Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sun 29 Jan Salmon Station

I had hoped to get out a lot this week but fighting the insurance has basically taken up Mon to Thurs. Got El to Hobby Craft, what a delight, my tax return done.. eek, and changed the timing belt on the car. So not a wasted week but not necessarily the time off I would have liked.

Today was cold and cloudy but I made the effort and headed towards the border at Lamberton, a mile or so from Berwick upon Tweed.  Below the cliffs is a salmon station that I had not visited for five years. (ok 4 years 11 months). Parked up and walked down to cross the east coast main line and onto the cliffs.


This view is looking north along the Scottish coast. About 1k south is the border with England. 
If you enlarge the pic you can see Fulmars on the cliffs. They're my favourite of the local sea birds. Pair for life and sit and cackle at me as I walk by. They are incredible fliers using the slightest tilt of their wings to soar inches from the cliff faces. They will also vomit on you if you get too close. Tiny little North Sea Albatrosses. They go out to sea to feed but seem to be spending more time around the local coast each year. Their numbers are increasing every year and this year is particularly early to see them back on land. Last year I saw the first pairs nesting properly at Dunbar when the Kittiwakes returned on the 24th March.

Lots of cliff erosion. Those red sandstone boulders near the top of the fall are the size of Transit vans.

A Tup with his wee crayon harness. Didn't seem particularly keen on earning his living judging by the ewes backs. It has been cold recently!

A bit further on I crossed this fantastic bit of over-engineering. Its just a land drain, but they don't build them like that anymore. You want to know whats inside that tunnel? Well I know...

Fly began to get nervous as the sheep squared up when we headed to the edge of the cliff to start the climb down to the salmon bothy.

This bothy would once have been used by the salmon fishers working off the Northumbria coast. They used nets from shallow draught boats that could be beached to land the catch.

The roof is similar to mine, thanks RBS insurance.

The salmon are still out there but not nearly as many.  I occasionally hear about single fish being caught in trawl nets but they have to be dumped due to licensing.  The views must have been amazing with a northerly blowing in.

This winch would have been used to haul the boats up onto the flat rocks below the bothy. Not much of it left but you can see the size of the gearing they needed. There used to be piles of rusty chain lying around the winch.

Near the winch a natural shelf in the rocks has been built up to form a little shelter. Seemed a fine place to get the kettle fired up. I cheated a little this week. With the frost and damp I guessed there would be little dry fuel so brought some twigs of my own and a "hexy block" fuel tablet to get things going. I also brought a bottle of water. There is some fresh water leaching from the cliffs but lots of it is draining from several miles of heavily farmed fields and the A1.

The view having a cuppa was a great chill-out. Waves crashing, cold rain starting but I had shelter and warmth so no real problems. Amazing wave shapes in the sandstone.

El reckons these images have a likeness to the film the Piano?

It was a long haul back up the cliffs but Fly seemed happy enough. On the way home in the car Robbie Shepherd was on the radio but fortunately the reception was poor and I couldn't hear him. A good day out.

3 degrees, cloud/light rain, calm. 


  1. Lovely post Ped, Not been there but need to visit sometime. I saw a winch like that at Redpoint last summer, good brew up shelter there!

  2. Wonderful pictures.

    We lost our dog one year ago. He was a boarder collie mix, looked a lot like Fly. Miss that guy...his name was Dash Riprock. Incredibly smart dog. Loved his Frisbee more than any thing in life.

  3. Thanks for the comments.
    Will try to get out on the Kona for the next post.

    Doug I know what its like to lose one. I remember the date I was last at the salmon station as it was one of my final walks with Old Meg (another border collie). Once you've owned own no other dog will do!