Ramble through the Douglas Valley

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12 members of the Ramblers group set off from the top of Parbold Hill to undertake an 8 mile walk through the picturesque Douglas Valley. Although we are now in Spring, the day was very cold, which necessitated the walkers being well wrapped up with hats scarves and gloves as well as the usual walking gear. Peter and Ann had undertaken a recce of the walk last week and found the tracks to be clear and easy to negotiate. Today however, following the recent heavy rains, the paths were very muddy and there were a couple of near misses which thankfully did not result in anyone falling in the streams! Walking through the Fairy Glen, evidence of Spring was apparent, with blue bells and other spring flowers  just about to come out. We passed several fields of sheep, with some ewes very obviously heavy in lamb, whereas those grazing slightly lower down the valley had their lambs leaping about among the flock. Trees were laden in blossom, although it may not last long as there was a very keen wind blowing across the open countryside which will probably put paid to the blossom. We were lucky to have a coffee stop high up overlooking the countryside and as the day was clear at this point, had a good view of Blackpool Tower way in the distance. Once again we had a significant number of stiles (in various shapes and sizes) to negotiate on the walk. I think the final  tally was 15, though I admit to stopping counting once we reached 8! We were fortunate just to have a few drops of rain throughout the walk, but  the weather unfortunately changed before the walk was completed and resulted in the last mile or so walking in a downpour. However, spirits were raised at the thought of the end of walk lunch which was enjoyed by everyone. Thanks to Peter and Ann for the recce and leading  the walk.The next ramble will be on Thursday 2nd May, and will be a 6 mile circular walk, covering hills and valleys, with some steep climbs, on the Beamers Trail, part of the Witton Weavers Way, in the Blackburn area. Full details will be posted on the noticeboard next week and online in the week before the walk.

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