Sunday, 30th July 2017

Walk: River Darwen, the Weir, level crossing on railway line, skirting Hoghton Towers Estate, Hoghton Church, Back Lane, Windmill Hill, Moss Farm and then onto the canal for return to the Boat Yard
Start Point: The Boat Yard, Riley Green Grid Reference: SD 625 249
Distance: 5 miles Ascent: 400 feet
Time: 3.25 hours
Weather: Sunny and warm with moving clouds, slight rain shower after 4 pm
Comments: The pub/restaurant, The Boat Yard, burnt down in April this year, so  the demolition site was a bit dismal, but there was just enough spaces for us to park on this busy Sunday afternoon.  With trepidataion, due to past heavy rainfall and prospects of more rain and a thunderstorm! Twelve people, including the leader met for this lovely varied walk.  We welcomed three new walkers to our group.  Fortunately others had walked this path before us so had cut down much of the nettles and brambles on the first part of the walk to the river.  The footpath along the River Darwen, was muddy in places, but not as bad as anticipated.  There was plenty of water going over the weir which made it a spectacular sight.    The air was heavy with the scent from the Himalayan Balsam.  Although some people had cut down some plants there were far too many to make inroads into its destruction – a working party would be needed.  Although not half way round we took our break in a little grove of trees besides the wall of Hoghton Towers Estate where we had some tree trunks for seats.    We crossed the A6061 and took some quiet minor roads to make our way to the canal.  The secateurs were needed again along the footpath from Moss Farm.  It was then an easy return back to our cars at the Boat Yard. We were very fortunate with the weather, only getting a few spots of rain as we were  on the edge of some very dark clouds!!

Ann, complete with map, led the walk today. Don’t know why she looked so worried, we had all got along the muddy path OK

The weir in full flood

Himalayan Balsam along the river and the railway line.
As it was in full flower the scent was overpowering at times

The group on the drive up to Hoghton Towers. Eleven pairs of boots but only 10 heads!!!
Where did Joan disappear to?

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