Moss Valley circular (1st June 2017)

Thursday 1st June, an evening walk: words and pics thanks to Graham Gill.

Nineteen walkers and a big white sheepdog met at Coal Aston Village Hall on a lovely summer evening for a four and a quarter mile walk in the Moss Valley. Led by Graham Gill, who described it as an ‘old’ favourite as we had not done it for 2 or 3 years, the outward route included Nor Wood, Long Wood, Hazlebarrow Farm and Wetlands. There was a lot of birdsong as we walked through Nor Wood and Long Wood with several Song Thrushes heard along with Robin, Blackbird and Blue Tit. The usual stop to see the Alpacas behind Hazlebarrow Farm provided us with a photo opportunity as they all made their way to the fence to have a look at US! Carrying on, we passed through a series of five new field gates which have replaced stiles which were in a very poor state of repair and becoming quite unsafe to get over. The work was carried out by the Ramblers Association working party and they have done an excellent job – our thanks to them. The drinks stop was taken at Wetlands, a lovely spot, but this time marred by the new owners who made it very clear that we were not welcome. This is a real pity, as the previous owners were great, would always have a chat, let you have a look at the pond and even took group shot photos for us on previous occasions. It seems this won’t be the case anymore and one to remember if you are passing through here in future. The old Yorkshire saying “ There’s nowt as queer as folk ” springs to mind. We turned right onto Lightwood Lane and continued down Hazelhurst Lane and took the path down the edge of the field to the bottom of Newfield Spring Wood. On through Bridle Road Wood and down Dowey Lumb and then the steady climb back towards Coal Aston. Through Cook Spring Wood, the birds were still in fine voice with Song Thrush again being the most noticeable. As we walked across the last few fields there was a lovely sunset and a Skylark was heard over in the fields to our right. After a nice steady pace we arrived back at the car park at 9.15pm. With our usual pub, the Royal Oak, now closed on Thursday evenings it was off to the Crossed Daggers for dripping cakes and a well deserved pint – a great way to end the evening.