“Mud, Plasters and Pleasant Views!”
Chris and Alan’s Midweek Ramble 12 February
On a crisp sunny morning, 13 keen walkers set off from the Cottage of Content, Barton, initially following the course of the River Avon towards Cleeve Prior. Storm ‘Ciara’ provided a few challenges along the way; all overcome by the persistent walkers. ‘Slipping and Sliding’, however, was the order of the morning. Val practised her First Aid skills on a needy rambler with expert precision.
At Cleeve Prior, a short coffee break was taken, whilst Alan provided a commentary regarding the Battle of Evesham and Simon de Montfort. Heading off to our lunch engagement, we traversed Marcliff Hill and retraced out tracks from Bidford-on-Avon to Barton. At the pub we were met by Maggie, Frank, Clive and Clare.
The afternoon ramble saw more ‘Slippery and Muddy’ conditions. Passing Bickmarsh and heading east towards Dorsington, we walked sections of the Heart of England Way. As ground conditions deteriorated the inevitable happened! ‘Mud, mud glorious mud’ (“say no more”). All in all, an active afternoon hike was definitely the order of the day, needed to burn off the calories consumed at lunchtime.
Distance walked: am 6.2 miles; pm 4.6 miles
“Not Tewkesbury but Bredon (not on the hill)!”
Clive’s Short Ramble 19 February
Serious flooding in Tewkesbury meant a late change to an improvised circuit from Bredon village. Keeping to the level ground and away from watercourses we took in the ever-attractive villages of Westmancote and Kemerton. During a break at the amazing orchard at Kemerton, Alan explained that it contained two each of every apple and pear variety known in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Unfortunately, it was too wet to visit Kemerton Lake Nature Reserve so we took a shorter route on the return when, due to some local kind person, Clive found the watch he had lost doing the recce!
Distance walked: 4.5 miles
“More of the Same!”
Alan & Pauline’s Sunday Ramble 23 February
True to the weather forecast, it was drizzly, windy and chilly as ten members set off from Ullenhall on what promised to be a bracing walk. Much of the morning’s route was through grassy fields, but the usual carefree walking gave way to `sloshing’ over sodden ground. We had pre-warned everyone that gateways were likely to be muddy and just beyond Cadborough Coppice, Pam obligingly illustrated just how muddy they could get. Three members hung back as routes to the right and left claimed further victims, and they wisely took the middle route, emerging (mostly) unscathed. Morton Bagot Church made for an ideal coffee stop before heading off towards Bannan’s Wood and Bishops Farm, where a group of normally shy sheep stood their ground on the only dry spot on an otherwise water-laden track. By now the clouds had lifted and Roy commented that this could turn out to be a `walk of two halves. (You can tell he’s a football fan.) Passing close by Oldberrow Church where Hazel’s ancestors are buried, we made our way back to Ullenhall and a warm welcome at The Winged Spur.
The morning’s dull weather gave way to blue skies and it was positively balmy in the afternoon sunshine as we set off again, picking up the Arden Way en route to Blunt’s Green and Deans Green Nature Reserve. We crossed the Birmingham to Stratford railway line and pressed on to Danzey Green. After a relatively challenging climb up through Mockley Wood, we were rewarded at the top with far-reaching views across the Warwickshire countryside. The walk wasn’t by any means all `mud and trudge’ and we must be adapting to the conditions when the only ploughed field of the day was deemed `reasonable’ as we didn’t sink in too far!
Distance walked:12 Miles