Distance: 17km; Ascent:580m; Overcast, little wind with occasional rain; with Laura and many others
Little Fell is one of two forbidden 2000ft mountains in England, the other one being Mickle Fell, and there both lie on the MoD Warcop firing range in the North Pennines. Access to the area is extremely restricted and only available for around 12 weekends a year and only then along rights of way as it is exempted from being access land under CRoW.
Unfortunately there are no public rights of way to the summits of either peaks, but I believe that access to Mickle Fell is relatively easy by way of a permit system (which I will find out for myself at some point, hopefully later this year). Little Fell however is a different kettle of fish as there is technically no unaccompanied access allowed to it! Luckily the kind people at North Pennines AONB arrange with the MoD to have an annual access walk to its summit and this year I had actually been organised far enough in advance to bag a space on it :)
And so early this morning Laura and I left the south Manchester area and drove northwards to the agreed meeting place in the small village of Hilton, where the popularity of the walk became evident as the tiny car park was completely overwhelmed. After finding somewhere else to park, we joined the group for a brief introduction to the area. At around 10:15am we set off walking and soon entered the firing range, marked by Danger signs.
|Looking SW out over the firing range|
|One of the many shells|
|Mining Remains||Mining Remains|
|An egg on Long Fell|
|Ascending Tinside Rigg|
|Looking north over the moorland towards Cross Fell|
|Shells high up on Little Fell|
|Lunch near the trig point on Little Fell|
|The featureless summit of Little Fell (NY 78092 22291)|
We didn't hang around for too long on the summit as the weather looked to be about to make a turn for the worse, and headed north-westwards down the moorland towards Scordale Head. There were good views across the open expanse of the moors towards Mickle Fell and down into Scordale.
|Mickle Fell from near Scordale Head|
|Descending upper Scordale|
N.B. 30/10/12 - Post date updated to actual date of walk, i.e. 14/07/12, (from 20/07/12)