On a perfect day for a walk, with not a ripple on Ridgegate Reservoir, we met in the lay by at the far end from the Leather Smithy.
We set off up the path, that I know as my favourite sledging place – it’s just perfect when covered with snow.
We were priveliged to be led by an exranger who knew all the paths and points of interest, which he gladly shared. We headed up through the trees
and reemerged at the point where my sledge run starts.
As we walked along one of our party told us of how they planted these trees when he was a youngster at school – the older boys were plucked out of school for two weeks to help plant the forest – nothing’s changed, someone is always looking for a cheap/free source of labour.
Soon we reached the top of Nessit Hill with its breath taking view. Many say the best in Cheshire – made better by the removal of trees on the downward slope. Harvested 80 years after being planted – perhaps by our friends older school friends!
Here we took an early break
and posed for photographs
who could blame us with such spectacular views in every direction
A patch of thistles played host to some Gate Keeper butterflies (You can tell it is a Gate Keeper as it has two small white dots on the black blob).
Off across the moorland we treked
with open views
and its path towards Shuttlingsloe.
We gathered to wait for stragglers.
and here I learnt that the path now goes both directions round Shuttlingsloe and you can gain entrance to Shuttlingsloe by a wicker gate – made by our walk leader!
With one last look towards the reservoirs
we again set off across the moor
enjoying the expansive views all around us.
We reached yet another thicket of thistles, here Small Tortoise Shell butterflies enjoyed the nectar.
Having lingered at the thistles, I hurried down to catch up.
At the bottom, on a grassy bank a Gate Keeper butterfly posed clearly wanting to be photographed.
Then back amongst the trees
with its shaded path
and little stream
which disappeared into the little valley
as we took the wooden path
before heading down again
and passing the interesting shape of the roots of a fallen tree
Finally we reached the stream that led us back to the cars.
After such a perfect walk we could not resist having a swift half and trying the food in the Leather Smithy.
The sandwiches were great – or is it just the afterglow of such an enjoyable walk and such good company!