Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 128

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Yarrow Valley Country Park

The last time we undertook this walk was September 2014 with 21 adults, 1 Junior and 2 dogs. This time 14 adults, (1 wearing new boots), and young Jack in his blue wellies, set off in good weather at 13 50p.m to follow the route around Birkacre Lodge. Ducks and swans, swam serenely around the perimeter in the sunshine.

Continuing along the signed route to the nature reserve, with the river on our right, soon brought us to a fast-flowing weir and fish ladder. The route here, necessitated walking in single file along a path skirting the river’s edge. Keen eyed Jack, spotted an interesting bird perched in a tree on the opposite bank, which we were reliably informed was a Buzzard. This caused great excitement and a temporary delay in our progress. Further along a fenced area surrounded what had been the entrance to one of the many collieries in the area.

Resuming the route took us through a wooded area, over several small footbridges to follow the river course and emerge into open ground. A stile allowed us to re-enter the wooded area and follow a tortuous route alongside a fence with the banking falling away steeply to our left towards the river below. This brought us to the perimeter of Duxbury Hall Golf Club where we took a downward route back towards the river bank.

We had told Jack to keep his eye open for a dog, and in due course the pathway through the trees and over several small footbridges, brought us to a clearing where the stone monument of a dog called Bevis was found. An explanation of how this memorial was in remembrance of the animal which had saved his masters life, alerting him to a fire at Duxbury Hall, but sadly losing his own in the process.

Further progress along the river bank ultimately brought us to a large bridge where we stopped for our coffee break. Here Jack shared the contents of his ruck sack. Toffees for all.

Crossing the bridge to the opposite bank, we commenced our return route passing various wood carvings on the way. At a particular point, we veered away from the river to climb a set of steps to emerge into a field and continue towards a new housing area and on to a road, where we turned left. Soon a path to the right routed us back towards our starting point. Taking the opposite side of the lodge brought us into a children’s playground where we paused while Jack demonstrated his climbing skills.

For the time of year this had been an excellent walking day and everyone agreed it was a particularly picturesque area and the 4.6 mls covered had produced great enjoyment to all.