At last, wall to wall sunshine and Heat.

This and the long days of late May meant that I could spend all day walking around Slaidburn and Stocks Reservoir.

I have described both these walks in previous columns but I have recently found out lots more about Stocks and so I did both walks in the course of one day.

I don’t know who was the most tired at the end of the day me or mt labrador. I think it was me.

Two miles from its birthplace on the heights above Cross o’ Greet Bridge, the Hodder ceases to exist. Its waters are impounded.

In the 1930s Stocks Reservoir, just over six miles around, was created to provide water for the Fylde Coast.

It brought about the death of the old village of Dale Head, or as some prefer to call it Stocks-in Bowland.

It would not happen these days, even though money always talks loudly.

The village was literally drowned. I don’t want to l a period of drought (some hope!) but if the levels of the reservoir do drop the remains of the old village can still be seen.

The village has had a stores, a smithy, a church and an inn, first called the New Inn which later became the Travellers’ Rest.

There was a church, farms and lovely old cottages. There was even a reading room next to the Post Office.

Slaidburn is a village dating back to Saxon times and the historic pub the Hark to Bounty dates back to the 13th century. Until 1937 the pub also served as the local court house and this still can be seen upstairs.

Go through the village towards Clitheroe and find the old Grammar School (now the junior school) and the Church of St Andrew both on the left.

Continue along this road and turn left along a footpath to Dunnow Lodge to reach the river Hodder on the left.

Follow the obvious footpath, which should never be rushed, and especially in June and the route is the place to see plenty of flowers, butterflies and birds.

At Newton Bridge turn right and approach the attractive village pub, the Parker Arms.

From the Parker Arms turn left into Newton and then take a right fork (not the Dunsop Bridge Road) and look out for the Quaker Meeting House on the right.

Ignore yet another sign to Dunsop Bridge and follow a metalled track to the right.

This narrow and very attractive road leads back to Slaidburn and reveals the Laythams area on the right.

Croasdale Beck, a tributary of the Hodder, can be seen down to the left. This area is a place to see rabbits, probably due to the fact that this was once a place of industry.

Rabbits were trapped and killed both for meat and for fur. The fur was made into hats which were sold at markets in the area.

These were reached by a network of packhorse routes, still in evidence today. This walk has followed parts of these ancient tracks.

From Laythams continue along Back lane to the Hark to bounty and the starting point.

How to get there
From Clitheroe pass through Grindleton and along a minor road to Slaidburn, passing the hamlet of Harrop Fold on the left.

There is some street parking and a car park by the Rver Hodder.

To do the second walk around Stocks Reservoir cross the bridge on the road towards Long Preston and look for a sign to the left.

Here there is a large car park and a choice of woodland walks.

Distance: 5½ miles