Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Walk On The Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses

A view across the Mosses

Today Ben and I took a walk up along the canal towpath  across the footbridge and onto the Mosses for a walk. Reading about it tells me (I Googled it) it's the third largest lowland raised bog straddling the English/ Welsh border near Whitchurch. It's a slowly growing dome of Sphagmum Bog Moss fed only by rain water and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).Lots more information if you want to Google it too.

Today Ben didn't  need to be on a lead as the breeding season for the  birds on the Mosses is over. Although  I'd walked the purple walk before I wasn't that sure of the route, there weren't any little map books in the black boxes. There was a display showing the various routes next to the disabled boaters mooring so I had a look. We made it out of the mosses where the path meets the canal. In places the route was overgrown especially as you got closer to the canal, with nettles, bracken and a few brambles to negotiate. Lots of bugs too, I had bites at ankle height!

There's a feeling of peace and isolation and some warnings not to stray off the tracks on the Mosses, which are peat bogs with various deep drainage ditches  which run alongside some of the tracks. There is a post marking the English /Welsh border so I've actually been walking in Wales today. There's also a marker on the towpath as we walked along the long straight section of canal familiar with boaters. Lots of nettles reducing the width of the towpath at first but one section of towpath from the mosses viewing point onwards now has a hard surface and a disabled boater mooring on the very spot that we used to moor on.

We just had to walk back over the footbridge and back down the Prees Arm, past the two lift bridges then up onto the road at the canal bridge A short walk then to Alders Lane and Whixall Marina. Back on the boat I recovered with a cool drink, while Eric made some toasties. Ben stretched out and went to sleep.....we'd been walking for over two hours.

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