Drawing 283: Skiddaw Forest
Direction of view: E
Notes: Wainwright’s viewpoint indicator is in the wrong place: the correct foreground is the circular sheepfold at Wiley Gill, which is immediately adjacent to the place where the Cumbria Way crosses the gill: grid reference NY302308. The viewpoint is on top of a heathery bank above the sheepfold. As Wainwright says: “the sheepfold is circular in plan, favouring the Scottish Lowlands style”. The only other place in Wainwright’s published work where this scene appears is on page Great Calva 4 in The Northern Fells (where its correct location is given).
Comments: I visited Skiddaw Forest on 14th May 2017 (having previously looked in vain for the sheepfold in AW’s indicated location!). It was a splendid late Spring day, with good visibility and drifting white clouds. There were relatively few sheep around, and some young trees are regenerating. Having set off from Orthwaite, I followed Wainwright’s route of ascent to Meal Fell, then on to Great Sca Fell, Knott and Great Calva, descending the latter by the westerly fence, whence a thin path leads right to the sheepfold. I then continued to Skiddaw House and back to Peter House Farm, detouring en route to take the photo of Dash Falls (183). I also visited Caldbeck before the walk to photograph the John Peel gravestone, and after it to take the main view of Caldbeck church and bridge.
For comparison, Peter Messenger’s photo from the late 1970s is shown. The sheepfold was then in some disrepair.