I was meant to be out with Crewe & Nantwich Conservation Volunteers today but with a poor weather forecast the task for Cheshire Wildlife Trust was called off. Disappointed I was but cutting back birch saplings and trying to burn them in heavy rain doesn’t sound like too much fun, especially when there is no good shelter on the Bagmere site.
I didn’t let a bad weather forecast force me to spend the day inside, however, and I went on a damp and blustery walk along the Cheshire sandstone ridge. I’ve been there so many times that I must know most footpaths that cross the series of low hills.
I set off from the far end of the hills, from the Bickerton Hill car park near Duckington. I walked up onto the ridge and headed north-eastwards and then down into the village of Bickerton. I stopped for a moment outside the church to listen to the Remembrance Sunday service but then walked up the road and onto the next hill towards Raw Head.
Across the top of the ridge, there was dampness in the air but no rain, the wind growing in strength and beginning to roar in the trees. I stopped momentarily at the trig point but then pressed on towards Coppermine Lane and then on to Bulkeley Hill. On top, low cloud was hanging in the trees giving an ominous feeling to the woodland.
Coming down off the hill, I walked through the fields to Burwardsley and then down the roads towards Harthill. The sky started to brighten as I walked around the small hill behind the village, with even a bit of blue sky appearing between the briskly blown clouds.
Behind that small hill I came across a newly built replica Observer Corps watchtower – looking over the Cheshire Plain towards the Wirral and Merseyside.
After passing through Brown Knowl and making my way up the last hill, the clouds finally started to drop their rain as I neared the car. Nine miles with rain only at the very end wasn’t exactly what had been forecast.
Rain stopped play? Well, somethings are better in the dry but a threat of rain isn’t going to stop me getting outside.