About Me

When? Started: 1993 Who? Started with staff and friends from U H S, Chester. Organiser: Martyn Harris We walk every Wednesday and Saturdays, New Years day and May Day. How many walk? Walks take place as long as there are at least 2 wanting to walk on that day. More walk on a Wednesday than on a Saturday. Most ever: 29. Numbers walking: 2-12, a mid-week and 3-4 on Saturday. Where do we walk? Saturday: Anywhere in North and Mid-Wales, Peak District, Shropshire and the Long Mynd and as far North as the Trough of Bowland. Thursday: Anywhere within about 40 miles of Chester. Type of walk: Distance: 6 – 14 miles. Climb: up to 4000’ (but usually very much less!). Those involved in 2017:- Martyn Harris, Fran Murphy, Sue and Michel Pelissier, Annie Hammond, Sue and Dave Pearson, Mike Dodd, David and Anne Savage, Celia de Mengle, Wendy and Ian Peers, Roger and Margaret Smith, Tim and Carol Dwyer, Paul Collinson, Phil Marsland, Sylvia and Dave Jenkins, Sheila McNee, Ed Meads, Elaine and John Greenhalgh, Jim McCabe, Mal Pulford., Joyce Russell

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Eglwyseg Mountain and the Ofa' Dyke Path 20th June 2018

This way to the bard's Monument.
The Bard's Monument.
The second Memorial Stone.
"Come on, this is the path!"
"Do you realise, you are on my path?"
Another new path to explore.
Castell Dinas Bran and Trevor Rocks.
World's End from Eglwyseg Mountain.
The descent from Eglwyseg Mountain to the Offa's Dyke Path.
A Wheatear, probably a juvenile.
A different view of the same Wheatear.
The view from our lunch spot.
An orchid on Offa's Dyke.
Not the normal pose for young foal!
Castell Dinas Bran from the Offa's Dyke Path.
Trtevor Rocks from the Offa's Dyke Path.
Flowering Bell Heather next to the Offa's Dyke Path.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Time: 5 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and David S.
This turned out to be a walk, not exactly as planned! Instead of taking the path from the car park climbing to the path at the top of the escarpments, we took the path leading to the bard's monument. It seemed logical to follow the path that continued towards Trevor Rocks, but soon turned into a path used more by sheep than walkers and one that was difficult to follow though the overgrown bracken. Eventually it descended to the Panorama road and we soon picked up another path that led towards the Eglwyseg Plantation where we joined our original planned route across the Eglwyseg Mountain.
 Just before reaching World's End we headed Westward towards Craig yr Adar, where we planned to descend to the Offa's Dyke Path, as soon as we found the right path.
 The weather so far hadn't been brilliant with masts on Llandegla in mist and we experienced frequent dampness in the air, but not enough to require waterproof. It never felt cold, even when the wind picked up.
 So far we had heard lots of Skylarks singing, and saw about six Wheatears that remained quite close to where we were standing.
 We decided to stop for lunch along the Offa's Dyke Path East of Llwyn Hen-parc, and it wasn't long before we had to put on waterproofs.
 However as we walked along the Offa's Dyke Path on the Panorama Road, the Sun came out and we stopped to remove waterproofs and were able to enjoy last mile or so in glorious sunshine.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Meadow pipit Skylark, Willow warbler, European robin, Carrion crow, Common pheasant, Stonechat, Woodpigeon, Eurasin curlew, Common chaffinch and Common kestrel.
 Overall a good walk with a difference, enabling us to see paths that in the future we might like to explore.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant yr Ochain at Gresford, where Purple Moose's Snowdonia Ale went down well as did Weetwood's Eastgate Ale.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Higher Ferry to Hawarden Bridge 16th June 2018

Looking West from the Higher Ferry Footbridge
An Oystercatcher on a sand bank in the River Dee.
Beluga3 coming into land at Hawarden Airport.
Herring gulls in the River Dee before the tide comes in.
Looking east towards the Queensferry Blue Bridge.
Hawarden Bridge from near the seat where I waited for the bore to arrive.
A Carrion crow on the sand bank, just before the bore arrived.
The tidal bore on the River Dee as it flows between Hawarden Bridge and the Blue Queensferry Bridge.
(lots of noise interference on the video, mainly from the wind, but also an ambulance siren,
so probably best viewed with the sound turned down.)
Walk stats: Distance: 6.0 miles. Climb: 120'.
Time on the move: 2 hours 20 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h.
As I had no taker for the posted Saturday walk, I decided to walk from home and along the Coastal Path on the North side of the River Dee t Hawarden Bridge. The Liverpool Tide Gide suggested that the high tide at Liverpool would be 9.6 m (31.4' at 13-48, so should be arriving at Hawarden Bridge around 12-00.
 As I walked along the river, I did some birdwatching. Nothing unusual, but I did see two Common terns, one near the Higher Ferry Footbridge and one a little East of Hawarden Bridge just before the tidal bore arrived.
 It wa good to see and hear several Skylarks singing high above what looked like potato fields on the Sealand side f the river.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, House sparrow, Common starling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Collared dove, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, House martin, Barn swallow, Common swift, Black-billed magpie, Mallard, Common chaffinch, Herring gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Black-headed gull, Grey heron, Oystercatcher,Lapwing, Feral pigeon, Skylark and Common tern.
 I was approaching Hawarden Bridge at about 11-50, so had a little time to wait. Thankfully there were benches available on which to sit as I waited for the tidal bore to arrive. I passed the time by listening to the commentary on the ODI match between England and Australia.
 Overall a very pleasant walk, dull for the most part, but not cold and pleasantly warm when the Sun came out as I sat and waited for the tidal bore.
 Although the height of the tidal bore wasn't that great, it is always good to see it, and it always amazes me how fast it flows.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Barkby Beach and Gronant Sand Dunes 13th June 2018

Looking West from Barkby Beach.
Looking East along Barkby Beach.
A Linnet on Barkby Beach.
The path along the top of the Sand dunes, looking towards Gronant.
Sea holly next to the path on the Sand dunes
Pyramidal orchid in the Sand dunes.
One Little tern at the Gronant tern colony.
Skylark in the Gronant Sand dunes.
Skylark singing above Gronant sand dunes.
Sedge warbler in Prestatyn Golf Course.
A Common whitethroat in Prestatyn Golf Course..
Gulls having a bath in Prestatyn Gutter.
Walk stats: Distance: 3.7 miles. Climb; 152'.
Time: 2 hours 36 minutes.On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn.
As everyone else had other things to do, I decided to walk from Barkby Beach along the dunes to the Little tern colony at Gronant. The path along the top of the dunes is never that easy, but the walk along the beach wasn't possible as the tide was well in and still rising.
 However this path did take me past lots of blooming Pyramidal orchids, always well worth the visit on their own.
 It was also delightful to hear and see lots of Skylarks as I walked through the dune, with some very obliging to drop to the ground a few feet in front of me and then walked in the open along the path.
 Arriving at the I was surprised to see that a small wooden visitor centre had been set up at the western end of the colony, allowing better views of the Little terns. This was manned by a local volunteer and is in addition to the hide used by RSPB members keeping a watch over the colony 24/7 throughout the breeding season.
 The return route was though the Golf Course, often another quite good place to see birds, especially along the margins of Prestatyn Gutter.
 Birds seen and heard today included: Common blackbird, Feral pigeon, Great cormorant, Common starling, Dunlin, Stonechat, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Mallard, Sedge warbler, Reed bunting, Mute swan, Common whitethroat, Herring gull, Lesser black back gull, House sparrow, House martin, Barn swallow, Moorhen, Coot, Black-billed magpie, Little egret and of course the Little tern.
 Overall a good bird watching trip, with better views of Linnets, Carrion crow, Skylarks and Little terns than I have had in recent years.
 I arrived back at the car just after mid-day, and decided to have lunch on Barkby Beach before setting for home in time to watch most of the cricket ODI, England v Australia.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Walks and Dates June 2018

Updated 12th June 2018.
The walks for 13th and 20th June have been changed.
Saturday 2nd June 2018.
Lathkill Dale and More. 
Distance:10 miles; Climb:900'.
Start: Moor Lane car park just outside Youlegrave. Grid ref:SK192643.
Leave Chester:8-00 a.m.
This combines two walks from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks Northern Dales". This walk should be mid-season the flower "Jacob's Ladder", so we should be able to spot some in flower. Lathkill Dale is renown for its wild flowers, so hopefully a few Spring flowers will still be flowering
 The walk will be shortened a little to bring it down to about 10 miles.
Wednesday 6th June 2018. 
Brown Moss and Bombers.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: Not a lot.
Start: Brown Moss Nature Reserve Grid ref: SJ563396.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from a booklet of walks based on Whitchurch. It is described as having no hills or banks to climb and only a few stiles to climb. However in Summer some fields may have crops in them. The walk goes through Prees Heath a WW1 army base  used for training. Prees Heath was also an airfield and forms part of a butterfly conservation area. Hopefully we will see a few on our walk. The walk also goes through the picturesque hamlet of Ash Parva with its classic duck pond.
 We will probably extend the walk a little by exploring the Nature Reserve.
Saturday 9th June 2018.
Holyhead Breakwater Country Park and South Stack.
Distance:10 miles. Climb:1326'.
Start: Holyhead Breakwater Country Park (Pay and Display). SH225833
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk that has become an annual favourite. Along the coastal section there should be  good chances of seeing Choughs, Guillemots, Razorbills and even Puffins. Bring binoculars if you can. If time and energy reserves allow we may visit the summit of Holyhead Mountain.
As we start at the Country park, we will again do the walk in a clockwise direction,  finishing the  walk along the Coastal Path.
Wednesday 13th June 2018.

Prestatyn, Talacre and The Point of Ayr.
As far as I know all of the regular walkers are unable to walk this week, so I have decided to do some birdwatching and visit the Little tern colony at Gronant.
Consequently the Eglwyseg Escarpment walk has been moved to next Wednesday 20th June 2018.
Distance: 8-10 miles. Climb: 200'.
Start at Prestatyn Barkby Beach.. I suggest that you park at Beach Hotel car park, (£2-50 less than the pay and display car park!) on the large parking area by the PC,  Grid ref: SJ068839
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m. You will need to go into the hotel to purchase a car park ticket.
This is a walk that is always on the list at this time of the year, as it is always a good time to see Little terns, so bring binoculars with you. Hopefully we will see orchids too.
High tide is at about 11-00, and is about 30', so we may have to go through the Golf Course first, Caravan Park and The Warren Nature Reserve on the way to Talacre and the Point of Air.We will take lunch using one of the picnic tables along the path leading to the Point Of Air. We will decide on the day whether to extend the walk as far as the RSPB observation point. Our return route will be along the beach. 

Saturday 16th June 2018.
Mynydd Mynyllod.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Roadside parking in Church Street, Llanderfel. Grid ref: SH981369. If approaching on the B4401 from the West, after turning left by the Memorial, prk on the left just before the start of the houses near an old chapel.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's booklet "Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn". It is a figure of eight walk that rises from the upper Dee Valley to explore delightful hidden upland pastures. MynyddMynllod is a moorland area to the North east of Llanderfel and reaches to a height of just under 1200'.
Wednesday 20th June 2018.
Eglwyseg Escarpment and Trevor Rocks.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb:1200'. Can be made shorter if need be.
Start: Off road parking on the Panorama road just East of the monument. Grid ref: SJ247426.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This must be one of the best walks in the Llangollen area, especially on a sunny day. a walk that makes you feel like you're  on top of the world with superb views in all directions, including the Dee Valley, Dinas Bran, the Llantysilio Mountains and the Berwyns. This is one of our  favourite walks and is always on the list at least once every year.
Saturday 23rd June 2018.
No walk - I agreed to deliver a birthday present, not realising it was on a Saturday!
St. Celynnin's Church and Tal y Fan.
Postponed until 7th July 2018.
Distance:7-8 miles. Climb: 2600'.
Start: Roadside parking in Rowen, on the right by houses just after passing the Post Office. Grid ref:SH761719.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.

This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley". This walk is described as exploring the scenic upland pastures, full of antiquity, featuring a remote ancient church, Maen Penddu (standing stone), a burial chamber and Cae Bach (hill fort). Visiting Cae Bach may involve a there and back extension! Although this walk is shorter than our usual walks, Dave Berry does suggest that we should allow at least 5 hours and is for experienced walkers only!
Wednesday 27th June 2018.
Chirk - Offa's dyke, A Canal Tunnel and maybe a Castle.
9.0 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Chirk Centre Car Park. Grid ref: SJ291377.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave berry's booklet " Walks Around the Berwyns and The Ceiriog Valley". It is described as a walk of great variety and explores the attractive undulating countryside around Chirk. At times it follows the Offa's SDyke Footpath. Part of the route follows the Llangollen canal towpath and includes going through a short tunnel. You may wish to bring a torch, but there is a handrail to guide you. This will be the first time that we have started a walk from Chirk.
Saturday 30th June 2018.
Moel y Garneddd.
Distance: 7-8 miles.
Climb: 1200'.
Start: Fronfeuno Snowdonia National Park Lakeside Car park Grid ref: SH917351.
Leave Chester 08-30 a.m.

This walk is taken from Dave Berry's booklet "Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn". The walk explores the undulating countryside West of Bala. The route follows a a bridleway up to moorland, eventually crossing Moel y Garneddd at a height f 1170'. We can expect to see superb views as we cross the open moorland. The return route goes through attractive woodland. This is a walk for experienced walkers only and should not be attempted in poor visibility. Careful navigation is required.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

South Stacks Country Park and Cemlyn Bay 9th June 2018

Time correct, but date should be 9th June 2018.
Holyhead Breakwater Country Park.
Memorial to American crew at Holyhead Breakwater Country Park.
Choughs in the Gallery at the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park, but would I see any today!
Holyhead Breakwater Country Park.
Looking along the coast towards Holyhead harbour.

One of may singing birds along the coastal path.
The start of the coastal path to South Stack.
The first view of the lighthouse.
A Meadow pipit on the coastal path.
The South Stack shelter - only needed if it id raining or very windy.
Puffins at South Stack.
Puffin at South Stack.
South Stack Lighthouse fro Ellin's Tower.
Guillemots at South Stack.
Holyhead Mountain.

Choughs on Holyhead Mountain.
Holyhead Harbour as the path descends to the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park.
South Stack Walkl:
Distance: 5,3 miles. Climb: 920'.
time: 3 hours 47 minutes. On the move walking average: 2,1 m.p.h.  (2.6 m.p.h on newest GPS). Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Cemlyn Bay walk:
distance: 1.7 miles. Climb: 117'.
Time: 1 hour 5 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. (2.7 m.p.h . on my newest GPS). Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
i arrived at the Holyhead Breakwter Country Park just after 09-20 and was pleased to find that the toilets had already been opened.
As I was quite early, I decided to visit the Gallery at the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park before setting off on the Coastal Path to South Stack. That was a mistake as I crossed the road from the Gallery, I did a Mike Dodd and tripped up giving me a grazed knee, reminding me of experiences when I was in Primary school. After patching my knee up with a large plaster, I set off for South Stack. Still in the car park, I saw and heard two Choughs flying overhead towards the coast.
 This was a perfect day for walking, not too hot, but with plenty of Sunshine. more of a breeze would have been appreciated.
 As I arrived at South Stack, I was greeted by two more Choughs, so all that was needed now was to see the comical clown of the bird world. 
  I set off down the steps towards the lighthouse and it was before reaching the first bend the the Puffins obliged. Several were seen with binoculars, trying to capture them with my camera was much harder, especially as my camera didn't have a view finder. I must have spent about half an hour watching the Puffins flying in, and going in and out of their burrows.
 after emerging from the steps to South Stack, a kindly lady swa that blood had started to trickle down my leg again and offered me an antiseptic wipe. after declining her kind offer I headed to Ellin' Tower expecting to see the nesting Choughs, just below.
 However today, binoculars ans telescopes were not looking at the birds, everyone was looking at two Orca whales - what a bonus, the first that I have ever seen!
 I then set off on the inland path back to the start and was luck enough to encounter two Chough again, but high in the sky they weren't easy to catch on camera.
 after having lunch back at the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park and putting a clean dressing on my knee, I decided to head for Cemlyn Bay and the tern colonies..
Cemlyn Bay.
Cemlyn Bay from the East side.
Terns at Cemlyn Bay.
Terns at Cemlyn Bay.
Terns at Cemlyn Bay.
Shelduck ducklings basking in the Sun at Llyn Llan.
Swans, cygnets and a Shelduck on Llyn Llan.
The Cemlyn lagoon from its Southern shores.
 The short circuit around the Cemlyn lagoon, didn't disappoint, with Common terns, Arctic terns and Roseate terns all in good view, but perhaps the Shelduck ducklings sole the show. However I did make the mistake of not putting my boots back on, trekking across shingle in sandals resulted in many stops to remove small stones!
 This was somewhat compensated by a very pleasant coastal breeze and the superb views of the terns.
 Overall the day had been a good one, especially for anyone interested i n birds and nature in general.
 Birds seen or heard today include: Greenfinch, Moorhem Mallard, Shelduck, Grey heron, Herring gull, Lesser black back, Meadow pipit, Wheatear, Jackdaw, Black-billed magpie, Stonechat, Red billed chough,Guillemot, Puffin, Blackbird Willow warbler Common whitethroat, Carrion crow, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Common tern, Arctic tern, Roseate tern, Shelduck, Black-headed gull, European robin, Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Linnet and Song thrush.
 A great solo day, celebrated with a glass of Cote du Rhone when I got home.