Walk No. 132
Lea/Salwick Walk 12-
Not only were we promised a fantastic very flat walk, but the weather had been arranged to be equally fantastic, with bright sunshine and temperature in the upper teens. This was to be the chosen walk for Jack’s Christian Aid “Walk for Water” sponsorship, and 14 adults, including a new dog and its owner, accompanied Jack and his sister Alice from the starting point at Dodney Drive Lea, setting off at 13.50 p.m. Turning into Tudor Ave towards Ashton and Lea Golf Club, we followed a path which was part of the Guild Wheel, around the perimeter of PNE training ground, with the Ribble Link on our right, until reaching a footbridge over the water and crossing on to the golf course. It was at this bridge on a previous occasion, that Margaret had managed to drop her walking pole into the water and none of those present, were chivalrous enough to dive in to recover it. The weather had certainly influenced the golfers, as there were a goodly number around and we hastily crossed the course being vigilant for the odd low flying ball.
A further bridge brought us into a field at the end of which a stile led us into Darkinson Lane where we turned to the right, continuing until crossing over a rail bridge into Sidgreave Lane and after a short distance joined the canal towpath at Bridge No 19, continuing to regain the Guild wheel at Bridge 17. Here we paused to regroup and Jack seized the opportunity to share some of his left-
The area to our left was the subject of considerable housing development and branching through the area brought us into Canberra Lane and subsequently we made our way along Cottam Way to its junction with Lea Rd, where we found a suitable seating area nestling around a stone cross to have our coffee break. We were advised that a large double fronted detached house opposite this position, used to be the home of George Formby.
Turning right brought us to Lea Endowed Primary School where we turned left and continued for a few hundred yards until turning right down the drive of Earls Farm. Passing through the yard and a gate took us into a field where cows were congregated, but showed us little attention. Another gate took us into a field where a solitary donkey grazed. Leaving this field by means of a stile, led us through Bryer Caravan Park and down a track to join Lea Lane where we turned left, and in due course crossed the canal and railway to turn left down a farm lane to pass through Marsh Farm suitably protected by a noisy, but otherwise friendly enough dog. Passing through a gate at the bottom of the garden, led us into a field where a couple of geese were roaming, so we hastened to the next stile, keeping a watchful eye on these unpredictable adversaries. The next field was full of sheep and young heifers, who followed us towards the next exit point which brought us into a further field. The next field to the left was occupied by deer, who seemed somewhat spooked by our presence and started a sort of stampede around the field resulting in them launching themselves into the wire fence which divided us from them. Two made it over into our field and scampered off to try and find a way back to join the rest of the herd.
Climbing a stile at the end of the field and turning left along Darkinson Lane, we soon passed a new development of houses, appropriately named Deer View, and continued until reaching a stile on our left, where we crossed two fields linked with stiles and a bridge to regain the outer perimeter of the golf course and soon encountered the original bridge at the start of our walk. From here we retraced our steps back to the starting point.
The walk had been 5.5miles and we had been blessed with the best of weather. Whilst some of our number, including our leader, could be classed as the walking wounded, nevertheless, Jack had completed his task and could justly report back to those who had been kind enough to sponsor him, that he had achieved a successful and magnificent result.