Barton, Jan 19th

A Cheesy Round

Twenty walkers gathered at Barton Village car park owned by Sandham’s, makers of traditional Lancashire cheese since 1929. The group included Dave, who had not been on a walk for some time, as well as Steve testing his two new knees. Setting off across muddy fields the group made their way over the M6 to the path through Manor House and then down to Park House; six deer were seen by most of the group in adjacent fields. Crossing other fields Park Head was reached, the home of the production of Carron Lodge Cheeses including Inglewhite sheep cheese & Brock blue. Water buffalo were observed apparently happy in their unusual surroundings; the farmer said a decision to try making mozzarella cheese had been made! Watch out Italy!

Up the road to Inglewhite and through the village passing near a new organic cheesemaker - Clifton’s soft cheese.

A left through more muddy fields was taken to Higher Barker & onto the hamlet of Ryeheads.  The next step was Lower Trotter Hill, part of Butlers cheese (established 1932) the home of Blacksticks Blue and Inglewhite goats cheese. Pat Butler’s gravestone was passed in the farmyard as the owner offered tea with rum! Crossing more fields Throstle Nest was reached and lunch taken accompanied by a taster portion of Sandham’s cheeses. The previously grey sky was brightening up.  A slippery path took us through breeding areas for pheasants before accessing a drier route down to Walmsley Bridge, from which point the Brock was followed down to the A6.

Crossing the new railway bridge the group accessed the canal tow path and spring sunshine accompanied most of the route back to an exit up White Horse Lane to the car park, once more under a grey sky; but a dry walk was appreciated by all.

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