Plodders February 2016


Watergrove Skyline - Leader Don Watson - Wednesday 17th February - 12 miles
Twelve hardy Plodders met at Watergrove Reservoir, Wardle in the pouring rain. An old friend of mine, Michael, joined us for the first time on a Plodders walk. We both joined the LDWA together in the late 1980s.

We set off in a clockwise direction round the reservoir, leaving it to climb upwards on the Weighvers Way to the Pennine Bridleway and skirt Brown Wardle, Middle Hill and Hades on the way to the Long Causeway passing impressive waterfalls along the way.

We climbed the Long Causeway in heavy rain to Ramsden on our way to descend to Ragby Bridge and again upwards to level out across the moor for a mile or so before a steep descent to Gauxholme Viaduct at the junction of Rochdale Road and Bacup Road in Todmorden. Michael left us here, as he had an appointment in Hebden Bridge to keep.

We joined the Rochdale Canal further towards Walsden than was planned as towpath repair work was in progress due to recent flood damage. Along the canal we passed the famous Grandma Pollard's fish and chip shop, but we had already had lunch at a lock on the canal.

We progressed along the canal to Bottomley where we left the towpath and climbed the very steep hill at Rough Stones up to the Mary Townley Loop. We passed many air shafts built to release steam and smoke from the railway in the Summit Tunnel.

We then reached Calderbrook where we joined the Pennine Bridleway again on our final leg back to Watergrove, stopping on the way for a last five minute break. We arrived back at Watergrove at 15.00 after descending through the memorial garden and then the reservoir path to the car park.

After a change from wet clothes and boots, half the party had a welcome drink in the Globe Inn at Wardle.
Thanks for the company of everyone who turned up on this very wet walk and hope you enjoyed the day.



Click here for John's pictures




Around Rivington. Wednesday February 3rd. 13 miles. Leader: John Pickton.


One thing came true on the day – the forecast had said it would be the best day of the week and it surely was, with sunshine and no showers. However, as sixteen out of seventeen people can testify, our leader, John Pickton’s declaration that there would be ‘no mud on this walk …. It’s all on good firm tracks’ certainly didn’t. In fact, if you believed this utterance, then clearly you would have believed him if he’d said that the earth was flat. But he’s so cheerful with it that we forgive him, don’t we???

Leaving Rivington we headed uphill then alongside Dean Wood Nature Reserve, set deep down in a steep sided valley, where over sixty different bird species have been seen (not all at the same time!). We crossed Upper Rivington reservoir before skirting its west bank up to Anglezarke before heading west to bridge the M62 and on across country to join the Leeds – Liverpool canal for some distance. We cruised past the White Bear marina at Adlington, where the café remained untried, and had a lunch break in a nearby play area whilst basking in the sunshine. As is her wont, the author had a go on the zip wire, a most average performance it has to be said, but at least I tried.

Many waterlogged field paths were experienced, and evidence of the mud was all too plain to see when John (a different one) coated himself in it by falling over backwards into a particularly luscious-looking batch of the stuff – deep joy!

Skirting Blackrod, we recrossed the motorway, picking up a stretch of the Rotary Way. Passing Anderton Old Hall Farm, we came out near Rivington and Blackrod school, where an optional extra bit of mileage was democratically discussed. People voted with their feet and headed back to the cars the short way, bringing our total distance for the day to 13 miles. Some of the party adjourned to the Crown in Horwich to enjoy the Holts and other beers.

A splendid day John – well done!

Barbara Shelton.


Thank you to Dave for the photos.