Author Archives: solwayshorewalker

Snippets 13: “A hare in a fix”

The polar bear on the ice-floe is the iconic image of climate change and the warming of our seas. Here on the Solway Firth nearly 140 years ago, the climate had changed in the other direction – towards a bitter … Continue reading

Posted in Snippets, Solway Viaduct & Railway, Spring & Neap Tides | Tagged , , ,

What’s a clay dabbin?

“The first thing people do is stroke the walls – it’s tactile, there’s something about it that makes people want to touch it.” Alex Gibbons     On April 28th 2017 the first clay dabbins building to be constructed on … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, architecture, coastal history, conservation | Tagged , , , ,

Snippets 12: In praise of Bowness Moss

Bowness Moss or Common is one of the South Solway Mosses National Nature Reserves, NNR [1]. The near-pristine centre of this raised mire is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, SSSI;  it’s also a Special Area of Conservation, SAC. Acronyms … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, peat, bogs and moors, Snippets, wetlands | Tagged ,

Ask the fellows who cut the peats

  “I just went and asked for a job – I fancied gaan cuttin’ peat. The foreman said, ‘I’ll take you up on the moss’ – and what a walk it was! A big wide open space, peat stacks everywhere. … Continue reading

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Time-warps and gnomons

It was a fine bright morning, there was still a sprinkling of snow on the fells, but Spring was clearly on its way; I’d spent too much time at my desk writing and longed for the changed perspective of the … Continue reading

Posted in Allonby, Marine Conservation Zone, tidelines | Tagged ,

Lighthouses of the Upper Solway: a guest post by Captain Chris Puxley

For many years, Captain Chris Puxley was Harbourmaster of the Port of Silloth and  a ship’s pilot, bringing ships up the Solway’s unpredictable channels from Workington. He has always been interested in the Port’s history and has written a book … Continue reading

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SACs, SPAs, SSSIs: what do they mean (and should we care)?

“Think of [the list] as not so much an inventory as a catalogue leading to compelling and interacting stories.” [6] Protected areas: their borders aren’t marked by posts or buoys, but they are marked by lines on maps, and by … Continue reading

Posted in conservation | Tagged , ,

Snippets 11: big moon, big tides, at Allonby Bay

On Monday night the full moon, its face very slightly squashed, shone down on a stormy Solway Firth. The brown silt-laden waves pounded ashore and shortly after midnight the incoming tide that was battering the sea-defences at Dubmill Point reached … Continue reading

Posted in Allonby, Marine Conservation Zone, Sabellaria, honeycomb worm, Snippets, Spring & Neap Tides | Tagged

Snippets 10: stone stoops

Gateposts don’t normally attract our attention, so it is easy to miss the fact that many of the ‘posts’ supporting field gates on the Solway Plain are not posts at all, but are the traditional red sandstone pillars – known … Continue reading

Posted in coastal heritage, quarries, sandstone, Snippets, wetlands | Tagged , , , ,

The Solway viaduct

The Solway is as smooth as silk, the water slipping in around the embankment that points a stubby finger towards Scotland. We have reached the embankment’s distal end by stepping and teetering along the sloping wall of dressed red sandstone … Continue reading

Posted in coastal heritage, industrial heritage, peat, bogs and moors, Solway Viaduct & Railway | Tagged , ,