EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS
JANUARY was a good month for a group of 19 East Cheshire ramblers to abandon the mud of the hills and head towards the city.
Parking at East Didsbury they caught two trams (a new experience for some) to Sale Water Park.
After excellent coffee and cakes at the visitor centre they set off to explore the Mersey flood plain.
One of the most interesting features of the walk was the variety of uses of the flood plain. The first half of the walk was varied, with paths alongside lakes, the Mersey and through nature reserves, visiting both Sale and Chorlton water parks.
These former gravel pits are now excellent recreation areas – one for water sports and both for fishing.
Sale Water Park was created in the 1970s when gravel was needed for the embankments of what is now the M60. Another extensive use of the land is for golf, as there are five courses.
The water parks and golf courses are all part of a food alleviation scheme. If water rises dangerously, weirs or flood gates can be opened and the water stored until the flood waters have subsided.
A large scheme was seen near Fletcher Moss, Didsbury, where the gate structure has been artistically decorated by local school children.
Before the last section of river bank, a short path around Parrs Wood School at Fletcher Moss garden was visited. This garden was created by Alderman Fletcher Moss and donated to the city in 1915.
It contains many unusual plants and a delightful rockery garden – all being maintained today by volunteers.
For further information go to ramblerseast cheshire.org.uk.
●» East Cheshire Ramblers beside the brightly-decorated flood gates structure at Fletcher Moss