Macclesfield Forrest Walk, Saturday 1st July 2017

Leader: Helen Richardson

Reporter: Joy Parsons

The meeting point for this walk was the car park at Trentabank reservoir. John and I turned up and nobody seemed to have arrived, but a short walk to the road revealed 6 cars along the free road spaces. Twelve members plus Chris’s 2 dogs had arrived in spite of drizzly cold Cheshire weather!

We set off up the hill towards Nessit Hill and from the top we could see that the weather was clearing, revealing Macclesfield’s reservoirs and a hint of longer views beyond. We then back tracked towards Shuttlingsloe but keeping within the upper paths of the forest. Luckily, United Utilities are felling much of the dreary conifers and, with clearing weather, the views opened up.

We reached Standing Stones car park, Phil joining us for the remaining miles.

We cut down over a field towards Brough’s Place which was approached over a cattle grid. Most of us skipped over this but one of Chris’s dogs decided to make the big leap, trapping a hind leg. We had a 3 legged dog with us for a while but recovery was quick and big vet’s bill was avoided.

We continued across to Bottom of the Oven and resisted the temptation to go into the Stanley Arms going up the old bridleway to Forest Chapel. There is a functioning chapel there which has a history going back to the Black Prince in the 14thC.

By then it was lunchtime and the chapel porch and gravestones made a pleasant lunch spot in the bright warm sun.

The bridleway continued and we then went back into the forest towards Tegg’s Nose, an old quarry and noted beauty spot near Macclesfield. It was hot going up the last ascent to the top of the hill but there is a delightful café and visitor centre there together with picnic tables which made a great rest area.

We then went across to the old quarry which used to supply good quality millstone grit for paving slabs, cobbles etc until it went out of business largely due to cheap imports. 70% of Macc’s pavements were made from Tegg’s Nose grit.

The walk back down to Langley on the Gritstone Way afforded superb views right across the Cheshire plain and down over Staffordshire, Shropshire and over to Wales.

We had been out for 7 hours or so and done 2000ft of ascent and walked 9.2 miles.[ It felt longer!]

A really excellent and varied walk, good weather, interesting terrain, history and of course the good company of our friends in the SCoM!

Our thanks to Helen for organising it.