Stage 13: Saltmarshe to Brough
Setting off from Saltmarshe, Thursday 17th March 2022
A bright sunny day, blue cloudless sky. We made our way back to Laxton on the 9 o’clock train, walked down through the fields to the hamlet of Saltmarshe to continue our walk.
It was hard walking on the flood defence so when we could we dropped down onto small roads running parallel. At the end of one stretch we rushed eagerly back onto the dyke to see the point where the already broad Ouse would be joined by the Trent to form the Humber. But we couldn’t spot the water at all, just reedbeds as far as the eye could see.
In Blacktoft we stopped at the village hall – no one there but the door was open. Toilets were available to any passer-by, and a tea towel covered cups and saucers, tea and coffee and milk – with a bowl for donations. And bags of clothes bound for Ukraine. It was heart-warming to receive such a trusting welcome.
:A few more people today were on the riverbank today: a young woman with a little terrier who growled at us; two men walking ‘protection dogs’ back to their van; an older lady carrying a toddler. And we saw the same young men that we saw yesterday. We hailed them and stopped for a chat. They were doing an environmental survey and told us that they had seen a marsh harrier and heard his mating call, and that bitterns breed in the reed marshes. We dedicate todays walk to the environmentalists who work to preserve the plants and animals of this special estuary ecosystem.
The reedbeds occasionally thinned out to give us a glimpse of the Humber and it was magnificent! The river was often split in two by vast sandbanks but even half of it was huge compared to what we were used to.
We could already see the Humber Bridge. At this distance it was a fragile-looking structure on the horizon. But more of that tomorrow. The other distinguishing features were the drainage channels which created muddy slashes in the silt as they emptied into the river. They were notable for their harsh Viking names, Scalby Warping, Faxfleet, Ellerker, Skelfleet.
We were tired long before the end of this second long day’s walk. We kept ourselves going telling stories of other walks and adventures. The factory buildings and marina at Brough were a welcome site as our second day drew to a close.
Ending the thirteenth stage at Brough.
Finally, here are some photos of the river from today's walk: