About this blog

The journey from John o'Groats to Land's End took place in 14 sections, starting in 1996 (a week or so each year). The idea came to me in 1995 and I completed the British JoGLE Watershed in June 2009.

I was joined by a number of relations and friends from time to time. Most notable among my walking companions were my son Tim (7 sections) and nephews Peter and Jonny.

After walking the first section in 1996 I discovered that Dave Hewitt had already pioneered the Scottish Watershed (to Cape Wrath) in 1987, and had published his excellent account Walking the Watershed in 1994. We have been in touch since then, and he has been a great encouragement.

A simple definition of the watershed is that any rain falling to the left of the path finishes in the North Sea or English Channel, and anything to the right flows into the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Sea or the Bristol Channel.

I believe that this was the first walk along the full length of the British JoGLE Watershed. I became aware just after I completed the journey that the late Mike Allen walked a slightly different version (from Land's End to Cape Wrath) between 1988 and 1994, so he will have covered the same ground apart from the most north-easterly 220km.

There have subsequently been several walks and publications about parts of the JoGLE watershed, including Peter Wright's 2010 Ribbon of Wildness account of his Scottish section walked in 2005, which has brought the subject of watershed walking in the UK to a wider audience.

I hope you enjoy this blog. I'm planning to publish a full account in 2013/4. A summary of the walk appeared in The Angry Corrie volume 76 in 2009.

Malcolm Wylie.

Thursday, 22 July 2004

Day 80 - the Roaches and a couple of jungles

After about 6km south along the A53 Roman road, I headed west along footpaths and some tussocky open land and climbed up to the very impressive Roaches ridge (shown in the photo) -more than 2km of gritstone, very popular with climbers.

The Watershed goes NNW along this ridge, and then goes W on paths until Turner's Pool, a small fishing lake. I found that the easier path crossed a blue line outflow which was visibly trickling, so I spent a ridiculous and intrepid half-hour hopping, hacking and limbo-dancing through the jungle swamp at its east end. I got some very strange looks from the anglers as I went into it and then emerged looking as though I'd been dragged through a hedge backwards - a pretty accurate description.

After lunching by the pool, the afternoon was a mixture of paths, roads, a trespass-with-permission through the Scout camp-site in Barnswood, passing the north end of Rudyard Reservoir (where it's tricky to spot on the map which end was right for the Watershed), then up onto the Hollands ridge. I camped in someone's paddock (916587) and supped frugally at the Fox and Hounds in Biddulph Moor.

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