Take off for a good walk

This month’s walk is an easy ram­ble through fields around Mob­ber­ley, though you will get a noisy re­minder of the mod­ern world ev­ery few min­utes Cheshire Life: Novem­ber 2018 Cheshire Life: Novem­ber 2018 209

Cheshire Life - - Wildlife - Howard Brad­bury

The vil­lagers of Mob­ber­ley must by now be fairly blasé about the planes which pass over them with such reg­u­lar­ity. Per­haps they even stop hear­ing them, in the same way that one can fil­ter out con­stant traf­fic noise, or the hum of an air con­di­tioner.

But to the vis­i­tor, the prox­im­ity of so many jets heav­ing sky­wards from Manch­ester Air­port is a lit­tle ex­cit­ing, es­pe­cially so when this walk al­lows you to look down the run­way as those planes take off to­wards you.

Mob­ber­ley loomed large, of course, in op­po­si­tion to the build­ing of a sec­ond run­way at Manch­ester Air­port. Twenty years or so ago, eco-war­riors took to the trees and, in the case of the most cel­e­brated ag­i­ta­tor Swampy, holed up un­der­ground in a fruit­less bid to stop more green­ery dis­ap­pear­ing be­neath con­crete.

As I gazed down the run­way in fas­ci­na­tion at a suc­ces­sion of planes tak­ing off, a young woman

gal­loped her horse around a field close to the run­way land­ing lights. It seems as if the lovers of this cor­ner of the coun­try have at least reached some kind of ac­com­mo­da­tion with their noisy neigh­bour.

The other point of in­ter­est on this walk is rather older. The grade one listed St Wil­frid’s Church dates back to the 13th cen­tury, and boasts a rood screen from around 1500 which Pevs­ner reck­ons to be the best in Cheshire.

The church also has a win­dow ded­i­cated to Mob­ber­ley’s most fa­mous son Ge­orge Mal­lory, who may or may not have be­come the first man to reach the sum­mit of Ever­est be­fore he and his part­ner An­drew Irvine died on the moun­tain in 1924.

1We2The

stile brings you to a lane. Go right, pass­ing Owen House Farm, then take the foot­path over a stile on the left. Head through a small pad­dock to an open­ing in the fence on the right, then go ahead through a gate, across a lane, through an­other gate. Go straight across the field to a foot­path sign which di­rects you across a bridge, then head across the next field to a kiss­ing gate to the left of the py­lon. Head across the next field to­wards an open­ing in the hedge, to the left of which is a foot­path, over a stile, an­other stile and cross a tar­mac lane be­side a cat­tle grid. Af­ter stop­ping here for a bit of plane-spot­ting, con­tinue ahead along the line of a hedge to a stile which puts you on a grassy path with shrub­bery ei­ther side. Fol­low this un­til it reaches Lady Lane.

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right through a kiss­ing gate. Keep on this path through three more kiss­ing gates. St Wil­frid’s Chuch, Mob­ber­ley, will come into view to your right. Keep ahead un­til the path comes to a hedge run­ning at right an­gles to it, with a me­tal gate to the left. Bear right along the line of the hedge to a pair of kiss­ing gates. Go left here, head­ing to­wards the church and a gate brings you into the car park of the Church Inn. 4From

the pub, bear right up Church Lane, pass­ing the church. As the road veers to the right, take the foot­path on the left be­tween two houses. Cross two stiles and keep ahead on the well-de­fined track. Cross an­other stile and keep ahead, but just be­fore you reach a field gate, take the foot­path over a stile on the left, cross­ing the field on the right edge to reach a stile on the right. Cross it and head along the left edge of the field. At the farm fence, fol­low the path around to the right then con­tinue on the left field edge, ig­nor­ing the first stile on the left. Af­ter a few min­utes, look for a very over­grown stile on the left with a path run­ning down­hill. Go down here, cross the bridge and head to­wards the tele­graph pole and on to the me­tal field gate with a stile be­side it. 5Head

right up the track, then right into Smith Lane. when the road forks, go right into Slade Lane, which climbs gen­tly. When it reaches Hobcroft Lane, turn left, then first left a few yards later into Sta­tion Road, which brings you back to the start point.

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