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371 miles run in 2020

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In February of this year (2020), I had a brain fart, and decided to begin running. No goal was set, apart from the fact that I wanted to run. As a youngster, I was quite active... a typical kid really - I played football, rode my bike a lot, explored the local area, and got up to loads of mischief. As a teenager, I became lazy, and avoided sport. Perhaps it was undiagnosed asthma (I was diagnosed around age 20) which put me off sport. It was debilitating.  Anyways, on the 10th February, I installed the fabulous Couch to 5K app on my phone and rigidly followed a training plan . Two months later, I achieved my goal of running 5K (3.1 mile). Since April, I've been determined to not lose what I've gained. There is no goal, such as running a half marathon, etc - I just want to stay fit. The impact on my asthma has been tremendous. My breathing has improved dramatically. So, how did I do this year? For 2020, I've run 371 miles to date. The furthest distance in one outing was 6.2

Longlands Lake

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Longlands Lake is located at Cleator. Longlands supports an abundance of wildlife within a variety of habitats, which include: broadleaf woodland, unimproved grassland and aquatic vegetation. The lake is important for its bird population and breeding species include mute swan, coot, moorhen, goosander, tufted duck and mallard. A circular walk around the lake provides safe and enjoyable access all year round for walkers, wheelchair users and those with pushchairs and young children. The surface material is finely crushed local quarry stone. Over the next three years, there are to be improvements made to Longlands by the West Cumbria Rivers Trust. You’ll see a lot more work on-the-ground, including creating more ponds and wetlands for wildlife, riverbank stabilisation to prevent erosion and repairs to angling platforms and improved access around the site. Let's hope one of the improvements to be made is for extra poo bins to be located around the site - because the overwhelming shitt

Devoke Water

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Devoke Water is the largest tarn (small lake) in the Lake District. It lies on Birker Fell, at an altitude of 770 feet (223 m). It has a depth of 46 ft (14 m). The tarn can be reached via a bridle track. At the tarn, you'll find a two-storey stone boathouse-cum-refuge and a ruined stable. The tarn is pronounced Duvvock by locals. It's a lovely place to while away an hour or two - when the weather is favourable.

Sherwood Forester

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Steam Train, Sherwood Forester, passed along the West Cumbria Coast in August. This shot was captured at Nethertown. The train was a member of the iconic London Midland & Scottish Railway's Black 5 Class. She had a top speed of 60mph. 45231 was working right up to the last day of steam, and its last turn was to work a ballast train along the old Furness line. In 1967 it was preserved at Carnforth. In the mid 1990's, Sherwood Forester returned to service and now works numerous rail tours across the country.

Flaming Flamingo

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This Flamingo was at a zoo that I'd visited. I was struck by the colours and that ever watchful eye. The name "flamingo" comes from Portuguese or Spanish flamengo, meaning "flame-coloured". Flamingos usually stand on one leg, with the other being tucked beneath the body. The reason for this behaviour isn't fully understood. One theory is that standing on one leg allows the birds to conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water. Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly coloured.

Say Hello To Poppy

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This is Poppy. She's a wonderful little English Cocker Spaniel, and a true friend. If you are looking for a companion dog, you can't go wrong with a Cocker - they live to please. Cockers are compassionate, determined, kind, intelligent, athletic, alert and resilient and make great family pets. The breed does not like being alone, and will bond strongly to an individual person in a family, usually the one who feeds it (me). At the time of writing, Poppy is ten-years-old and still full of beans. She loves following me out into the countryside. When I pull on my walking boots, she bounds about with the enthusiasm of a puppy. Poppy is from working stock, although I don't work her. Indeed, a loud gun booming across the land is sure to frighten her. The photo below was taken at Tongue How in West Cumbria.

The Grotto

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The Grotto is an area for quiet contemplation. This fabulous Lourdes replica sits behind St Mary's Roman Catholic Church on Trumpet Terrace in Cleator. Father Francis Clayton (priest at Cleator 1904-54) raised an appeal for the funds to build the Grotto, to provide employment for some of the parishioners when local mining and iron industries were badly effected by the Great Depression of the 1920s and 30s. The Grotto was opened on the 30th October 1927. St Mary's Church is a Grade II listed building.

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371 miles run in 2020

Devoke Water

Longlands Lake