A beautiful day was promised over the Eastern Fells of the Lake District, with light easterly winds and plenty of blue sky. So it turned out as we set off from the tiny village of Dockray to make a circuit of the craggy outlier of Gowbarrow Fell.
In the pastures around Parkgate Farm they were training an excitable young sheepdog in the business of gathering his charges. The flock swerved and fled across the field like a shower of white iron filings impelled by the black-and-white magnet of the dog. He yapped shrilly, they bleated high and low, the farmer shouted and whistled. Gradually the noise faded as we crossed Riddings Beck and turned up at Gowbarrow’s steep rocky slope.
The fell rises in a