Happy with my hippy theory on the Ribble


I have this sort of hippy style belief that rivers don’t have a start and finish but are just a continuous flow of water in a cycle involving clouds-land-sea-clouds. I was asked the other day where the River Ribble starts – having given my hippy theory and receiving a blank look in return, I went through the stock answers. But I do wonder why humans feel the need to have a beginning and an end to everything? We must have a measurement too – how long, how high, how deep, how wide… etc; we’re always trying to portray something that’s natural in terms of a man-made unit. Perhaps it’s just another of our attempts to feel in control of the natural world. Instead of calculating it we should just embrace Nature, like a true landscape artist would. I told my friend that there is a difference between the ‘source’ and the ‘start’ of a river. The Ribble’s source is mainly the watershed of Cam Fell and surrounding fells. Water trickles down the fells forming Cam Beck, Gayle Beck and lots of smaller tributaries which join to form the Ribble near Selside, at the place shown in my photo – a rather boring ‘start’ for this mighty river on its 75-mile voyage to the Irish Sea don’t you think? I prefer my hippy idea.
I also caught some lovely autumn light and a cloudless sky above Penyghent on my way back down Ribblesdale today.


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