Six enthusiastic walkers started the walk which was abandoned due to heavy rain two months ago.
Hartford-Hunts Locks to Vale Royal Lock. The weather forecast was hopeful with the rain expected after lunch.
We commenced our walk down Stones Manor Lane passing the last house on the right and following a sign post to Marshalls Arm. It is a beautiful wooded valley, part of the Marshalls Arm Local Nature Reserve, which is very popular for dog walkers and joggers. The paths are very well kept, with steps and small bridges where needed, such a lovely area at all times of the year. On reaching the bottom of the wood we turned left with the river on the right. Shortly after that we decided to stop for our accustomed photo shoot… photo shows: Susan, Jean, Rita, Eleanor and Annette
Continuing along the path after passing wrought iron gates we turned left onto Saxon Lane and almost immediately on the right a cycle stile appears, we follow the path towards Hunts Locks. Crossing the Locks we head for a path heading away from the river on the right just past the Lock Keepers Hut then over the Riversdale swing bridge turning right along the riverside path to the Blue Bridge.
At the start of the walk we had fully intended to go to the Vale Royal Locks but instead took the left hand path before the Blue Bridge up to the road and turned right onto the path alongside the dual carriage way back up to School Lane, where we finished at the start of the walk.
We had a lovely lunch at the Relish Cafe and finally just got back into the car before the heavy rain came. All said how very pleased we were that we had beaten the weather this time!
Ann O’B…. Whitley WI, walks leader. (Shown in pictire with Jean )
NOTE: THE SEPTEMBER WALK WILL BE WEDNESDAY 13th September due to an important bowls match on our usual walking day.
Arley Hall was built in a Jacobethan style, between 1832 and 1845 for Rowland Egerton-Warburton. Today this Grade II listed building is owned by Viscount Ashbrook and his family. Its beautifully maintained and magnificent gardens (initially created in 1830s) are also Grade II listed. The Garden’s Herbaceous Border was one of the first of its type in Britain, and remains one of its finest.
Arley Hall is a prime a film location and is used for special Charity events, weddings and corporate functions. During the 2nd World War it was an important Military Hospital.
Walking to the Hall, and climbing the magnificent staircase
Whitley WI were privileged to be taken on a private tour of the house for our August Outing. We were shown round by Geoffrey Lomas, who explained to us a lot about the history, previous owners and current owners of the house. The beautiful needlework and watercolours created and painted by Elizabeth Ashbrook (and other family members) made a very homely feel.
A two course meal in the Gardeners Kitchen was enjoyed by all. Thank you to the Arley Staff who stayed late to serve us.
Jean P, E Jean P, Joan P, Joan B, Dorothy and Irene enjoing their meal
Rain was in the air when the WI had the chance to wander around these beautiful gardens. They looked stunning in the evening sunset, and yes…the Herbaceous Border was at its most magnificent best.
In the Gardens… beautiful flowers and spectactular views
Thanks from all Whitley WI members to our organisers, Ann T, Ann B and Lorna, for their planning of this August evening outing
Twelve walkers from Whitley WI arrived at Abbots Moss and were met by Katie the ranger who works for The Cheshire Wildlife Trust, a charity which is helping to protect and restore the ecosystem of Delamere’s delicate moss lands. This includes Abbots Moss which is covered entirely by a carpet of sphagnum known as quaking bog. This floating raft of Moss began forming 7,000 years ago, in the Neolithic period, about the same time that humans first began farming in Britain.
The WI members were suitably clad in jackets and wellies ready for the inclement weather and the ‘bog walk’. They crossed over the main track to South Moss reaching it along a path, carefully finding their way through the overgrown bracken and brambles.
Katie then guided walkers onto the safe areas of the bog, having talked about how the plants and animals that lived there, had over time, adapted to their surroundings. Hares-tail cotton-grass, bog cranberry, green hairstreak butterfly and the white faced darter dragonfly are some of the many different and rare species. Peatlands are amazing wild places teeming with birds, insects as well as plants.
It was like standing on a bouncy wet sponge!
Blanket bogs are also important for storing carbon, so can reduce global warming significantly. Over thousands of years these plants have slowly captured carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For this reason it is essential that they are conserved.
The whole morning was very enlightening and helped all to realise the importance of moss lands. Thanks and goodbyes were given to Katie, after which some of the group made their way to The Plough at Whitegate to enjoy lunch, have a good chat and to discuss where to walk next month.
Pictured in top photo: Chris, Pat, Jean, Joyce, Mary, Yvonne, Annette, Susan, Eleanor, Rita, Ann and Sue. Lower picture shows Ann (our leader) bouncing on the bog.
A huge huge success!
Thanks to the kindness of help and donations from our members, as well as the support, enthusiasm and generosity from Cheshire Federation members, a staggering £3000+ was raised.
Jonty in charge of teas, Ann, Pat and Lorna helping, Anne in charge of the Tombola
Joyce and Dorothy selling Cakes and Jam, Chris looking after the tombola, Ann and Ann selling raffle tickets
Shirley, Helen, Maureen and Jean on the games stall, Delicious refreshments, Some of our very welcome visitors
Whoops, its raining!
The June walk didn’t happen… Whitley WI walkers turned up in force. Nothing would stop our intrepid team enjoying a walk in the country side on this soggy, wet and windy morning.
“its only rain it might stop”… so we set off to our destination, Hartford near Northwich. Whoops it was still raining, so “let’s have a coffee” was the newly agreed destination. We were made welcome at the Relish Café Bar in Hartford. Did we eat all their tea cakes?
Chris, Pat, Ann, Rita, Annette, Susan and Lorna
Fun and chatter out did the sound of the increasing wind. Whitley WI walking group never give up, the walk didn’t happen so the day was renamed as a ‘Team-Building Exercise’.
Thanks to Ann O’B again for her wonderful organisation.
Pat brought her own special rain hat.
Lets sing along:
I want to see sunshine after the rain
I want to see bluebirds flying over the mountains again…