Ramble Reports for August 2022

Certainly not a boring Bore

Carl’s Severn Bore walk 14 August

Ten club members gathered early at Minsterworth Church on what was forecast to be a very hot day. Walking down to the viewing point by the Church of St Peter there where already three people waiting for the bore.

In order to avoid standing around in the sun for too long we took a short unplanned walk along the riverbank. The path here passes through the bottom of residential gardens so there was no wandering from the path, although it did offer the benefit of being offered freshly picked greengages by a local. Within a very short space of time we came to the main road so we headed back to the church. At least we had a bit of shade while walking.

While waiting for the bore a number of other spectators turned up. There must have been around 30 people in total. The bore was expected at 10:30 but can arrive 20 minutes either side of that time. Today it was late, leading to comments of “is it going to happen?” or “is it on strike?”. Several of us keenly watched the flow of the river looking for any sign of a change in current direction.

Eventually it came and in the distance could be seen the frothing of the water ahead of the main wave. The sound of the water could be heard as it approached us. Bores are rated between 1 star (lowest) to 5 star (highest). This particular one was a 2 star and was still a spectacle worth watching. After the main surge had passed, we decided to continue with the planned walk and brave the coming heat. We headed alongside the river following the Gloucestershire Way and Geopark Way. All the while the river was flowing in the opposite direction to what would be expected, i.e. upstream.

After a while we came upon an abandoned farmhouse, Highlay House. There are a couple of good videos of the interior of the house online which are worth looking up, one of which shows an old cider press which we could not see from our viewpoint.

Before turning away from the river, we stopped for lunch in the shade of some trees. This gave us a chance to see how a bore finishes. The water had been flowing upriver for around 75 minutes before eventually slowing down and gently reversing direction.

After lunch we headed inland to Corn Ham before picking up the road back to Minsterworth and arriving back at the start point before the heat set in. A few people must have taken full advantage of the air conditioning in their cars on the way home.

It will be interesting to see a 4 or 5 star rated bore so perhaps another visit can be arranged when one of those occur.


5.45 miles, 8.77 km

Nature Walk Lower Moor

Val & Mike’s Short Ramble 17 August

Parking the cars in the Council approved layby at Haig Villas was ideal as nine cars arrived on time at 10am. Crossing the road, we entered King George Field (471 such fields were set up in 1936 costing £4million and are protected in perpetuity). Lower Moor & Hill have ten Grade II buildings from the 17th century. Chestnut Tree Inn (where we were due for lunch) was formerly Chestnut House (1547). Unfortunately, The Manor (1478) was demolished in 1970’s. Cromwell is said to have stayed overnight in 1651 – prior to the Battle of Worcester.

Towards Wyre Piddle we turned left onto the permissive path under the railway bridge and then right to the tunnelled path to Wyre and down to George Lane. Here was the Grade II “Arbour House” – originally built as a labourer’s cottage in 1550. It was the George Inn until 1890. Again, Cromwell’s soldiers took ale there. Beside this house is a crinkle-crankle wall (serpentine). Pershore is well known for such walls.

Going under a brand-new railway bridge, which took a massive King Lifting Crane to put it in place. 40k tons of stone were used for its embankments. We now negotiated the long-awaited Wyre bypass on the right-side footpath before the Landfill site. Here were views of The Malvern’s and access to a coppice on the right. Walking along winding paths brought us to the view of “The Tip”. Mike explained the important use of the dark grey hill of “ash” from the Hartlebury Estate Incinerator which they store for 6 months. Then an acid is mixed with the ash to extract the precious metals, including gold, silver, and platinum. A profitable concern. The ash is then sold onto tarmac companies to add to their Asphalt. By our first footbridge we could hear shooting on the tip to dispel squawking seagulls. The site employs a Lanner Falcon called “Marian” with her owner Chris. Onwards around the north side of the site to see the two Swans. The footpath is clearly used and took us through more coppice to another lake and our second bridge where we all had a coffee break.

Passing a bridge on our right we came to our third bridge and on into a grassy meadow with a stile. We continued through another coppice which led us to yet another separate lake. Taking care with our footing along the bank of the lake we entered another coppice covered in autumn leaves from the storm in the night. This took us along the length of the last large lake until we came to “Peter’s Pipes”. From here, due to overgrown grass on the path, we took the mown grass way which took us up an embankment and down to a wild flower meadow, before crossing the bypass to reach the plum lane to Upper Moor. Some walkers went the closer road to their cars parked and some went right towards Lower Moor, where we heard a terrific crashing sound. We later discovered that a young girl had crashed her car against the crash barrier by the traffic lights. Paul Sharpe was able to offer help until the police arrived.

We enjoyed a terrific Inn setting with food and thanks for the walk.


5.5 miles

“Placating the Devil”

Geoff & Pat’s Sunday Ramble 21 August

Our walk started at Crickley Hill where archaeological evidence shows that people lived from the early Neolithic period up to the 5th Century AD. With wide views all around it was clearly a great place to defend the Iron Age Hill Fort until it was finally burned down following a brutal battle where 400 arrowheads were later discovered.

We set off on this scenic section of the Cotswold Way, past the National Star College towards Leckhampton Hill taking in the views of Gloucester Cathedral, May Hill, Cheltenham and Malvern Hills. We soon arrived at the Devil’s Chimney, an impressive limestone rock formation which is a local landmark. Various theories exist concerning the origins of this interesting structure. A few attempts were made to leave a coin on top of the rock to “placate the Devil” but without success.

The weather stayed warm and dry as we rounded Hartley Hill and arrived at Seven Springs, the disputed source of the Thames, as it flows into the River Churn then into the Thames. The stone located near the spring reads (translated); “Here, O Father Thames, is your sevenfold Spring”.

We took our lunch break on the tiny village green at Coberley leaning on the dry stone wall, shaded from the sun. The next historic site was the village church of St.Giles reached through a gate into a private garden. Sir Giles de Berkeley died in 1294 and his body was buried in the church of St.Giles, Little Malvern while his heart was buried here and a memorial near the altar records this rare heart burial. Sir Giles horse, Lombard, was also buried in this churchyard and marked by an engraved stone. There is a connection with Dick Whittington as Sir Giles daughter-in-law later became the step-mother to the Lord Mayor of London on her marriage to Sir William Whittington.

Returning through peaceful countryside we joined the Gloucestershire Way, leading back to the Cotswold Way and our starting point. After the walk we enjoyed a meal at the Golden Heart pub.

Geoff & Pat

10.5 miles 16.9km

“And out came the sunshine – – – “

Alan & Pauline’s Evening Ramble 26 August

ERC had another good turnout, including six guests, for the last Evening Ramble of the year from Mickleton.

The cloudless sky from earlier in the day had become overcast but undeterred everyone set out clad in ‘good weather clothing’ and the light rain shower that we had within ten minutes of our departure was a welcome relief, with the added bonus of a rainbow.

On the outskirts of Mickleton we crossed a large field with the remains of a recently harvested borage crop. Also known as starflower, this herb is unaffected by slugs and pigeons so can be a high commodity crop grown for its seed oil.

With clearing skies now, we headed away from Norton Subedge, climbing gradually, enjoying extensive views across to the Cotswolds and Bredon Hill, to the edge of Dark Coppice where we gathered for a short break.

The next part of the route followed Furze Lane and halfway along, Alan pointed out that we were standing above the mile long Great Western Railway Campden Tunnel, completed in 1853.

Picking up the Heart of England Way, we reached Baker’s Hill Wood on the escarpment above Mickleton where we paused to look at a tree carving dated 1917 and believed to have been made by a Belgian soldier who would have been a patient at nearby Norton Hall, opened during the First World War as a hospital for wounded soldiers.

A steep descent brought us out within sight of the spire of Mickleton Church and with the sun heading for the horizon we made our way back to the village. We said our farewells to those going home and then nineteen of us retired to The Butchers Arms for a welcome drink and excellent food.


5.6 miles