A brew with a view on woodland walk
●● AN ancient woodland was one of the historic gems awaiting members of East Cheshire Ramblers at the start of a recent six-mile walk led by Sue Munslow...
The beautiful Spring Wood in Biddulph Country Park has existed on the site since at least 1600 and was formerly part of the Biddulph Grange estate on the borders of Staffordshire and Cheshire – once owned by James Bateman (1811-1897), a celebrated horticulturist of his day who used his inheritance to develop the grounds with woodland walks and ornamental gardens, including Chinese and Egyptian themes.
The grange and 15 acres of gardens were acquired by the National Trust in 1988 and have since been extensively restored after years of neglect.
Twenty five ramblers including five new members attended the walk which proceeded through the woods to join the Staffordshire Moorlands Walkway and climbed steadily uphill – the frosty yet clear and sunny conditions affording lovely views across the valley below out towards Congleton and Mow Cop.
After crossing the valley towards Whitemoor, coffee was taken overlooking Biddulph Park and Bosley Cloud before the walkers continued over Congleton Edge where they were greeted by more great views, this time of the Cheshire Plain and Congleton, before returning to Biddulph Country Park through Willocks Wood and Gillow Heath via the quaintlynamed hamlet of Nick i’ th’ Hill.
East Cheshire Ramblers will be organising upwards of 250 walks this year of various distances and grades to suit all levels of ability – from gentle strolls of around five miles to midweek and weekend outings ranging in length from eight to 14 plus miles.
In addition there are regular weekends away and social outings as well as courses on practical subjects like map reading and dealing with a medical emergency outdoors.
New members are always welcome.
For further information go to ramblerseast cheshire.org.uk. ●● THERE are hundreds of dog training books and DVDs (I’ve made a few myself) all with different opinions. For a dog owner seeking help it’s very confusing.
Attending a new dog class is like trying out a new restaurant. You don’t know how good it is until you have been.
Some are excellent and others so bad you’ll be worse off than if you never went at all. Unfortunately, you won’t know which one you have until you complete the course.
So what should owners do? The answer is a lot easier than you imagine.
Take a close look at homeless people and their dogs.
I’ve been observing them for 20 years and I have yet to meet a homeless person with an unruly dog.
I followed a homeless man in London’s Covent Garden walking his two dogs off lead all the way to Marble Arch across some of the busiest streets in the country. The dogs were totally focused on him and wherever he walked they followed.
I saw a homeless lady in Brighton ride across town on a battered old bike while her dog kept pace on the pavement stopping whenever she stopped.
So how do they do it? How come homeless people do things with their dogs most of us can only dream about?
It isn’t simply the amount of time they spend together, it’s having rules, boundaries and a leadership. Homeless people cannot afford unruly dogs, no shelter or town centre will allow it.
When they are on the move they walk with purpose. These dogs don’t have time to wander off.
Food appears when it appears so they learn to stick close to their owners.
These dogs share a deep bond with their owners based on discipline, leadership and care.
Most pet dogs have lots of care but very little else.
If you need help with your dog go to www. vicbarlow.com or text me on 07590 560012.
●● Homeless people cannot afford to have unruly dogs – no shelter or town centre will allow it
●● Coffee was taken on Whitemoor overlooking Biddulph Park and Bosley Cloud