Sunday 27 August 2017

Church and Mere Sands Wood

This morning we began by walking the very short distance to St Mary's, the local parish church for the service at 9:15 (they had already had another one at eight!).

Although it was rather more high church than we are accustomed to, it was well-led and a number of lay people to active parts. The congregation was around 30 with a couple of teenagers. The hymns were a mixture of 19th and 20th century and the local folk seemed friendly and comfortable. (Apart from the pews, that is, which exacerbated Christine's on-going back trouble!)

We returned to the boat, did not very much until lunch time.

In the afternoon we thought about going to Rufford Old Hall, a National Trust property very nearby. However, despite the back, Christine felt like some exercise so, instead, we walked to Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve, about a mile and half out of the village.

We visited here four years ago (blog) and our experience this time was little different except that the suggested charge for car parking (still £2!) We walked around the perimeter path through the woodland.

Very much the same all the way except for a few interesting fungi growths on old tree stumps.

We paused at a couple of the hides - almost the only places where it is possible to have a view of the various lakes in this former sand quarry.

We were somewhat concerned about the number of Canada Geese - the only species we saw in any quantity - and wondered how the reserve will manage them and deter them from taking over completely and preventing the space from being a haven for more indigenous species for which the reserve was probably intended.

Again we stopped to read for quite a spell on a comfortable bench seat - and were suitably grateful to the person in whose memory it had been placed here! Alas, the hoped for sunshine rarely emerged and it was only much later after we had returned to the boat that it became brighter again.

For our roast dinner we had the ham shank that we bought in Leigh at the butcher we had sought out for their pork pies. These were on offer at £2.99 each and there was plenty left for at least another couple of meals for us both. A blackberry crumble, with fruit that Christine had gathered very close to our mooring yesterday completed the menu.

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