Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Lockdown Revelations

David Bratt, President

This article is from Signpost 65, Autumn 2020

My wife, Beth and I have been fortunate to have had an enjoyable lockdown. The key to this has been the ability to embrace the joys of walking and all that nature had to offer from spring through to summer. Not just nature, but the unfolding of agriculture from sowing to harvesting. We walked our local Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft field path flatlands day after day, amassing 40-50 miles a week, in fear that walking would be prohibited in the cause of stopping the virus.

Months later came the freedom to travel by car so it became 3-4 days a week walking in the Delamere Forest area with gentle hills plus a trip to Pendle territory and another to Great Orme. Throughout the whole period, now 20 weeks, we saw so much interesting plant and wildlife. Wild cherries were discovered and cherry gin is on the go. It has proved an amazing year for butterflies ranging from early on Brimstones to Gatekeepers latterly.

Bent farm gates. We must have seen at least ten such.
All with top metal bar severely depressed.
Alder leaf beetle. A striking dark metallic blue.
Once thought rare, even extinct,
now thriving in the North West
Gatekeeper butterfly
The top joy of lockdown.
Our new cat Fizz adopted us and
found jigsaws a challenge to ignore
Croft zebra. With global warming
exotic species are moving north
Dog vomit fungus. Yes, its real name.
Seen in Tatton Park
Early purple orchids on Pestfurlong Hill, Birchwood

Were there negatives? Yes, two. The first was an illegally closed path - both obstructed by a gate that was quite tricky to climb and posted with false notices - which we came upon by chance and two days later Warrington BC had it reopened. The other matter was some cyclists: tell them gently it aint a bridleway and what do you get? Verbal abuse but of late the problem has considerably abated. Here then are a few piccies of some of our lockdown revelations including a few quirkies!

Next: Signposts available for commemoration

Page title:Lockdown Revelations
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