May Ramble – Higher Walton
The walk this month was a seven mile circuit through farmland, centred on Higher Walton and incorporating a stretch of the River Douglas.
Starting from Kittlingbourne Brow, we soon left the road and started a steady climb through fields, heading for the first of many farms. After the recent heavy rains, I had some misgivings about the mud levels in this part of the walk and it didn’t disappoint!
The route now took us through a pleasant series of pastures, footpaths, footbridges over little streams, eventually arriving at Bank Head Lane. Having crossed the road, we now continued through similar terrain until we arrived at the Preston to Blackburn railway line. Crossing carefully, we passed through a farm and then re-crossed the railway to join a footpath which took us to Gregson Lane and on to the beautiful parkland surrounding Brindle Lodge. Here we found a seat with views over the fells and our lunch stop.
Back on the trail, we descended the drive down to the Blackburn road and back into the familiar landscape of fields, observing that a local farmer had bought himself a small helicopter and was really enjoying himself flying it around.
During this part of the walk, we encountered very long grass, which made progress difficult, but eventually we entered a lane that took us to Roach Bridge. The old paper mill here is being converted into business units, powered by the weir that used to power the old paper mill.
The final leg of the walk was beside the River Darwen. Looking at the river today, being so clean and attractive, it is hard to believe that it used to be one of the most polluted rivers in the country, carrying the effluence from many paper mills along its length.
We now arrived back at Higher Walton and had a brief stop to have a look at the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Garden. The famous singer spent the first two years of her all too short life in Higher Walton. Incidentally, this year is the 100th anniversary of her birth.
This was a pleasant local walk, aided by good weather and for its duration, the wind was, appropriately, blowing Southerly.
Linda & Eddie Grange