Dowthwaite Head

Tucked away in the upper reaches of Aira Beck beneath Birkett Fell and the wild open common at the northern end of the Helvellyn range, lies this old farming community. Now one farmstead, where once there were seven. Recently sold and currently lying dormant awaiting reviving under regenerative farming stewardship, it provides a window on a former age. When I first wandered through the steading, some thirty years ago, I ventured all the way up the beck’s course to Stybarrow Dodd and Great Dodd. I watched with admiration Mayson Weir and his neighbours working as a collective, as had always been the way. They gathered the widely dispersed Herdwick flock with dogs, walking and calling loudly (this was before quad bikes). It is a corner of heaven that needs to remain sacrosant, sheltering sublimely beneath Dowthwaite Crag.

Dowthwaite Head

Published by markrichardswalking

An outdoor writer since my early twenties, with a passion for walking and linescape art, which quickly coalesed into the creation of practical guides exploring the remarkable landscapes and heritage of Britain.

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