Is it Summer Yet?

By the Lodges Emma and Daniel by the Weir In Leverhulme Park Keep Smiling Through! Quick Break Smiles at the Start
Leverhulme Return. Tues 29th July, 5 miles, easy. Start 7pm, finish 8.45pm. 24 walkers and 2 dogs

To be honest I thought I'd be able to turn up, look and see that no-one was there and go home again! The weather was awful, the forecast was awful so surely everyone would stay at home? Wrong! 23 people turned up (24 but Bob was held up in traffic and missed us. However he stayed to watch our cars as he saw suspicious activity in the area. Thank you Bob) So,undeterred, we all set off in the rain.

After a circuit of two lodges we headed up through the woods to cross a couple of roads and into Raikes Clough. The traffic noise was soon left behind but it was quite a jungle in there! The summer growth meant that there were many wet overhanging branches and the rain meant muddy conditions underfoot. However, many walkers were amazed that this wood existed just below the Raikes Lane Incinerator.

Leverhulme Park was entered and a circuit took us up to the playground. Here, I had planned to rest for a few minutes and enjoy the evening sunshine but it hadn't stopped raining so it was a quick break for cake and sweets.

After leaving the park we quickly entered the boundary of Moses Gate Country Park and walked along the old canal towpath back to Hall Lane admiring the new sculptures along the way. There was then a short way left to return to the cars, the rain was just about easing off as we got there.

Thanks to all those who turned up and were so positive despite the conditions. The two dogs enjoyed the mud as well!


Wednesday July 29th

Leader – John Bullen

Just eight people – and one dog – braved one of the worst weather forecasts for weeks for the prospect of a walk from Leigh to Cadishead. As it transpired the rain was nowhere near as heavy or persistent as the people at the Met Office had led us to expect. And the trail itself? Well it was an eye-opener for any Doubting Thomas (in fact he went to Scotland to avoid it!!!).

The starting point – Pennington Flash – is a delight these days with a myriad of footpaths encircling the mass of water and bird hides conveniently placed for the Twitchers of this world. It is well worth a visit in itself. The Glazebrook Timberland Trail is waymarked route, documented in a superb pamphlet produced by the Countryside Rangers. Basically it follows the flow of the Glazebrook from where it leaves the Flash, through Glazebury (behind Bents Garden Centre) to Glazebrook and eventually to Cadishead where it flows into the Manchester Ship Canal. The terrain is flat but interesting, although on the day we were denied the distant views of the Western and Derbyshire Pennines. Who would have thought on such a route we would pass one 17th century hall, three from the 18th century, a mediaeval fort of the time period 600BC to 200AD and the most picturesque Keeper’s Cottage right next to the M62!

As the walk leader I had been rather concerned about finding a decent place for lunch. I needn’t have worried. Right alongside the A59 at Cadishead is a snacks caravan which definitely gets our Five Star Rating! The lovely lady insisted we use her furniture even though we were eating our own butties. She did us all drinks, a plate of chocolate goodies and two trays of the most delicious chips ever served up to a wet walking group. “I have the farm that you’ve just passed,” she explained, “and I dug those spuds myself this morning!” You don’t get fresher than that. She charged us a fiver for the lot – what an angel!

The add-on route to get us back to the start took us along a backwoods country lane to Birchwood and behind Risley Prison to the disused railway footpath at Culcheth. Passing through the golf course we headed for Kenyon, at one time a busy railway freight engine terminus and in 1830 the sight of the grand opening of the Manchester to Liverpool railway, before crossing the East Lancs Road again and heading for home.