Sunday, 8th March 2009

             

            

 

Walk: Balshaw Farm, St Oswald’s Church, Hutton Village Hall, Hutton Grammar School, Knowles Plantation, Mill Brook, Ribble Way, Dolphin PH
Start Point: Longton Brickcroft Nature Reserve Grid Reference: SD 478251
Distance: 9.5 miles Ascent: Level
Time: 4.5 hours    
Weather: Dry, very windy with lots of sunny intervals and not too cold.
Comments: The weather forecast gave snow, hail, showers and gale force winds but seventeen people appeared on the day to join Brenda on her walk. Leaving the brickcroft and resident ducks, Brenda took us down Drumacre Lane West to Balshaw Farm and then across fields to Chapel Lane. At the junction of Chapel Lane and the Longton by-pass Brenda took the path nearest to the by-pass to arrive at Moor Lane and Hutton Village Hall where the ducks watched in anticipation as we took our morning break. At this time it was a bit breezy. From the gates of Hutton Grammar School the route went north on a path that took us across Ratten Lane, by Knowles Plantation and on to Mill Brook and the Ribble Way on the River Ribble embankment. Up until reaching the river we had been sheltered from the wind, however, on the embankment the near gale force wind caused us to lean into it as we walked towards the estuary. On the way we saw where the Millennium Canal link discharged into the River Ribble, a motorcycle rally, a distant view of Warton Aerodrome, cormorants and other wild fowl. There were also remnants from the days when dredgers used to pump silt out of the river to create “Little Blackpool” on the north bank. At lunchtime we descended the embankment to shelter from the wind. This being the only climbing of the day! After lunch however, on returning to the top of the embankment we found that the wind was stronger than ever and we nearly got blown off our feet. Turning inland at the Dolphin PH the wind, fortunately, was too our backs and walking was much easier. On the last leg of the walk we passed through fields containing very young lambs and a nursery where greenhouses were full of geraniums planted in baskets ready for the summer. We arrived back at the Brickcroft a little wind blown and with a little mud on our boots but thanks to the weather and company – another enjoyable walk. Thanks to the girls of the “recce” party.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Longton Brickcroft Nature Reserve . . .

 

and again

 

Coffee stop . . .

 

at Hutton Village Hall

 

South Embankment of R. Ribble looking west to Preston

 

Looking at the North Embankment where Savick Brook, the Millennium Link, enters the Ribble

 

Looking up the Link to the Leagate Pub & Motel. This is one of the obstruction to the possibility of the Coastal Way keeping to the Coast, and would require a bridge.

 

The land side of the Embankment is much lower and shows how it would be flooded. The sheep have their lunch . . .

 

and we seek the protection of the embankment from the fierce wind, for our lunch.

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