Monday 5th February 2018



Weir on the River Irwell

Eleven walkers left Greenmount Old School to undertake one of our most familiar walks. Once again we had the pleasure of welcoming a new walker to our group and we hoped that the muddy paths would not deter her from joining us again. We made our way down the old railway track into the Kirklees Valley, stopping first at the bridge over Island Lodge where our resident bird watcher pointed out a group of canvas ducks enjoying the cold February morning. At the bottom of the track we crossed Brandlesholme Road and headed down onto Woodhill Road turning left towards Burrs Country Park.

The park, which is alongside the River Irwell, was acquired by Bury Metro in 1986 and has since been developed into a successfully activity centre and leisure facility. The site still retains parts of the old mill including the chimney, mill floor and waterwheel pit. The mill cottages, in Stock Street, are now part of the centre and a very popular caravan site has been developed on the site close to the Brown Cow Pub.

At the end of Woodhill Road, we made our way towards the river through the sculptors, that are part of the Irwell Sculpture Trail and include, the Waterwheel, Stone Circle and Picnic Area, which we made full use of for our mid-morning coffee break.

Bird watching in Summerseat

Returning to the very muddy path we continued along the side of the river which was on our left and on our right was the feeder canal that takes water to Elton Reservoir. Our next stop was at the weir, which was in full flow due to the recent heavy rains. From here we continued along the very muddy path which eventually went under the East Lancashire Railway bridge and up to Bank Top Farm, with its many sculptures.

Once through the farm we turned left where the path passes Benns Reservoir and eventually drops down to the railway line which we crossed and turned left on Wood Road Lane and onto the bridge, where we spent some time observing the wildlife with our tally of birds so far being, Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Blue Tit, Jay and Wren. Turning right after the bridge we headed towards Summerseat where some of our group stopped at the garden centre for a second cup of coffee whilst the rest of us made our way back to Greenmount along Hazel Hall Lane and through the fields to Brandleshome Road having covered a distance of 7 miles.