Photos and reports 2020 – 202

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January 2020

On Saturday 18 January the forecast was for wall to wall sunshine with a gentle breeze and not too warm, perfect walking weather.  25 walkers took the opportunity and walked from The Old House at Home, Pelsall, along the Wyrley and Essington Canal – stopping just after the Catshill Junction for a well-earned coffee break – to Black Cock Bridge.   From there it was along Green Lane to Coppice Wood, through the wood and past Grange Farm, picking up the Timberland Trail and back to Pelsall and lunch at the ‘Old House at Home’.   Conditions underfoot were not too bad considering the amount of rain there had been in the recent past, the only really wet part was through the field just after Grange Farm which was waterlogged but passable.   The meals at the pub were good and the service was pretty quick, all in all and enjoyable time was had by all.   (Bill Adamson) 

February 2020

Saturday 22 February saw 17 members meet at Shifnal for a walk of just over 5 miles.  The wind was gusty but with a temperature of 10 degrees it wasn’t too cold.  Following two weekends of storms we were thankful to only have a few spots of rain.  Leaving Shifnal town centre we walked over Lodge Hill with far reaching views and down to Evelith Mill at Wesley Brook.  Returning to the White Hart we enjoyed lunch in one of the oldest buildings in the town.

(Sadly, no more walks went ahead this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic)

September 2021

After a break from walking for over a year due to Covid 19 restrictions, 28 enthusiastic WNTA walkers met outside Aldridge Church on Saturday 11 September 2021.  The weather was dry with a little sunshine, light winds and 20°.  The 4 ½ mile walk, led by Janet and John Clews, went down over fields to the Chester Road, turning back up Green Lane, Gould Farm Lane and Back Lane and up over Druid’s Heath golf course to return to the church.  It was a good start to our Autumn / Winter walking programme and an excellent opportunity to catch-up with friends seldom seen since March 2020.  Unfortunately, no photo was taken to record the occasion.

October 2021

Saturday 16 October was bright and dry with light cloud and winds.  A group of 27 walkers met at One Man and his Dog in Bloxwich for a walk led by Jen Horton, Jane Holt and Jan Fisher.  The pub and surrounding shops made a very urban setting and as the area wasn’t familiar to several of us, we wondered what the walk held in store.  We walked along tarmac paths to begin with but soon we were on footpaths beside an old canal turned into a nature reserve, passing through public open spaces, more nature reserves, into woodland and along canal towpaths – a very varied and surprisingly rural setting.  One of the nature reserves was named after Oily Gough who used to sell scrap oil on the site many years ago – how times and landscapes change!  Our walk leaders had gone beyond the call of duty, going beforehand to clear brambles from the less well trodden areas, so we were free to walk without hindrance.  The walk was just over 5 miles long and our photo was taken at the Sneyd reservoir.  Thank you to Jen, Jane and Jan for a very enjoyable walk.

November 2021

Saturday, 13 November 2021
Although we had a bit of drizzle at the beginning of our walk today it cleared up and there was a little sunshine to end with.  Twenty-five walkers met at Waitrose in Lichfield for a walk around Sloppy Wood (which wasn’t sloppy at all as it turned out) and the Dell, then up Abnall’s Lane and into Parker’s Plantation where we had a refreshment break.  As you can see from our photo, the autumnal colours were beautiful and it was unseasonably mild.  The return leg of our journey was over fields back to the estate roads and our cars.  We were joined by a few members who haven’t been out walking for some months and I hope that by keeping our walks around 5 miles others may be encouraged to join us.  It is a very sociable occasion; we don’t rush and enjoy catching up with each other’s news along the way.

December 2021

Saturday 11 December 2021

After a week of cold winds and rain, today’s temperatures of 4-5° with very light winds were welcome, although we did have some light rain on the last leg back to the cars.  We had twenty-four walkers for a figure of eight walk around Sandwell Valley, led by Vivian and John Fairbank.  The paths were firm and there were no stiles – we did cross one grassy field which kept the walk to just over 5 miles.  We stopped and had our refreshments at the ruins of Sandwell Priory and Sandwell Hall, the latter was of especial interest because the Hall had been referred to by the speaker at our evening meeting this week.  Our photo was taken around the old Sand Well.  Many thanks to Vivian and John for a very enjoyable walk.

January 2022

15 January 2022.  For our first walk of the year Margery Williams led 19 walkers from Rushall, along the Beacon Way and through the Nature Reserves of Goscote Valley and Mill Lane.  The weather had been very icy the previous day but we didn’t have slippery conditions and Goscote Valley was sufficiently frosty to limit the mud underfoot.  After returning to the Lichfield Road we went by Rushall Church into the Park Lime Pits Nature Reserve, along the canal and over Rushall Playing fields to return to Daw End Lane.  We have so many of these small nature reserves in Walsall and it was a good opportunity to visit some of them.  Thank you, Margery, for leading us. 

February 2022

Saturday 19th February – Sutton Park

This 5 mile walk took place the day after Storm Eunice and was led by Lilian and Roger Turner. The day dawned clear and bright but when the 23 walkers set off there was slight drizzle which soon changed to continuous rain and sometimes sleet. The walk began at Banners Gate car park and progressed past Westwood Coppice, along Lord Donegal’s ride and by the golf course.  After walking through the muddy woods we came to Bracebridge Pool. The coffee stop was the café at Bracebridge Pool where we sheltered under their umbrellas whist enjoying drinks purchased from the kiosk.We returned through the woods and made our way to the Jamboree Memorial Stone which commemorates the World Jubilee Jamboree in 1957 for a photo op. The walk continued through heathland to Longmore Pool. At this point as we returned to the car park the rain stopped and the sun came out! An enjoyable if wet walk.

March 2022

19 March 2022.  Twenty-one walkers met at Chasewater on a bright and blustery Saturday for a very enjoyable 5 mile walk led by Jan Fisher, Jane Holt and Jen Horton.  We saw a small group of deer very close up and after crossing the railway, walked over to an area of heath not previously known to many of us.  We stopped here for a refreshment break and although the climb was very gentle, we were at a high point of 178 m giving us views across the surrounding countryside.   We then returned to Chasewater Country Park going alongside the reservoir and finishing along the canal.  

April 2022

11 April 2022.  Thirty-three walkers met at the Canalside Café and Farm Shop at Great Haywood.  The weather was sunny and cold for our 4.5 miles walk, with no stiles.  We went along the Trent and Mersey canal to Shugborough, then crossed the Essex Bridge into the Shugborough Estate.  We then passed through the woods by the side of the river Trent and then back on the canal from Little Haywood to the village of Great Haywood and back to the start.  This route was new to many of our group and quite a few of us had lunch at the very nice cafe and visited the farm shop.  Thank you to Janet and John Clews for leading the walk.

May 2022

Saturday 14 May 2022 was, as you can see from our photo, a beautiful May day with sunshine and the air full of birdsong throughout our walk.  Bill Adamson led the group of fourteen walkers on this Kingswood walk, which started at the Summer House pub, Boningale.  We took a nearby a footpath by a caravan park and Kingswood Bank Farm to pass by Wrottesley Hall, through woodland and arable fields.  We went along country lanes through Oaken, and then followed the Monarch’s Way past Oaken Lawn Farm and Cottage.  We had a good place for our refreshment break and photo stop, with picnic benches in a shady wood and then after more forest tracks, we passed near Kingswood Lodge, down County Lane and back to the Summer House.  

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Christine Adamson

Walks Organiser