Walking on a Monday (Bank Holiday) makes a change from our usual Sunday walks. With Mandy and Dave paying a fleeting visit, plus the weather, we decided to leave it until today.
The URL for this part of the Witton Weavers Way is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=994650
A relatively easy walk of just over 8 miles, with a couple of short steep ascents.
We started at The car park of the Medical Centre, next to Cherry Tree Library and walked along the path up to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Seeing a pair of swans with three youngsters (Cygnets) is unusual but...
7! She was apparently on her own as well! The One and a half miles was very pleasant with lots to see; I particularly liked the Flag Iris, especially the reflections.
Leaving the canal, near the Sun Paper Mill, we crossed the metal bridge and headed across field towards Stanworth Farm & the M65; climbing a ladder stile we headed down a field towards woodland. The field provided two photographic opportunities that Ben has been looking for for some time. One...
The lone tree in a field and two...
a pylon that lets you take a picture from underneath! Sorry Ben but England obviously provides more opportunities than California!
We didn't enter the wood, but passed under the M65 and along the wood boundary through two fields. At the corner of the second we crossed a stile into Stanworth Wood. This is part of the largest area of semi-ancient woodland in South Lancashire and is botanically very rich!
Dropping down into the wood we crossed the stream, via a wooden bridge, and climbed up to the crest of a hill, over another style and over a disused railway bridge.
We headed for and through Bradley Farm; Chris was upset by two dogs (chained but barking), I don't think she will ever recover from the 'black dog' experience of an earlier walk. Just before Red Lea Farm, at the end of the third field, we left the main track and skirted a woodland, down a grassy bank, some steps and crossed the River Roddlesworth.
We then followed a track up to the Hare & Hounds Public House in Abbey Village (we, yet again, resisted the temptation of refreshments; it is becoming a habit).
We past Rake Brook Reservoir, crossed the ford (run-off from reservoir; no water) and followed the track to Lower Roddlesworth Reservoir. Then it was off through more woodland and up hill past the 17th Century Higher Hill Farm.
The main feature was the garderobe on the outside
...once the height of fashion in hygienic toilets! Past some old weaver's cottages and down a narrow bridleway to the left of Cheetham Buildings, we came across the old parish pound or pinfold...
...where stray animals were impounded until reclaimed. The next place of interest was as we climbed a stile and footbridge over Sheep Bridge Brook; according to the guide, "there is evidence that a clash took place here during the Civil War, with the remains of 40 horses and various relics having been unearthed".
Emerging from the wood we walked for a short distance beside the busy M65 until we got onto Stockclough Lane near Higher Whitehalgh Farm. Lots of calves and Billy Bull in the adjacent field.
We then passed under the M65 to Lower Whitehalgh Farm. Here Chris said "Don't be alarmed"...
...and you all worry about my jokes! The guide said that on a clear day we would be able to see Black Combe in Cumbria; we could, in spite of the odd splattering of rain.
We completed the walk passing Horden Farm, through a housing estate and back across the canal bridge that we had gone under at the start of the walk. Oh we did stop for ice-creams in the housing estate.
Note: it must have been the first walk, for a long time, that we didn't see any herons; Chris was disappointed! Lots of Swans, ducks, moorhens, cows, calves, sheep lambs, llamas and a grebe; dogs with their owners or chained up and two cats (one very mangy)
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