Leader : Dawn Proctor. Distance : 8 miles
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Dawn reports :-
Skirting the old deer park wall, 19 walkers crossed the Skerne and on to Hardwick Park. Lunch was taken on the hill at the Temple of Minerva, overlooking the park lake.
After walking through Knotty Hill golf course, we followed the track over the Bailey bridge to Bishop Middleham, before detouring to Farnless Farm and enjoying the spectacle of herds of bison and deer, a donkey, horses and their fluffy foals and a goat.
Crossing the pretty wild flower meadow, we entered Bishop Middleham quarry nature reserve, now a haven for plants which thrive on the thin limestone soil, attracting rare butterflies such as the Durham Argus.
The final part of the walk took us along the ridge to the north of the village, where a new quarry has been started. In 2018, upon stripping off the topsoil, a small medieval cemetery, containing 11 burials was discovered. In addition the site contained a 10 metre diameter roundhouse, a granary and livestock pens and an agricultural field system.