Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here with my human dad. This was our second walk of the day. We walked around Tegg’s Nose earlier in the day. As we said in that blog, today was a try out for my human dad’s knee injury. He managed the short gentle inclines and descents of the first walk and after a rest and a short drive to Trentabank Reservoir, we set off again on another short walk over some hilly terrain.
We parked at the Trentabank Reservoir car park with the plan to walk into Macclesfield Forest, Standing Stones and back to the reservoir. The car park had plenty of room so, we were parked up and on our way in no time. On crossing the road to look into the Arboretum we discovered that pooches weren’t allowed in there. We understood that because it was a conservation issue but, I only wanted a tree to pee on. Hey ho!
The gate to the reservoir was also closed to humans and pooches so, the big feller started to curse saying that we weren’t welcome anywhere around here. He spoke to soon. It was access to the walled area of the reservoir that we weren’t allowed into. Just next to the gate was a wooden gate allowing entrance into the reservoir area. We walked the few yards to the lake and my human stood still to admire the view and the waterfowl, swimming on the water. He knew that the reservoir was the home to a number of herons and he wouldn’t leave until he spotted some.
Trentabank reservoir, along with Ridgegate, Tegg’s Nose and Bottom’s reservoirs, supply drinking water to Macclesfield. Surrounded by conifers, it is a scenic and tranquil location. The area is part of the Trentabank Nature Reserve and is managed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust.
After a short stay at the reservoir it was time for us to tackle the long but, not too steep, hike into the forest. Initially, we followed the signposts for Shutlingsloe. My human huffed and puffed as we plodded uphill. Me. on the other hand, zoomed in and out of the conifers and took it all in my stride. I was back in my favourite environment, the hills!
My dad freed me from the constraints of my lead so that I could stretch my legs. I think that he felt guilty keeping me on a lead as I stopped and gave him the eyes! He is easily manipulated.
He never lets me venture too far from his gaze. I think that he is a bit too over protective but, he says that it is only because he doesn’t want to lose me. There is no chance of that. I would be lost without my Personal Assistant!
After the uphill section the wide track flattens slightly and the views opened up around us. Deforestation has spoiled the area somewhat but, the distant views were stunning and well worth the short climb.
We continued past a right hand turn towards Shutlingsloe, and headed on along the wide stony path. It was a warm sunny afternoon with a slight breeze, ideal conditions for being in the hills.
Ahead of us was the derelict farmhouse of Ferriser Farm. What a remote and beautiful setting for a house but, well past saving..
As we passed the farmhouse, the track dipped downwards and skirted the edge of the forest. On the horizon in the hills above us, we could see the Cat and Fiddle pub on the Buxton Road. We were entering the Standing Stones area. At one time there was a numerous amount of standing stones in the area, hence the name. Now, unfortunately, there is only one remaining at Higher Ridgegate, the others having mysteriously disappeared.
It was good dog walking along the path until we met a junction with the road at Standingstones car park. A memorial stone can be seen on the roadside to Walter Smith, a local historian and writer. The stone, although not standing, is known locally as the standing stone.
At this point it was to be all gradually downhill on the path that passed alongside, and sometimes crossed, the road back to the car park. I had the freedom of being off-lead so, I marked my territory to claim Macclesfield Forest for myself. I did notice that quite a few other pooches had attempted to do the same but, as I was the last one there, the forest is mine! I was getting a bit too excited for my human as I zoomed around Cocker Style, sniffing out squirrels. He kept calling me back because he couldn’t concentrate on where he was placing his feet while he was watching me. Apparently, humans, although they have only two feet, don’t have the intelligence to walk and watch at the same time. I have four feet, can sprint with my nose an inch from the ground and change direction on a sixpence, whatever one of those are!
Twenty or so minutes later and we were back at Trentabank. We had some good views across the reservoir while the big aching feller tried to spot more herons. After a few minutes we spotted a cormorant but, no herons this time. A few more minutes later and we arrived back at the car. My human said that he was sore but, happy that we had been able to do the walk. At least we know that we can attempt some more ambitious hillwalking as long as he takes the right precautions.
So, our first day in the hills for over six months, was over and relatively successful. All I had to do now was sleep on the back seat of the car while my chauffeur drove me home. Till next time!