Fine views, woods and bridges on walk
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