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With the Christmas decorations all packed away, feeling deflated and

a wee bit guilty for eating and drinking far too much, I decided to head

for the hills. I made an almost overnight decision to just go, to tackle

Roan fell which is near my home. I have ridden up from the Newcastleton

side many times, but have never walked the full journey. I would have been

happy to go it alone, but it's nice to share experiences like this, so my

friend Sharron came with me, and I'm so glad she did.

Clive, my other half dropped us both off at Twiselhope and we set off,

astounded by the beauty and the vast hill and moor in front of us. We

didn't see another soul, apart from Angus the farmer and the beautiful

Buccleuch hounds. They were a welcome sight and sound.

We took lots of photographs along our route. As we reached the top, the

temperature dropped and we discovered rows of icicles .

On the way down, we tracked and followed badger tracks. There was also

plenty of time for chatting and putting the world to rights as we walked.

The experience left me feeling both energised and accomplished so |

immediately set about planning my next walk. This one took me to

Blackburn Falls, this time accompanied by my ten year old daughter

Amber and my twelve year old Beagle Baxter.

We set off at a good pace and followed the track up onto the Roan fell.

Amber was keen to photograph just about everything. Moss, sheep,

grasses, the burn, stones, tracks and even a lonesome hairy Hubert!

We stopped for a wee snack by the sheep pens, then continued to Blackburn Falls,

and it was just beautiful. We really do live in a stunning part of Scotland,

and we are so lucky to have such unspoilt wildness right on our doorstep.

Where better to educate children ? This month look out for

* snowdrops

* witch hazel

* winter heathers

* listen for owls calling to each other * icicles How to help wildife in January

* feed the birds daily

* make sure birds/animals have fresh water (not frozen) * time to clean those bird nest boxes out ready for spring * provide a log pile/animal home in a quiet spot in your garden

Keep watching and enjoying wildlife

and I'll see you next month

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