Fine views, woods and bridges on walk

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS DOGFATHER -

EAST Cheshire Ram­blers were lucky to join the tow­path of Mac­cles­field Canal as a long­boat passed un­der the elec­tri­cally-op­er­ated swing bridge on a re­cent 9.5-mile walk.

A re­minder of times when canals were the prin­ci­pal means of shipping goods around the coun­try, the 26-mile long Mac­cles­field Canal opened in 1831 at a cost of £320,000.

This was cel­e­brated by the ar­rival of a flotilla of boats from Con­gle­ton and Marple, the fir­ing of a salute and Mac­cles­field Cavalry play­ing God Save the Queen.

Start­ing at Sut­ton Reser­voir near Mac­cles­field, the 12-strong party of walk­ers, led by Peter Cum­mins, headed up Rad­cliffe Road, turn­ing right along a track and wood­land path, to pick up the canal and follow it to a weir where it is fed from a stream in the woods.

Ar­riv­ing at Gawsworth Common, another as­cent brought the party to Fairy­hough Farm to reach the Grit­stone Trail on Rossen­clowes Hill.

There was time for a cof­fee break to ad­mire the panorama ex­tend­ing from Bosley Cloud and Mow Cop to Bee­ston Cas­tle and the Peck­for­ton Hills and, nearer to hand, Mac­cles­field For­est and Shut­lingsloe – oth­er­wise known to walk­ers as the Cheshire Mat­ter­horn.

After drop­ping down to Low­er­house and then Lan­g­ley via Ridge Hall Farm, they passed by the Hollins and Mac­cles­field Golf Course where lunch was taken amid more fine views, this time over the Cheshire Plain.

The tow­path was re-joined at Wind­mill Street and fol­lowed as far as the un­usual ‘rov­ing bridge’, known lo­cally as a snake bridge, which en­abled horses to cross over to the op­po­site side of the canal with­out the bargee hav­ing to re­move the tow rope.

For more in­for­ma­tion about East Cheshire Ram­blers, visit ram­blers eastcheshire.org.uk. ●● A GREAT big thank you to all those dogs who came to my sum­mer be­hav­iour clin­ics and trusted me with their fears and anx­i­eties.

Some had is­sues that could be rec­ti­fied eas­ily, while oth­ers were more dif­fi­cult.

Th­ese trick­ier cases were not dogs with ge­netic flaws – their be­hav­iour pat­terns had been cre­ated and re­in­forced, of­ten by in­dul­gent own­ers whose at­tempts to show love had cre­ated in­se­cu­rity.

It’s heart­break­ing to see dogs with sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety or toy breeds so mis­han­dled and over­pro­tected they live in fear of the world around them.

It is my re­spon­si­bil­ity to pre­pare my dogs for what­ever the world throws at them.

If one of my dogs shows ner­vous­ness around traf­fic, horses, skate­board­ers or cy­clists, I work with them to over­come those is­sues.

My dogs spend reg­u­lar time with­out me so leav­ing them alone is no big deal.

Lit­tle El­lie came to me with enough fears and pho­bias for a Hitch­cock movie, but she’s now the dog peo­ple love to walk in class. I have friends call­ing to ‘bor­row’ her for fam­ily ex­cur­sions.

It took 18 months of quiet re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to bring El­lie into bal­ance, but she’s now queen of the pack, adored by all.

I don’t know what’s in the fu­ture, but I can en­sure my dogs are ready.

Whether they are in a ken­nel or a house, they will be able to ad­just.

If they must travel or share ac­com­mo­da­tion with other dogs, they’ve done it all be­fore.

Meet­ing chick­ens, cat­tle and sheep is a daily oc­cur­rence for them, as is re­spect­ing horse and rider.

They can’t learn any of this on their own, it’s my job to teach them.

I don’t want them to be over­whelmed by any­thing. My gift to my dogs is re­lax­ation.

En­rol for this week­end’s master class at vicbar­low.com or 07590 560012.

●● Vic aims to give his dogs a stress-free life

●● East Cheshire Ram­blers cross­ing one of Mac­cles­field Canal’s rov­ing bridges

●● The ram­blers on their lat­est walk

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