August Ambles

Along the canal Anderton Boat Lift Industrial scene Up and over Watching the birds Which way?
Weaver Wander. Wednesday August 11th. 14 miles. 18 attendees

Walk Leader : John Bullen Deputy : Bill Taylor

A trip south for once down into Cheshire and what a rewarding experience it proved to be! The weather was more than kind and we were blessed with a beautiful day. We started at Acton Bridge Locks on the A49 and taking the superb riverside path we soon came upon the impressive Saltersford Locks. Bill had arranged on the recce with the lockkeeper that he should have 20 teas and coffees and bacon butties ready but he let us down on the day!

The Weaver Navigation was created to get Cheshire’s chemicals and salt out to Liverpool and thence to the world beyond. Over the years spillages from the transporting barges and also from ships importing from exotic places all over the world gathered at the water’s edge. This created a unique habitat for unusual vegetation which therefore attracts wildlife, particularly butterflies. It all makes for a fascinating environment.

Moving on we came upon the spectacle of the Anderton Boat Lift, a marvel of Victorian engineering. It was built to lift or lower barges and boats 50 feet from the Trent & Mersey canal to the River Weaver. After years of rusting away a Heritage Grant saw it restored to its former glory and it is now one of the most interesting and worthwhile tourist attractions in the country. We had arranged a group pass here and so everyone could get the most out of this we had a thirty minute stop.

We moved on to the recently created Marbury Country Park which borders on the town of Northwich. Designed round a series of “flashes” it is a “twitcher’s paradise especially Budworth Mere. It even boasts a private out door swimming pool! However we had no time for a swim (thank goodness!) and we headed back along the Trent and Mersey Canal, which had its own delights, including two amazing tunnels. Over an excellent pint back in the Leigh Arms we had much to discuss.

Thanks to the management of the Leigh Arms for allowing us to use their car park for the day.

Ingleborough and Moor. Sun August 22nd. 25 miles from Clapham. Leaders: Jean Lyon and Neil Smith.

25 miles, start 9am finish 5.30pm.

This was a walk that I had participated in the previous year as a charity event for the NSPCC and thought it would be the perfect Sunday challenge for an East Lancs walk. Unfortunately due to work commitments I was unable to lead the walk; thankfully having recced the walk only a few weeks before with Jean and my Dad they kindly stepped in to take the reins.

The walk starts in the lovely village of Clapham and can be quite deceiving as the first 4 or 5 miles are flat and easy going, but once through Ingleton village you start the long hard pull up to the summit of Ingleborough where I am told you had a short drinks stop before the mist rolled in and forced you on your way.

The walk then takes you along the ridge through Simon Fell and Ingleborough nature reserve with great views of Ribblehead and Whernside. The descent down to the disused quarries is extremely hard on the knees and very slippy in wet conditions.

Nether Lodge was the spot for lunch break just over the bridge by the stream before picking up the Pennine way which takes you all the way into Horton in Ribblesdale. Passing through the train station and up to Sulber nick you come across a very welcome finger post that simply says ( Clapham 4 miles ). The scenery from here on a clear day is fantastic and so are the views as you wander down Long Lane track with Clapham beck and Clapdale wood to your right. There are just the dark tunnels to navigate before a well earned drink drink at the New Inn, and by all accounts it turned into a lovely evening also. My apologies again for not attending and Many Thanks to my Dad and Jean for doing a great job!!

Howard Smith.
Are we there yet? Blue sky above Hazel leads the way Lets have a natter Never ending steps The group gathers View from the top When's the next train?