Ramble Reports for June 2018

“Tunnel Vision!”

Peter and Frank’s Midweek Ramble – 6 June

Eleven walkers set off from Tardebigge Church on a beautiful late spring day. The two leaders were apprehensive regarding the first three fields of rape; had they grown much since the last recce ten days ago? But all was well, it was still easy passage. We walked through fields of mowing grass and crops and, although there was a faint hum of traffic hurtling between Bromsgrove and Redditch, it was simple, peaceful English countryside. Skirting a wood edged with Cow Parsley and Red Campion, we passed through a well kept stable complex to the first bit of road walking. A footpath led to a field with a herd of heifers and a bullock complete with nose ring. No danger, just inquisitive, but Geoff volunteered to hold them at bay whilst we climbed probably the most difficult stile of the day. A pleasant, quiet lane led to a coffee break on the grass at St Mary’s Chapel in Lower Bentley then more meadow and pasture land towards Woodgate where, as we remarked on the well engineered catch on a field gate, a voice behind said “I did that” – the farmer himself! Walking through the obviously affluent area of Woodgate Road, we came upon a young rabbit, very exposed on the well-manicured roadside verge and instinctively keeping as still as possible. Not much we could do so just moved on without disturbing it. Just another couple of fields and we were cutting through the industrial estate and across the Harris Brush factory’s sports field to the canal and the Navigation Inn.

A hearty meal in the pub and so on to the afternoon with a simple straight walk along the towpath of the Worcester – Birmingham Canal taking in the famous stretch of 30 locks, the longest in Britain. Boring? Not at all, with plenty of open views either side, interesting waterside cottages, one of which had so many radio aerials, we suspected it to be a satellite of GCHQ, and intriguing sluice systems every so often. There were several duck families but, disappointingly, no sign of the heron which was spotted on the recces.

Break time was at Tardebigge Lake, 26 acres and 40 feet deep, the feed for the thirsty lock system. The scant bird life consisted of one duck and a crested grebe. Poor show! We lingered to look at the Engine House, originally to pump water from the lake to the top lock and, after some time as a pub and nightclub, eventually be converted to apartments. Soon the spire of Tardebigge Church came into view and then the end of the tunnel which was also the end of the ramble. After peering down the tunnel we took the steepest climb of the day back to the car park.

Peter F

Photos by Rachel

“Discovering Deerhurst!”

Charles’s Short Ramble – 13 June

We set off from Hoo Lane, off the A38 south of Tewkesbury. through farmland to Deerhurst Walton, with views across to the Cotswolds. We skirted Deerhurst and turned right, heading towards Deerhurst Village along a quiet road on a ridge. Crossing the Ledbury road, more field paths led to Deerhurst. In the village we visited Earl Odda’s chapel, built in 1056 to commemorate his brother. From there we continued to St. Mary’s, the parish church, which traces its origins to about 700 AD, and still keeps many Anglo-Saxon features. The flood defences are another point of interest in this low-lying village close to the Severn. We still had to walk round part of the flood-protection dike, then through a narrow rape-field, and a much greater distance through hay, which needed, but hadn’t yet been cut. Going was heavy, but all struggled valiantly on. Things then got easier, as we ended with a saunter back along Hoo Lane.


“Classic Cotswold!”

Marian’s Sunday Ramble – 24 June 2018

The weather forecast for the day was hot, sunny and no rain! So for once no waterproofs required; it was sun hats and sunscreen instead.

Walking from Guiting Power to Naunton we then joined the Windrush Way passing through fields with buttercups and orchids then some shade in woodland just before a diverted footpath around Aston Farm. We reached Lower Slaughter in time for an ice cream before walking onto Upper Slaughter. The benches at St Peter’s Church in Upper Slaughter were in the hot sunshine so we found shade under a tree on the bank of the River Eye to have lunch. We were told by a local resident that he had planted this tree some twenty plus years ago and that it is regularly pollarded.

After lunch we joined the Wardens Way to Naunton where we paused for liquid refreshment at the Black Horse Inn, on the way meeting several groups of DOE participants carrying full back packs! From Naunton it was uphill across several fields before we arrived back at the cars in Guiting Power where Paul said his digital GPS showed we had walked 12.9 miles. A perfect day in beautiful Cotswold countryside with lovely clear views.


Viewing the route on a map

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