Following a couple of weeks of what seemed like pretty constant rainfall, Sunday the 25th broke the mould with sunshine, albeit still quite cold, With a turnout of 15, which included two new recruits, Christine and Geoffrey, we set off from our meeting point on Lightfoot Lane at1.50p.m. We crossed the main line rail bridge and turned into Lightfoot Green Lane which led us past Preston Grasshopers rugby ground and over a bridge above the M55 Motorway. Keeping to the left hand fork brought us past a couple of barn conversions opposite which, to the left, a muddy track through the trees brought us to a single lane path alongside the motorway fence.
Continuing along this route and passing a quarry on the right, brought us to a footbridge back across the motorway into an area of fenced off fields which forced us to walk around the perimeter. The fencing was an undoubted sign of intended house development which seemed rife in the area.
Arriving at the opposite side of the field allowed us to cross a footbridge into the next field and subsequently exit by another to follow a narrow path around a fence forming the security of Houghton House Farm, which wasn’t really a farm at all but a very lavish house behind security gates, Following the lane past other elegant properties brought us to a new road, William Young Way, which we crossed and followed a track leading us to another area of Lightfoot Lane, where we turned left. This brought us to Tom Benson Way and crossing to a path at the side of the former Ingol Golf course noted another area of fencing and properties being built. Taking a path to the right allowed us to cross the open area which no longer resembled anything like a golf course having long since been abandoned. We emerged onto Wood Drive at the end of which Tanterton Hall Rd offered a bench seat where it was decided to pause for our refreshment break.
Resuming our journey and crossing back over the road and following the fence line on our left, soon revealed a metal restrictor allowing us to pass on to a track leading to the rear of various properties along Mayfield Ave. Crossing Dovedale Ave we arrived at Oaktree Ave where we turned left into Lower Greenfield which was a cul-de-sac of detached properties. Making our way through, we found that between numbers 40 and 41, a path of steps led us down to an open area and subsequently over a footbridge to an upward slope of steps through an area of trees. Arriving at a concrete path we turned right, bringing us out on to Walker Lane where we turned left. The road soon led us past the impressive gates of Greyfriars Hall, at one time the home of the Bradshaw family owners of Bradshaw Motors in Preston. The 7ft+ high perimeter wooden fence surrounding the grounds would provide many weeks work for a painter to keep it in good condition.
At the bottom of a hill, we turned left at Roseacre Cottage dating back to 1842 and followed a footpath sign along the side of Sharoe Brook through a woodland, continued to a footbridge on the left adjacent to the rail line. Following this path brought us back to the initial bridge crossing point where we turned back to regain our starting point having completed 5 miles.
From the previous time of carrying out this walk in September 2018, the changes in scenery by way of building development has been truly amazing and the indications are that it will continue a pace. Despite the few areas of muddy ground, the paths and lack of stiles had been our salvation and everyone had enjoyed what had probably been the best day of the week.
Report by Ray. Lamb
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