stream entered the forest from the moor.

Part of the forest here had been clear felled and we sat on the stones by an old gate post for a drink and to look at the view.

Jim just had to jump it
. . . . Jim just had to jump it

Walled fields and barn in the middle of Hamer Moor
Walled fields and barn in the middle of Hamer Moor

Looking back to the fields & barn on Hamer Moor
Looking back to the fields & barn on Hamer Moor

Setting off for Northdale Rigg after our lunch
Setting off for Northdale Rigg after our lunch

We crossed the road and sat on a mound for our lunch, quite a pleasant spot surrounded by the open moor enclosed by the low cloud. After our lunch we continued along the path through a series of old earthwork mounds. The path dropped down to cross Hartoft Beck near the head of the little valley.

We followed a path climbing steadily up onto Hamer Moor and after about 2km we came to a barn and several fields enclosed by dry-stone walls. We continued along the path past the fields. After a few hundred metres more we reached the road from Rosedale Abbey at map ref. SE744991.

Reaching the road from Rosedale Abbey
Reaching the road from Rosedale Abbey

Jim about to cross Hartoft Beck
Jim about to cross Hartoft Beck

Setting off for Northdale Rigg after our lunch
Setting off for Northdale Rigg through a series of old earthwork mounds, after our lunch

Grit feeding tray for the red grouse
Grit feeding tray for the red grouse

A sunken grouse shooting butt
A sunken grouse shooting butt

They were sunk in to the ground with a neat gravel floor. At the top of the climb we reached a stone access track along Northdale Rigg at map ref. SE729980.

The path was marked by a series of white topped posts and as we climbed up the south side of the valley there was a line of elaborate grouse shooting butts.

A sunken grouse shooting butt
A sunken grouse shooting butt

The path heading for Northdale Rigg
The path heading for Northdale Rigg

The path heading for Northdale Rigg
The path heading for Northdale Rigg

The track along Northdale Rigg
The track along Northdale Rigg

Mink traps at the ditch crossings
Mink traps at the ditch crossings

We followed this access track for a little over a kilometer out to the road at map ref. SE737967.

There must be a serious problem with wild mink here because at almost every ditch and stream crossing there were mink traps set although we didn't see any mink.

Mink traps at the ditch crossings
Mink traps at the ditch crossings

Crossing tracks on Northdale rigg
Crossing tracks on Northdale Rigg

Walking south east along Northdale Rigg to the road
Walking southeast along Northdale Rigg to the road

The road from Rosedale Abbey
The road from Rosedale Abbey

The last 100m to the cattle grid & the car
The last 100m to the cattle grid & the car

We walked along the road for a few hundred metres back to the car at the end of our walk. The whole route had been about 11km and it had taken us just over four hours to walk including our stops.

Here we crossed the road and followed a rough path through the long heather for about 300m to the narrow lane that runs along the western edge of Russell's Wood.

'Path' through rough heather towards Russell's Wood
'Path' through rough heather towards Russell's Wood

The millennium moorland cross above Rosedale Abbey
The millennium moorland cross above Rosedale Abbey

The same misty view over Rosedale that we saw this morning
The same misty view over Rosedale that we saw this morning

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