Tuesday’s walk was led by Graham. Here’s what he had to say about the walk.
For this walk I tried to put together a route with as much road and decent surface walking as possible, in an attempt to avoid the mud that we have encountered recently on our walks.
After hot drinks kindly provided by Muriel at the Coal Aston Wesleyan Reform Church I started out in sunshine with a group of 23 members along Eckington Road, a good turnout, which was probably due to the weather forecast for no rain. We then crossed onto Sicklebrook Lane and down to the farm, turned left down to Owler Car Lane then right and down to the River Moss. Here we came across our first obstacle. The footbridge over the Sickle Brook was washed away by Storm Babet back in October and is probably floating somewhere in the North Sea by now. Luckily the stream was only a trickle and we managed to get everyone across safely. It was then over The Moss and up the farm track to Povey Farm where we had our first muddy patch as we went around the back of the barns.
Back onto the tarmac at Povey is where I decided to have our coffee stop, and Jane and I handed out sweets left over from Christmas. After about a 20 minute stop the route then took us up Hazlehurst Lane and lead us onto Lightwood Lane where I pointed out the old Dairy Cottage and shop. This was still operating at least into the 1950’s before modern milk production took over. We then took a left turn and past Wetlands, one property now but was originally two cottages. These were the gamekeepers cottage and woodcutters cottage for the nearby Oaks Park Estate. The field behind Wetlands was the muddiest part of the walk but we managed to trudge around the worst of it and on to the top end of Newfield Spring Wood.
Through the wood and over the next three fields was easy going but there was another muddy patch as we reached Hazlebarrow Farm. This was the farm of Hazlebarrow Hall which was demolished in 1810 but the two Tudor entrance gatepillars for the hall still remain. The route was then over the fields to Long Wood, back over the River Moss and up through Nor Wood. The next field wasn’t too muddy if you kept off the path. I then took the members up Cross Lane to Winacre Farm to avoid more muddy fields, and there turned left back to Coal Aston and our start point.
At 5.5 miles the walk was a little further than I intended but the sun kept breaking through, it didn’t rain and we got back at my estimated time of 1.15pm. All in all, a really nice walk for January.
Thanks to Graham for leading the walk.