What a difference…

… a day (or three) makes. On Friday, in glorious sunshine, we walked along Benthall Edge and looked down on the power station (see ‘Back from the Edge’. The following day, the former boiler house blew up – as a planned part of the ongoing demolition, of course. I don’t think we’d have been allowed up there at the time, and yesterday, I suspect, the paths would have been busy. Today, like the boiler house, the sunshine is but a memory. It’s cold, grey and misty.

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Back to Ned’s Lane

Conditions have been a little drier recently. Let’s try Ned’s Lane – it might be passable… Yes, just about. There’s some deep sticky mud, not helped by the horses that come this way, heavy hooves digging deep into soft ground. We’re soon past the worst bits, and it’s easy going now. A walk with a loop at the far end is much more satisfying than ‘turn and head back’. And what a beautiful afternoon it’s been!

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A Shirlett circular

For most of the ‘out’ and much of the ‘back’, this circular walk is on good surfaces, quiet tracks well away from the roads. To link the out and the back, we need to cross the fields at Shirlett. No real problems (the cows are in their winter quarters), though it’s quite soft underfoot. Not a route to try in rainy weather! Apart from a solitary dog-walker at the start, we’ve got this beautiful countryside completely to ourselves on this lovely afternoon.

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Lodge Lane again

Technically it’s still winter, and the last time we walked this way, just ten days ago, it was bitterly cold – but today it’s spring-like. The air’s cool, but there’s not a breath of wind, and the sunshine is warm – it would be criminal to stay indoors. There are new-born lambs in the fields, and the bees are busy at the feral crocuses in Lodge Lane. A most enjoyable leg-stretch!

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Around the corner

It may be a grey day, but the signs of spring, little more than a week away, are more and more numerous – primroses, buds swelling, the first leaves on the hawthorn. I’d say that these are quiet lanes, especially so on a Sunday morning, but it’s not quiet. There’s no traffic noise, nor any annoying aeroplanes, but (I’m not complaining) sheep and cows are making a commotion, the small birds are singing merrily (there’s a lark overhead), and the canada geese are honking on the pools and the wing.

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