Burneside, Cumbria I walked a narrow bank, the mill race on one side and a steep drop to the swirling Sprint on the other. And I thought of last December’s flood

Sprint Mill sits in a small wooded gorge below a cascade of sinuous waterfalls on the river Sprint. There has been a cloth manufacturing or processing mill on this site since at least the 1400s, all dependent on water power provided by the river. The current owners have restored the 19th-century mill with the help of a grant from Natural England; the front wall had developed a worrying bulge. When work began, they found that this three-storey building had been constructed without foundations.

The Dales Way weaves around the most recent mill race, hollowed out of the earth like a small canal and used until the mill closed in 1954. Ahead of me, long-tailed tits fidgeted, tails flicking up and down as they moved on, their ratcheting, rolling contact calls travelling on the breeze.

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Source: Guardian Environment