18 Jan 2023 Knypersley Pool Leader: Kevin, Length of walk: 8.5 miles, Driving Distance: 12 miles, Number walking: 18
Start from What 3 Words ///fishnet.blaring.rise postcode ST8 7QX
Click here to see a map of the walk.
An unwelcome change in the weather saw the group facing a snowy landscape for travelling to the start and walking the route covered in ice and snow. One car was missing after all the others arrived but was found in another car park further down the road. They insisted that they had done nothing wrong and, to be fair, each car park was labelled as Greenway Bank Country Park and neither had a sign standing out clearly from the background.
Another crisis occurred before the walk started; a driver taking extra precautions to prevent the theft of his vehicle had locked it with a steering wheel lock. Unfortunately, he had then dropped the key in the snow on the car park. It was a small key amid lots of snow and he failed to find it. After calling his daughter, she agreed to bring a spare key and leave it hidden on a wheel.
After walking through the woods round the two reservoirs in Greenway Bank Country Park, the walkers were given the traditional January ration of lemon drizzle cake. As is also traditional, they all said they enjoyed it. There is nothing so satisfying as free cake.
On leaving the country park, the walkers had to climb down a lot of steps down the dam wall to follow the feeder taking water from the reservoir to the Caldon Canal. The fields along the feeder were boggy on the recce and the leader hoped that the frosty weather would have hardened the ground. It didn’t but the really wet areas were highlighted after the snow that had fallen on them had melted.
After the boggy fields, the canal towpath was a pleasant change and allowed the group to reach the locks at Stockton Brook for lunch at 1pm. The late lunchtime led to some negative comments from ill-informed folk who failed to consider the problems caused by the weather, lost cars, missing keys and the 14 stiles along the canal feeder.
In the afternoon sunshine, the group started the climb back to the starting point. There was some heavy breathing and stopping to view the scenery but everyone made it up the hills. The section through Tinster Wood was bypassed because of the risk of breaking ankles on the rocks hidden by snowfall. Unfortunately, the alternative section contained two more stiles that were not planned for.
Although the sun was shining, the sky was not clear enough to see the promised “Beeston Castle, the Wrekin, the Roaches and beyond”. The far side of the Mow Cop folly was visible but looks much the same as the Cheshire side.
When the walkers reached the dam they had climbed down in the early part of the walk, they knew that they were not far away but the climb up the road to the car park seemed to take an age. Fortunately, nobody fell over on the slippery surface and everyone was able to drive home. What a relief!