Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A Walk Along the Denshaw Valley to Heights

On Bank Holiday Monday my son enjoyed a rare opportunity for a rest day from swimming training. With me just having returned from a weekend in the Lake District, working with a group of Youth Workers on a Forest School and Bush Craft training course, we decided to get out and enjoy a pleasant evening walk in Saddleworth.

Setting out from Denshaw we made our way along the upper-reaches of the River Tame, where a lone Heron stalked the shallow waters in search of an evening meal. At New Years Bridge Reservoir we made our way over to Ox Hey Farm, where, more used to being seen in the high mountains of Peru, Llama grazed in the lush grassy meadows .

With a light rain being blown in, from the south-west, we headed over to Heights where we looked around Heights Chapel, which has appeared in many a film and TV production. Afterwards we enjoyed a coke and a packet of nuts each in the Royal Oak, opposite. Sitting in front of the open fire we chatted with the landlord and his wife, who were very friendly and welcoming. Soon afterwards their son arrived, and we discussed a trekking trip to Nepal which he was about to embark on in a few days time. Over-hearing several conversations it was clear that many of the regulars were keen walkers and anyone calling in, when passing by, would fit in and be made very welcome.

With the refreshments and warming fire taking effect we left the comfort of the pub and made our
way down into the Denshaw Valley, past the cricket club. Crossing the fields we discovered a Lapwing's nest complete with incubating eggs. The protective parents had taken to the skies to chase off a couple of marauding Carrion Crow. Hopefully the batch of eggs will hatch and the chicks survive to adulthood, as unfortunately the lapwing (or Peewit as it is also known, in imitation of its display calls) is now on the RSPB's 'RED', endangered, list.

Continuing north we made our way along the valley bottom to return to Denshaw. We had enjoyed a couple of hours gentle stroll and had seen a range of wildlife on route. With a great sense of humour and an ability to hold varied and interesting conversations my son is fantastic company to be in and we had enjoyed some great Father and Son time together.