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Long Mynd on a Windy Day
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 05:32:17 PM »
Manchester Ramblers Coach Rambles Groups Walk Sunday 12.04.2015

Long Mynd on a Windy Day.

The mountains surrounding Church Stretton have fascinated me for decades. A trip to Lyme Park with a climb to the view from Bowstones for me has always been a step towards Shropshire as my eyes have always been magnetically drawn across the Cheshire Plain and always seek The Lawley, The Long Mynd, Caer Carrodog and Wenlock Edge on the far horizon before perusing the more familiar Peak District or the planes landing or taking off from Manchester Airport.

Border country is always interesting. Some on the Manchester Ramblers Coach Excursion may have simply tied up their laces for a walk and a talk when we arrived at Church Stretton in Welsh Border Country but visits to the countryside often inspire additional fascinations and a visit to Church Stretton sends the  geologist, the ornithologist and the botanist  scampering to dust off old text books for revision days before departure.

Within a few minutes of beginning the steep ascent of the Long Mynd from All Stretton there was a cry of delight from our resident ornithologist as she spotted the forked tail of a Red Kite hovering above us, a bird which very nearly became extinct in the twentieth century but which survived as a consequence of protection and conservation projects, and this was to be the first of three sightings of Red Kites during the day. It was also to be an early highlight of a day which was to become increasingly difficult as we approached the summit of Long Mynd and were buffeted by strong winds. I was to discover later that the leader of the easy grade walk from our coach had to concede defeat to the wind and descended to more sheltered paths in the valley.

It was not only the easy grade party who were to feel the cold howling wind on Long Mynd. Heavily pregnant ewes may have the advantage of a woolly fleece but a newly born lamb suddenly delivered to a harsh, cold and windswept landscape lay crying close to its mother looking for warmth and I suspect that there would be many more lambs born soon. I hope that the wind abated before their birth.   

We crossed Long Mynd but it was not until after half past one that we were to find a gully which would provide shelter for lunch.

The deeply incised valley to the west past Bridges Youth Hostel provided welcome shelter and a further taste of spring in the form of banks of daffodils and wild yellow primula but sadly the respite in the valley was to be brief.

We turned back to ascend to the trig point at Pole Bank, the highest point of The Long Mynd as we rose we were soon reminded that the weather had not improved as we were hit by a brief shower of hail which was to clear the air  and improve our views from the summit.

The steep descent gave a splendid view of the very attractive town of Church Stretton and once down into the town there was barely a whisper of wind.

If you would care to join us on our next coach trip to Sedburgh on 26th April email for more details. Our next Sunday Public Transport Walk is April 19th New Hey to Stalybridge. Meet New Hey Metrolink station 1015.

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