In her diary Anne Frank wrote this: “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and God wishes to see people happy amidst the simple beauty of nature.”
In the past few months, this column has highlighted a number of tramper trails – that is countryside walks that are suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs, the less agile walker, who finds stiles difficult, and “trampers” – especially adapted motorised buggies.
Lancashire County Council’s Countryside Service has been at the forefront of developing ways to make the countryside accessible for these categories of users, working in partnership with local councils, businesses and other public bodies like the Forest of Bowland.
As a result, there are a number of places around the county, but especially in the Forest of Bowland, where trampers can be hired.
Anne Frank knew what it was like to be confined and knew the value of being out of doors. Lancashire County Council has worked hard to make as much of the countryside accessible to everyone, but especially those with disabilities.
The windfarm at Caton is a particularly airy location with fine views. It is at once a wild and windy place, and one connected with contemporary concerns about energy supply.
It first came into service in 1994, at a time when there were only five other wind farms in the country. There are eight turbines on the site, and each has been given a name by local primary school children. As far as the visitor is concerned, this is the only thing that distinguishes them.
Wind turbines have become a controversial topic, especially their impact on the landscape.
However passing through them on this trail they are not unpleasing to the eye. This is a subjective judgement of course – to test it you will have to do the walk and make up your own mind!
Directions: At the windfarm’s picnic area, there is a detailed information board explain the windfarm and its contribution to energy supply. Also there is a brightly coloured directional marker. From the car park, it is necessary to drop back 50 yards on the fell road to reach the track leading into the windfarm.
The track is composed of high quality compacted aggregate for most of the route- apart for a short section of compressed earth.
The way leads past a white memorial stone erected in memory of Anne Redferne, who was executed at Lancaster in 1612 as one of the so-called Pendle Witches.
This is part of a number of identical monuments erected around the district to mark the 400th anniversary of the Witch Trials held in Lancaster.
Soon after this, the track reaches a gate – the only one on route. After this it continues gently rising to the highest part of the route.
As the track swings right by turbine number eight, “Whinchat”, there are fine views across to Morecambe Bay and the Lake District beyond.
The track then swings right again in front of turbine number seven, “Fox”, and begins a slight climb over a spur before joining the outward route.
Route described by Bob Clare. For an illustrated version of this walk go to www.lancashirewalks.com
Start/finish: Caton Moor windfarm. SD 570643 From Junction 34 M6 take the A683 towards Kirkby Lonsdale. When you reach Caton turn right at the roundabout onto Brookhouse Road. In the village centre close to the Black Bull turn right and then fork left onto Moorside Road. At the next junction fork left onto Quarry Road which leads up to the wind farm.
Distance: 2.9km (One-and-a-half miles)
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Summary: Disabled ramblers category one
Maps: OS OL 41 The Forest of Bowland