Green Hill

Green Hill

Green Hill is a summit on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales which was displaced as Lancashire’s county top by Gragareth in April 2014.

Height (m): 628
Height (ft): 2060
Prominence (m): 24
Classification: Nuttall
Hill No: 2792
Grid Ref: SD701820
OS Map OL2
No. of Visits 3

When the county boundaries were redrawn in 1974 Yorkshire lost its highest point, Mickle Fell, to County Durham. At the same time Lancashire lost its own county top, Coniston Old Man, to Cumbria. Replacing Coniston Old Man as county top of Lancashire was Green Hill, a modest hill on the long ridge between Gragareth and Great Coum. In April 2014 a survey found that Gragareth was in fact slightly higher and the county top was moved further south.

A snow covered Green Hill above the upper reaches of Ease Gill
A snow covered Green Hill above the upper reaches of Ease Gill

Without the kudos of being a county top it has left Green Hill fairly bland both in name and character. Approaching the fell from Gragareth to the south the summit seems no more than a grassy bump on the way to the much larger and grander Great Coum which totally dominates Green Hill.

Approaching Green Hill from Gragareth
Approaching Green Hill from Gragareth

Perhaps for this reason Green Hill looks slightly more impressive when viewed looking south from Gatty Pike on Great Coum. In this direction it does not look quite so insignificant. Perhaps the best prospect of the fell is seen from above Gastack Beck on Deepdale Lane where the beck draws the eye directly to the steep eastern slopes below the summit. The dull tussocky western slopes on the other hand have little to recommend them.

The paltry pile of stones marking the summit when we first visited in 2004 was no longer there when we returned in 2010
The paltry pile of stones marking the summit when we first visited in 2004 was no longer there when we returned in 2010

The summit of Green Hill is grassy with the only object of note being the county boundary wall surmounted by barbed wire. A small pile of stones marked the highest point when I first visited in 2004. This has disappeared when I visited for the second time in 2010 but was back again in 2016.

The summit of Green Hill looking south towards Gragareth
The summit of Green Hill looking south towards Gragareth

Although the OS gives the 628m spot height on the Lancashire side of the wall there is arguably slightly higher ground on the Yorkshire side. Great Coum to the north and Whernside to the east block the majority of the views. To the west though there is an excellent view over the valley of Leck Beck and Barbon Low Fell towards the Irish Sea.

Green Hill and Gastack Beck
Green Hill and Gastack Beck

So far I’ve not made much of a case for Green Hill. On a more positive note it is handily placed between Great Coum and Gragareth, two far more interesting fells. Anyone wanting to bag both of these fells in a single walk can therefore include Green Hill without breaking too much sweat. Perhaps one day I may try approaching via Gastack Beck to take a look at the numerous waterfalls marked on the map – maybe this route may reveal something of interest on Green Hill.

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