Plodders 2012



Lancashire Trail Part 4.  A Plodder Walk.  18/1/12


After some recent brilliant walking days 12 Plodders set out on a very wet morning. Norman managed to locate the wallabies despite the weather.

Passing the Lower Barn and then Rivington Village we walked alongside Rivington Reservoir until we reached the Yarrow Reservoir and it’s overflow. By the time we reached the Anglezarke Reservoir the rain had stopped and things looked much brighter. At Waterman’s cottage Norman lead a splinter group along the old path to White Coppice whilst the others struggled down the new bridleway which was extremely muddy in parts.

Lunch was taken at White Coppice under shelter in the Pavilion. News of England’s dismal performance in Dubai filtered through. Duly refreshed the team made the ascent up a very muddy Great Hill. We were pleased to see Joe’s cup still in place at Drinkwater’s Farm. After a drinks break on the top of Great Hill we slipped and slid down to Pimm’s Farm and  following a particularly muddy path reached the Belmont Road. Crossing over we followed the River Roddlesworth down through the attractive woods to the Tockholes Plantation and then Reservoirs.

A large Scouting Group had gone ahead to find the Hare and Hounds. Allan,Martin and myself arrived to see the 3.19 pm bus just about to leave. Fortunately Tony ran and managed to get the bus to stop whilst we caught up and others rapidly downed their beers! The driver said his timetable said 3.14pm,despite the notices in the bus shelter saying 3.19pm. Last week I waited for the same bus which was 15minutes late.

All things ended well with tea and scones made by Saro. The walk was measured to be 11 miles which we finished in daylight, even on reaching Adlington.

The date of the next section walk is February 22nd. After some discussion we decided that public transport would take too long on the return from Mellor Brook so we will use cars. Nearer the time I will alert you to a car park in Mellor. The distance from Abbey Village to Mellor is 8 miles.




Please see link below to Martin's blog about this walk.


Lancashire Trail Part 5. A Plodder Walk. 22.2.12. 9 miles.



On a day fit only for such as ducks some 14 brave Plodders and Maude set forth from Abbey Village. Opting for the Witton Weavers Trail rather than the Lancashire Trail (to avoid the Land Fill Site) we crossed the outflow from the Abbey Village Reservoirs and climbed the steps to Red Lea Farm. Norman spotted this was a deviation from the path, but as Reg explained, allowed us to see the various farm animals and birds!

The party walked along the Witton Weavers Trail passing through Bradley Farm and across to the disused railway track. The descent to the track was very steep and very slippy due to a lot of mud . Fortunately no one came to harm. Passing through a small wood, then under the M65 Motorway we reached the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and along to Riley Green and our late morning break. Sheltering under a bridge we enjoyed Martin’s chocolate cake. As Martin had only arrived the previous day from Canada we were particularly appreciative of his efforts.

Walking cross country we reached the River Darwin and made towards Hoghton Bottoms. The river was in full spate and the weir was at its best. Despite the rain we enjoyed the quiet and scenic walk along the valley to cross the river. Norman felt strongly we should turn right after crossing the river. Previously we had done this because the normal route had been blocked off due to a land slide. Struggling uphill and through very water logged fields we reached Close Farm. An adjacent building is being impressively restored. Heading through further water logged fields we reached Billinge Hill and then the Clog and Billycock Inn. Taking a further break we ate our sandwiches in full view of customers enjoying (until that point) an expensive lunch.

Gathering momentum downhill, and with Mellor in full view ahead, we passed through Arley Farm, across the A672, and across further muddy fields to Moss Hall Farm, fighting our way through a very dirty and disorganised farm to gain access to the road. Walking through the pleasant outskirts of Mellor we reached the cars at 3.15pm.



Please see the link below for Martin's Blog




Salford Trail Part 1 Revisited.

Thursday March 15th 2012.


We had the privilege of Roy Bullock taking us around the First Section of the Salford Trail. I think I speak for Ann, Martin and Nancy when I say what Roy told us today of Salford History made us think of Salford in a very new light. From the Grafitti Artists to the churchyard at Kersal no detail was spared. We enjoyed coffee and dripping sandwiches at the Mark Addy, lunch and Martin’s chocolate cake on the Green adjacent to Salford University, and had a very full day out finishing at 5.0pm.

I will not repeat the previous walk description but as usual Martin has taken photos for his blog.




Thank you to Martin for the blog (link below)



Lancashire Trail Part 6.  Mellor to Whalley.( 8 miles)

On a gloriously sunny day, which contrasted with more recent walks, some 16 Plodders and Maude set off from Mellor. On Mellor Moor we enjoyed the views from the Trig point and read about the Nuclear Bunker situated next to the Trig point. From the summit we descended across several stiles to reach a minor road and immediately crossed a footbridge into a spacious and attractive garden. Staying close to the stream on our left we crossed fields to eventually arrive at Midge Hall Farm. Finding our way through a small wood ,crossing more fields and a footbridge we reached Hagg’s Hall Farm. Taking the farm road, passing a wonderful border of daffodils we passed a row of derelict wooden bungalows. Appearances suggest they have been occupied in the not too distant past by ? who. Were they holiday homes? War time prefabs? Welcome answers or suggestions.

Passing the nursery at Ramsgreave Hall we past the capped reservoir and headed downhill to Jersey Farm. After crossing beneath the railway we climbed the narrow path between houses to reach the Wilpshire Golf Course .Crossing this very pleasant golf course we made use of the benches at the far end of the course and had lunch. Crossing the very large field next to the course we followed the wall to Little Snodworth Farm via some deep muddy patches.Two large and impressive Highland Cattle gave us the stare from the other side of the wall. Their horns were particularly impressive !

Passing through a field of ponies we headed cross country for Dean Clough Reservoir. Thanks to Neil and Nancy we found the correct path to take us to Sunny Bank and the derelict farm. Contouring above the valley and through some impressive gorse with profuse yellow flowers we reached the minor road leading to Berry’s Lane. In doing this we missed out the section going to White Carr Farm .On last week’s reccy we could find no evidence of a path and found difficulty in reaching the farm due to a combination of mud and blocked off gates.

Reaching Whalley Bank Farm via the steep track leading off Berry’s Lane we admired the various properties at the top of the hill. Descending into Whalley we had very clear views of the River Calder and it’s weir. Crossing the river bridge we walked alongside the river and weir to turn off uphill to Springwood arriving there at 2.45. A relaxed drink in the pub at Mellor allowed us to discuss the next section and other possible walks for the summer.





See below for Martin's blogs on the day.


Lancashire Trail Part 7. Wednesday April 18th.

Whalley to Barley. 9 miles. 12 Plodders and Maude.



Some 12 Plodders and Maude set out from Springwood car park hoping that the weather forcast was more cheerful than had been painted on the news. Light rain was disregarded as we climbed through the golf course and steeply up the incline to reach the road and Wiswell Moor. We continued to make good progress along the road. The visability was good enough to allow us to see Sabden and the surrounding hills. At this stage we felt encouraged that the weather would hold out.

On reaching the Nick of Pendle road we sheltered in a small bypass with large stones to sit on to have late morning food/drinks stop. Such was the relaxed state that Roger lay full length on the the ground to have his meal as if he could have been on the beach.

Rapidly heading along the broad track towards Ogden Clough, Reg decided to take a path leading, he thought,to the clough. After the track petered out and a traipse over moorland we eventually re-reach the correct path . Roger confidently said he recognised the path. Fortunately he was correct as the weather closed in and visibility fell dramatically. Reaching Ogden Clough we followed this up to the bridge across the stream and onto the paved track to the summit. By this stage everyone was wet,cold and reassured to reach the Trig point. Visibility was down to yards.

With nothing to stay for we rapidly descended via the stone steps to the foot of Pendle where we had a late lunch break in the shelter of the wall. Passing Pendle House we took the very pleasant path down to Barley. Here we enjoyed refreshments in the Cabin Cafe.

Finally we decided the next and final section will be walked on Wednesday,May 9th. I will circulate details of meeting place and times after the reccy.






See below for Martins blog on the recce of this walk.



Lancashire Trail Part 8. Weds May 9th.

Barley to Thornton in Craven. 10 miles. 12 Plodders and Maude.


Due to a few last minute hitches there was a short fall in cars at the start . We were grateful for our two smallest members Ann and Nancy squeezing into Jim’s car (Nancy in the boot!)

Some 12 Plodders and Maude set out from Barley on a warm and sunny morning. Following the path towards White Hough we past the small hamlet and turned along the path alongside the Outdoor Activity Centre. Climbing upwards we climbed towards Brown Hill and the deserted derelict farmhouse that looked worthwhile of renovation. The view towards Blacko Tower and surrounding countryside was outstanding.

Norman, being the keen lover of Yorkshire as you all know,gave us the reasons behind the building of Blacko Tower. Descending  we past through the woodland leading to the bridge over the stream at Admergill and enjoying the first of many breaks. The ladies posed in front of the Pendle Witches sign.

Walking along side the stream who should we meet other than Yorkshire’s very own June. (Norman ‘s very best Yorkshire friend!) Slowly climbing we then ascended the steep climb up to the Gisburn road and had a pleasant lunch overlooking the valley and the views of more distant hills like Pendle.

Passing Peel House we descended to Barnoldswick via Liser Well Road. Views here of the Three Peaks very much made us appreciate leaving Lancashire and entering God’s own Country. Crossing the Leeds –Liverpool Canal we enjoyed another break before the final cross country section to Thornton. Returning to Barley we enjoyed refreshments at the Cabin and made our way to Kelbrook Fisheries. A splendid fish and chip meal rounded of what for us all had been a most enjoyable Lancashire Trail. Seemed a long time since we had set out from the Town Hall at St Helens.





The Hodder Way.1ST  Part. (The Source to Stock’s Reservoir) 13/6/12.


Due to the closure of the lane from Slaidburn to Bentham we had to make a last minute revision of the route. It was decided to walk from the Information Centre at Stock’s Reservoir to the Source of the River Hodder and take the official route back to the Information Centre.

11 Plodders set off at a brisk pace reaching New House Barn and then Park’s Clough in good time along a well prepared forestry track. This part of the walk is part of the Circuit around Stock’s Reservoir and has a reputation amongst bird watchers.

Beyond Park’s Clough we headed across open access land into some wild moorland. Taking a short break we crossed, not without difficulty, further open access land with bogs, very uneven ground and were pleased to reach the road.

The road,officially closed for the laying of a water pipe, was ideal having no traffic .At a canter we gained height. Near to the summit a single engine aeroplane (Spitfire size) turned towards us and passed sufficiently close for the pilot to clearly be seen returning our waves. Norman was very impressed wondering what next might overtake him.

Reaching the summit of the road we enjoyed views over to the Three Peaks and surrounding Yorkshire Dales. We also enjoyed our lunch before setting off across more open access land to find the source of the Hodder. Following the Nutter’s Mobile Surveillance Units excellent instructions we located an area of bog and standing water at the grid reference given. Walking on the right bank of the emerging stream we crossed further very uneven ground with it’s fair share of bog and bracken.

Eventually we descended to follow sheep tracks down the right bank of the stream. At this point we found a ? Curlews egg.(see picture) The egg was still warm and we hoped that the bird would return after we left. Descending further we reached a quarry with derelict machinery and railway track abandoned in the quarry. Marching briskly cross open moorland we discovered an old railway track with some sleepers and track. Reg felt this was more like a Railway Ramble at this stage!

Reaching the Bridge of Cross Greet we took the road in the direction of Slaidburn until we reached Brunton Lathe where we took the path to Copped Hill Clough. After crossing the River Hodder we climbed back to New House Barn and along the track to the Information Centre, which we reached at 3.30pm. For the last 30 minutes it rained but fortunately not heavily and I think we had all enjoyed our revised route which worked very well.



Thanks to Reg and Don for the pictures


Wednesday June 27th. Irwell Valley Way. Part 1.


Some seven  Plodders set out from the Deerplay Inn to find the source of the Irwell which lies close to the Inn. Very soon the Irwell Spring was located with a small trickle of water and a pool of dark water. The origins of the name ‘Irwell’ are uncertain but it is believed it is of Anglo-Saxon derivation; ‘Erewell’ meaning ‘hoar or white spring.' The upper reaches of the Irwell are, however,no longer white-having been tainted with iron oxide deposits from old coal mines in the area.

We continued upwards reaching Thieveley Pike and being rewarded by some great views. Winter Hill,Darwin Tower, and Stoodley Pike all clearly visible, as was Pendle Hill. From the Pike we walked down towards the site of the Deerplay Colliery. Here there are now six filter beds to remove as much oxide from the water as possible. From here we followed the Rossendale Way as we headed for Heald Village. At this point we had our first sight of the Irwell as a swift moving stream, which after all the recent rain was discoloured by oxide and a light brown in colour. Turning off the Rossendale way we headed towards Weir.

Passing Weir by walking along the left bank of the Irwell we ascended to Old Meadows Lane, a very pleasant green lane with great views over the valley. Throughout the walk we were greatly indebted to Peter who was born and grew up in the Bacup area. Peter has a very intimate knowledge of the local farms, mills and various buildings in Bacup and the Rossendale Valley. Various of Peter’s family owned farms in the area,many of which have disappeared.

Continuing along the Old Meadow Lane we passed under an old arched bridge used in the past by a railway from one of the many coal mines which ran into the hillside. Turning downhill we passed the football/cricket pitch and crossed the Irwell  and down the road leading into Bacup. Peter pointed out the sites of various Chapels and schools. Looking down on Bacup we saw many very impressive Victorian buildings.

Following Market Street we passed many of Bacup’s previous banks, chapels, terraced houses. Eventually we reached Stubbylee Park and the Hall which now houses  the Council Planning Department. Here we had lunch sitting on some picnic benches. It rained briefly for 10 minutes. Peter explained how many of the Public buildings had been donated by rich mill owners, a sign of how cotton mills serving the world, made the area very rich. As a child Peter remembers seeing some 20 plus mill chimneys!

Climbing out of the park we passed Fairwall Farm and then contoured the hillside above the cemetery. Passing Lee Farm we looked up the the hillside to the spoil heaps of the many quarries that once produced stone of outstanding quality, some of which was used to pave Piccadilly Circus in London. The quarries were served by a railway which ran all along the hillside. The reclaimed land is part of a scheme to turn the land over to agriculture and housing. It is also used as a practice site for the local mountain rescue teams. As we walked along two ambulances drove up the incline previously the railway bringing stone down the hillside.

Walking down to the main road we walked along the river side through a green park and back onto the main road. Passing through the Thrutch Gorge we noted the steep sides and partially hidden railway tunnel. This brought us to Waterfoot where we caught the number 8 bus back to the Deerplay Inn.