Frodsham Marshes

Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here reporting on a stroll around Frodsham Marshes. As you will appreciate, because I am a dog, I cannot drive a car or read a map, I rely on my human PA for that kind of thing. He has his uses, he bags my poop and throws it in the bin. I just can’t manage to tie the damn knot in the bag. Anyway, I do stuff for him too. I give him a reason to exercise twice a day, no matter how bad the weather is. Even if it is a monsoon or ten degrees below zero, I still help him to stay fit. I need to keep him active considering the amount of chocolate and cake that he consumes. So, on this rainy morning, I encouraged him to take me for a walk. It was warm because it was July but, it was a bit naff, I must say.

Across from The Quay

We drove the short distance to The Quay, next to Sutton Causeway, and parked in the small parking area. The Quay runs alongside the River Weaver until it branches off at a footpath to the right as Quayside climbs to the left. We walked under the huge arches of the railway viaduct with its four cast iron arches and twenty three sandstone and brick approach arches. It was constructed between 1848 and 1850 to form a route from Chester to Warrington and is a Grade II Listed construction.

The footpath past The Quay
The railway viaduct

As you pass under the viaduct there are a few pleasant cottages on one side of the footpath/cycleway with gardens on the riverbank on the other side of the path. There are good views over the river to Weaver Sailing Club with its dinghy’s lined up on the bank opposite us. The club was formed over thirty years ago and caters for sailing, skiing and canoeing.

Weaver Sailing Club

We plodded on to walk under the M56 road bridge until we came to a pond on the left. The big feller started munching on blackberries that he picked from the bushes around the pond. He started to make strange noises that must have meant that he was liking what he was eating. I noted that there were no treats for yours truly growing on the bushes. Ah well, on we went on our hike.

Across the pond
The same pond
Snack time for the big feller

We passed over a footbridge, by a small pumping station, that spanned one of the many water channels in this area that drain the marshes in time of heavy rain. As we moved on we walked along the top of an embankment that runs alongside the river. The are is the habitat for many wildflowers, insects and butterflies. My dad stopped a few times to take photographs of the plants and I expect that he has included some in this blog.

Drainage channel
Hoary Ragwort
Hedge Parsley
Common Ragwort

On the opposite bank of the river we came to the massive Ineos chemical plant. We came to an A frame gate which led us to a muddy overgrown footpath. It was time for Twinkletoes to start complaining again about nettles, thistles and brambles. I wonder at time why he insists on wearing shorts. He has got plenty of hiking trousers and gaiters so, why doesn’t he wear them? Instead, I have to listed to his girly squeals. To top it all he started whining about all the midges and gnats that were biting him and ‘mozzies’ that were drinking his blood. I think that he is simply a drama queen. Anyway, once we were through the ‘jungle’ we were out in the open and heading along the side of the River Weaver.

Hedge Bindweed
Marsh Woundwort
Peacock Butterfly
Gatekeeper and a Ringlet (maybe)

The narrow path became wider and grass covered as we followed the course of the River Weaver with the large wet area owned by Inovyn. On the shores of the river were many geese that were taunting me with their loud honking. Shortly, we moved away from the river as we passed The Lum, an area of wetland, on our right. The marshes are criss-crossed by drainage ditches and we walked along a track at the side of one. We saw bright blue dragonflies and many moths and butterflies. We followed the path as it became a rough single track road, Weaver Lane, that passed over a bridge over the M56. A puddle, the width of the road, looked like an obstacle that we would have to negotiate until my dad spotted a dry verge at the side of it. I was ready for a mad five minutes splashing in the muddy water but, Captain Sensible made me follow him on dry land.

River Weaver with Helsby Hill
The Lum on the right
Grazing land
Weaver Lane
There was a way round!

We soon came to Ship Street, where we turned left, passing a school and large playing fields. A short stretch of footpath took us back to The Quay and shortly, back to the car. It had been a damp walk but, a very quiet one as we hadn’t come across any other people or pooches.

A quick run on a field then home!

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