Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 72

Worden Park 16-11-14

This month’s walk promised to be flat, good under foot, an odd stile along the way and only 4 miles, but a good number of us have heard such claims before.

11 stalwart adults met on the car park of Worden Park on a crisp, but bright Sunday afternoon at 13.55 set off, exiting to the right along Worden Lane. After a short while, having moved into Holt Brow, we encountered a distinctive building with the name Swiss Lodge and an FF symbol engraved on its chimney stack. Our leader, normally well versed in all aspects of our walks, unfortunately on this occasion was unable to enlighten us. Research since has found that this was one of the former gate houses to secure the entrance to Worden Hall with the FF denoting the Farrington family crest.

Moving further along Runshaw Hall Lane, we soon left the road crossing a stile (1), into what was to prove to be a couple of fields recently sprayed with slurry, which resulted in an interesting exercise in something resembling slalom skiing. We exited by a stile (2) and soon skirted a series of farm buildings, suitably guarded by a couple of noisy dogs which happily remained on their own side of the fence.

A series of stiles (3,4 and 5) brought us to Altcar Lane, which after a short distance resulted in returning to the fields and a further couple of stiles (6 and 7) and a route through a gate with so much mud, which it was impossible to avoid. One of our number, trying an alternative route found the depth of the mud greater than the height of her boots.

Regrouping to face a field of enquiring bullocks, we again passed through a gate into another field which brought us to Hollins Brook which we crossed by means of a footbridge which proved easy to get on, but difficult to get off and created quite a bottleneck in our progress. A further field brought us to a stile (8) which led us into Flag Lane, which on reaching Leyland Lane we stopped for our coffee break.

Setting off again down Holker Lane, we turned to the right again crossing a bridge and proceeded down a path to be met with another stile (9), which took us to a gate leading to a couple of fields and another gate which took us around the outer perimeter of a water treatment site (Sewage Farm) to exit by a further gate into Emnie Lane.

Regaining Leyland Lane, we turned right until we found another stile (10) closely followed by another (11) and soon after, what could only be described as a plank leading over a brook into a field which we exited by, guess what, another stile (12) which brought us to an area at the rear of Wade Hall.

Continuing back through the woods of Worden Park, alongside Shaw Brook until reaching the site of the Folly at Stannings Weir, we climbed towards the open park area, passing the miniature railway and back to our starting point at just short of 5 p.m.

The debate as to the distance covered centred around two particular methods of measurement. The 4-mile method seemed to have been the result of our leaders partner in the reconnoitre of the course using the feelings of his knee as the best estimate of distance, while the Steve Ellison method, using a pedometer produced a somewhat different figure of 5.3 miles

The discerning reader will readily realise that the description fed to us at the beginning of the walk, produced a slightly different result on the day. Notwithstanding the benefits derived from the exercise and joys of sharing time and companionship with like-minded friends.


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