A Walk on the Mosses
A Walk on the Mosses
Since we have been based at Whixall Marina for four years now, we decided it was high time to explore some of the immediate surrounding area before falling prey to the horrific predictions of the met office…
The weather, which has been unseasonably mild for November, makes our walk around the Whixall mosses pleasant, if a fairly short one.
We choose a circular route beginning and terminating at ‘World’s End’ – a leafy car park ( not a pub !) at the end of Moss Lane.
Initially, the path takes us towards the moss, then left and off in the direction of Bettisfield – there are a number of information boards along the way showing the various species of wildlife here on the mosses and warning dog walkers to keep dogs on leads in case they irritate and get bitten by an adder…! Owing to the time of year, we see no adders.
The walk is flat and the ground fairly even, if a little soft over the peaty soil of the moss initially. We wend our way in the direction of Cadney Lane which, after a mile or so we leave, crossing a large field sown with winter barley to head towards bridge 47 over the Llangollen Canal..
Here, after a couple of sweeping bends we walk the towpath alongside “The Quob” – a long straight stretch of canal whose steel sheet piling was installed by the last group of navvies in the 1960s. The mosses here are lower than the canal itself owing to the years of peat cutting and the fact that the land is still sinking.
We stop briefly at a clearing in the trees and walk a short distance on a boarded pontoon to view the open moss – upon which there was once a Starfish site – a decoy for German bombers in the war on which fires were lit to replicate the incendiaries of the pathfinders and draw the bombers away from urban targets. Although Whixall moss was never actually bombed in this way, it was one of 237 starfish sites across Britain.
We continue our walk along the towpath to the junction with the Prees arm which terminates at Whixall marina which was the original source for the puddle clay used to line the canal. Crossing at bridge 46 brings us neatly back on to the Prees arm where we return to the mosses trail via lift bridge 1.
A return trip to the marina is a temptation now as the waterside café serves Sunday lunch…!
This is the first and only Canal and River Trust lift bridge on the Prees arm – the second – just around the corner- is actually a highway bridge which has been recently repaired. Many boaters will remember winding this bridge up to allow their boat to pass through in the shimmering heat of last summer. It only serves the pretty canal side cottage and fields and is now mostly quiet with only the occasional boat going through. We tramp over it taking in the heady smell of very ripe apples hanging like Christmas decorations from the trees and head back towards the car park over the fields and back through the mosses.
Phone: 07388 924636
Adress: Whixall Marina, Alders Lane, Whixall. Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY132QS