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Home Diary Walks Wildboarclough 16 July 2017

Wildboarclough 16 July 2017

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Walk Diary Sunday 16 July 2017 Weather, 18°C. as below.
Wild Boar Clough Depart 10 a.m. 10 ½ miles Leader: Sue R.
No. on walk 9

It really was a day of two halves, unexpectedly although it became obvious as we ventured nearer to the Buxton area, that this was going to be a wet start for us. It went from a mizzle to a heavy drizzle, just like being in low cloud, good visibility on the ground but nothing beyond the next ridge. This situation lasted until just before midday, as we walked through the delightful Macclesfield Forest Park. The trees began reeking, moisture ascending rather than descending, (see picture) all this heralded a warm, clear sunny afternoon. For many of us this was the first time we had been walking this far to the northwest, true we had done Shutlingsloe several times, but never the forest next door. At one time during the afternoon, from a vista we could actually see the urban areas of Macclesfield, Stockport, Manchester and the openness of the Cheshire Plain, quite an eyeful to take in one go!

There was some discussion before the off of what to wear and that of course depended on what we had brought with us, most if not all had come prepared for a sunny walk. Most opted for a light jacket and this proved to be sufficient to protect us, although it did prove to be a bit chilly as we ascended the big lump of Shutlingsloe (506 metres) just a little way from the start. The car park was about half a mile to the north of the village, so from the off we made our way back to it, following a good well used path to Banktop and from here we started our ascent, the gradient becoming more acute the higher we went. Because of the conditions there was no view of the top, in fact it wasn't until the last peak had been overcome that we got sight of the trig point. We stood around it for a while, trying to remember what the views were like from the last time we stood here, I seem to remember it being very windy.

We left the top descending the north slope, this being done via a giant rock staircase and in a sheltered spot we stopped for our first break with just a mile and a quarter under our belts, but it was time. With the break over we moved off continuing in a northerly direction, crossing over moorland, some with plastic mesh on the footway to protect the moor from excessive erosion. We walked over Piggford Moor nature reserve continuing onward below Buxtors Hill, where we descended sharply, doing a u-turn to pick up the very well laid forest cycle trail, this we followed for some way until reaching Trentabank Reservoir. The reservoir is a wild life reserve and has to its credit a large Heronry, about twenty nests we are told and at this point the binoculars came out to view some birds in the trees on the opposite shore.

We made a quick call to the nearby visitors centre and then made our way to the nearby Ridgegate Reservoir and on its embankment found a good spot for our lunch break, the weather now cleared it was a delightful place to be. With the lunch over we now followed undulating field paths southwards, walking along the Gritstone Trail as far as Higher Sutton and then walked a one mile loop around Smallhurst, returning to the road and pausing outside the Hanging Gate pub at Pots Lord.

With the sun shining down, we had a wonderful walk across open moorland towards Oakenclough, following the line of the clough and skirting the edge of Piggford Moor to Lower Nabbs Farm. We then followed the contour of the hillside eastwards all the way to Wildboarclough, stopping to look at the sign on the rebuilt bridge which was washed away in the floods of 1989, before continuing along the road back to the car park. The sun had smiled on us for the return half of the walk and the efforts and weather of the morning were now but a distant memory. A little weary, but with a sense of fulfilment we headed home where we were told, something like "rain, what rain"?

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Last Updated on Monday, 17 July 2017 08:25