Wednesday, 1st June 2016

Walk: From Leeds Liverpool Canal, footpath northwards to meet A6061  then down to River Darwin.  Join the Witton Weavers Way to the east, past Hillock Farm to A674. Cross the road through the site of the demolished mill to reach the canal again.  Cross over the metal bridge and rise to the M65, take the footpath to go on the underpass of the motorway to Stanworth Farm.  Track out of farm leads to A675, cross it directly opposite following footpath to A674.  Walk for about half a mile south west along the road, take track on right to Ollerton Fold, then to canal and  return to the Boat Yard at Riley Green.
Start Point: The Boat Yard, Riley Green Grid Reference: SD 625 250
Distance: 5.9 miles Ascent: 732 feet
Time: 3 hours
Weather: A warm dry day with sporadic cloud cover, ideal for walking.

A total of 27 people arrived for this walk, and we were pleased to welcome some regulars who had missed a few weeks; David Kelly from Area and two gentlemen, Alan and Tony from other local Ramblers’ groups. It was a lovely day for walking with a pleasantly warm temperature but a little overcast to start off with. It was a pleasure to be dry underfoot for a change, even the worst muddy areas had dried up. The walk starts on a narrow grassy track off the canal before turning into a track which leads gradually down to the River Darwin. The sheep’s track across the meadows was a little too narrow for most feet. We then climbed steeply up through a wood to Hillock Farm. There was a bit of speculation as to what kind of factory used to stand on this site, which has been abandoned for many years. Demolition work was in progress though on the last remaining buildings. We wondered what/when/if the site would be developed. . When we reached the canal again we continued over the bridge for yet more climbing to the motorway. The field boundary had been removed, but not the stile, which was still left standing in the middle of the large field. A good back scratcher for the sheep. A few young ponies decided to charge us and investigate the intruders in their field but they were only being nosey.
The underpass was bone dry!! That must be a first!! We then had another climb up a field with long tussocky grass to Stanworth Farm, hard work and tiring, for those with short legs! Here we had our break and took off layers as the sunshine came out.
It was all downhill from then on!! The well made up track and tarmac surfaced farm drive soon brought us to the next road to cross and then field paths to reach the busy A674, our only real section of road walking. Ollerton Fold is a delightful hamlet which still has some old cottages but the farm and outbuildings have had much gentrification and the whole is very well kept. We soon reached the canal for the final half mile or so back to the Boat Yard for lunch. We were pleased that the meals came out very quickly and on the whole people were pleased with what they had ordered, but some ‘lite’ bights were quite small!!

The leader says that way

A few yards along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal before turning left to Riley Green

Heading downhill to the River Darwen

About to turn right alongside the River Darwen

Canal side Iris

A short climb from the Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Feniscowles

A demonstration of how high a stile should not be

John and young friend

Another short ascent to Stanworth Farm

One of the young ladies on the walk

Time for a well earned break

The gate keeper and the back marker in action

Down hill from Ollerton Fold to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal

A Buttercup Meadow

Re-joining the Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Ollerton Bridge No 2

A high speed silage mower

Lunch is just around the bend at the Boatmans

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