Muddy fields in Chritleton.
The Memorial cross at the boundary of the parishes of Christleton, Cotton Edmonds and Waverton.
Bluebells on the roadside heading towards the Roman Bridges.
Marsh marigolds as we approached Hockenhull Platts Nature Reserve.
At the packhorse bridge over the Gowy, the middle of the three Roman Bridges.
Cowslips in flower by the track to Cotton Farm.
"Did anyone see the the yellow arrow?"
Ewes with not so young lambs.
The weir at Ford Bridge.
es the path does go through that field of Rapeseed.
"Yes, that grabbing mud was deeper than you thought."
"I'm glad you tried to go through the mud first."
"Is mud good for the skin?"
A female Mallard with at least ten ducklings.
The last part of the towpath along the Shropshire Union Canal taken from the footpath bridge at Christleton.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.3 miles. Climb: 463'.
Time: 5 hours 6 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h (2.7 m.p.h. on my newest GPS). Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Mike, Wendy, David S., Paul and a friendly Beagle. Paul could only join us for a short section of the walk as he had been instructed, the Beagle wasn't allowed long walks and Scrumble was anticipating an afternoon walk next!
Initially we were expecting this to be quite a showery day, particularly in the morning, but in fact we only had a few spots towards lunch time. This turned out to be a good day for walking weather-wise, and at one point was regretting not having my Sun hat with me.
Birds were singing everywhere with Willow warblers, Chiffchaffs and Skylarks all adding to feeling that Spring and Summer is on the way. We even saw good numbers of Barn swallows hunting insects over the fields.
The walk wasn't without its challenges, mud being one, a mega one for at least one member of the group!
However the first disappointment came at Hockenhull Platts and the Roman Bridges where we learned that the Concessionary path that we planned to use was permanently close and had been since 2014. Not really a problem in that there was a public right of way that took us to where we wanted to go and had been marked on map that accompanied the route description.
It did however increase the length of the walk by about a mile as we had to retrace are steps from Hockenhull Platts to Cotton Farm.
Lunch was taken near Waverton Gorse, where fallen trees and sections of sawn off tree trunks gave us suitable dry places on which to sit and enjoy our food in the warm Sunshine.
Arriving at the Shropshire Union Canal, just after lunch, we watched a a female Mallard with her brood of ducklings. We think there were ten, but they kept on moving around her and disappearing into the nearby reeds.
It seemed lie a long stretch along the towpath of the Shropshire Union Canal back to Christleton, especially as the breeze was by now more noticeable.
Birds seen or heard today include: willow warblers, Chiffchaff, Skylark, Great tit, House sparrow, Blue tit, European robin, Canada goose, Barn swallow, Woodcock, Mallard, Common blackbird, Chaffinch, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Carrion crow, Black billed magpie, Common pheasant, Common buzzard, Goldfinch, Common whitethroat and Mute swan.
We arrived back at the cars with legs feeling more tired than usual considering we had anticipated a shorter walk with hardly any climb at all!
Overall an enjoyable walk, once you've cleaned your boots and muddy encounters are forgotten.
After walk drinks in the local Ring O'Bells went down well with Ruddles and there own brew named after the Swans that used to breed on Little heath Pond. Crabbies Ginger beer got a mention too.