Saturday, September 05, 2009

Staffordshire circular

Walked: 31 Aug 2009
Distance: 23 miles

I think this is the fourth time I've walked this route, and three have been on August bank holiday. Maybe it's unimaginative to get stuck into such a habit, but I find the routine comforting. It's a route that has much wild fruit; blackberries, apples, damsons, and these are ripening at this time.

This time, I tried parking at Shobnall Leisure Centre, Burton on Trent, It is convenient and free parking for this walk.

The first part of this route takes the Trent and Mersey Canal for some pleasant and easy walking.

It picks up the Millennium Way, which is waymarked, but some careful navigation is needed. We part company with the MW just through Yoxall. Cross fields to Hadley End, then road to Hoarcross, then Newchurch. More navigation across fields to skirt Hanbury and Tutbury.

Previously, I'd used more footpaths to keep off the roads, but this time took a few roads to save time. That's how I found this Roadside Verge Nature Reserve - the sign says that it's managed for its wildlife. I find this a bit of an oxymoron - surely wildlife is best managed by not managing it, ie leaving it alone, if you see what I mean! I still welcome this initiative and would love to see more.

If you have time it's worth taking a detour to the crater at Fauld, the result of a large accidental explosion during the war. Enjoy the view of Tutbury Castle, then head south to Anslow and back to Shobnall. The splodge in the middle of the picture is a drop of coffee - I perched on a stile to take the photo and drink coffee, but

Hops are not as delicious as the beer that they are used to make. I enjoy spotting them in the hedge because I like the way they look and they're not very common.

This is a curiousity. This is certainly an elder bush and is full of berries, but strangely also some flowers...

After nearly 23 miles, Burton is a welcome sight!

To see details of the whole route, please click the map below to visit my page on OS Explore. It won't give you the detail of a 1:25,000 (Explorer) map. This route is covered by Explorer 245

1 comment:

dive said...

What a delicious looking walk, Pea!
You were always Queen of Wild Food-gathering so the coming season should keep you happy and well-fed.
It was weird to see flowers still on that elder bush though.