Walk with a friend

What a great day for a walk with an old friend, Oscar a black Labrador. He doesn’t belong to me but we have always been pals and as a treat to both of us we headed onto Ilkley Moor today. I set off with three layers on, I quickly peeled down to just one, a t-shirt as the sun grew in strength and spent less of its time shyly hidden behind the rapidly thinning clouds. It is nesting season on much of the moor so I kept Oscar on a short lead where necessary but allowed him to run free when it was clear there were few birds around. I think he must have covered twice the distance I did and certainly spent twice the energy. Bounding over the heather and leaping over ditches, he was in his element. A shortish loop took us along the edge of Burley moor and up to the twelve apostles. These consist of a group of standing stones laid out in a circle about 20 feet in diameter. It is claimed by some that they are an ancient ritual site. I am inclined to think they have been put up in the last 50 years as a point of interest. From there we followed the newly lain stone slabs that have replaced the natural path. These huge stones have been taken from a Lancashire cotton mill and placed in the middle of a Yorkshire moor, all in the name of conservation. Whilst I admire the efforts and sentiments of “friends of Ilkley Moor” I can’t help but question some of their methods and implementation. By now Oscar was flagging a little, a full bodied plunge into a deep pool had revived him a little but we were both ready to head back. Upon our return after some well deserved biscuits he slumped into his bed where I was assured he remain for the rest of the day. We had walked a steady 6 miles in just under 2 hours. I look forward to next time

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