Around Elvanfoot

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On foot around Elvanfoot

Fieldwork on 12th November 2014.

We began the day, leaving one car at Elvanfoot Church and the other at Springburn- where we set off and walked to the Clyde opposite Glenspinhope farm, initially walking north to link with the section walked on 11/11/14, before walking south to finish at Elvanfoot railway bridge- walking on the west bank of the river. Rough ground and fields for pasture and kale(?) lay to the west of the river were the natural banks of the river are slight and embankments,  grass grown but with a stony core,  have been built up to prevent flooding. The embankments are poorly preserved when within pasture but are well developed outside the fenceline, closer to the river. The east bank of the river was much higher and therefore no artificial flood prevention was required. As we walked south the west bank also rose and the embankments ceased.

As well as encountering formal fords with mettled ramps, a number of informal fords were encountered crossing the river near Glenspinhope farm, the wheel base of the tyre tracks suggesting quadbike use. We also encountered dumps of concrete blocks, one with a roll of fence line.

Where the Roman road is said to meet the river bank in two places we could see no evidence looking from the west bank, as aided by binoculars. The steep grass bank, up to 15m high, is visible but any trace of the road is likely to be over this lip and not visible from this side of the river.

In stretches the river has been revetted by gabions, either were the road runs close to the river or where the banks are particularly at risk of erosion on the outside of river bends.

On a number of occasions we had to detour to carry on our walk of the river, over the old road bridge (B706) and under the new road bridge (Elvanfoot bridge), jumping over burns – where the burn is canalized north of rowan tree pool. We had particular difficulty trying to access the section between Lotts Cottage tributary and the Babbling Well to the south where the railway line also caused a slight detour.

At Lotts cottage we also came across a house relatively recently built but since abandoned, having been built extremely close to a tributary which was visibly undermining  the foundations of the house.

The R.Clyde seemed relatively full and fast moving, more so than during our fieldwork the day before. Having finished the section at Elvanfoot railway bridge and returning with the second car to Springburn, we planned to embark on further work to the north but with light fading set off home just before 4pm.

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