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  • Writer's pictureOur Green Warrington

Dave Weston: Lockdown location, location, location

Who knew? I certainly didn't! Our village of Grappenhall and neighbouring villages of Appleton, Appleton Thorn and Wright's Green, to name but a few, have the most beautiful and so far, unspoiled green spaces with far reaching countryside views. One thing lockdown has done to me personally is send me on a near daily exploration of doorstep walks incorporating woodland, paths, open fields, and a treasure trove of unknowns that only the regular and hardened dog walkers will know.

One of my favourites must start with Australia Lane. Only moments from my home yet you're in a world of greenery between Grappenhall and Cartridge Lane. Ambling along the public path, the rolling fields to your left are, so far, untouched and unspoiled, while to your right, managed woodlands and more agriculture await your eyes and senses. The noticeable bird song along the way demonstrates such a thriving flight life, while also apparent is the rustle and bustle from rabbits, hares, squirrels and who knows what else... Frequent sightings of herons and the sound of woodpeckers is common.

Take yourself down Broad Lane from Cartridge Lane and take a left on to Hall Lane. From there you have options, lots of them. My choice is head left at the woodland crossroads. From there you're in a thriving managed wooded area that will take you out to open fields and paths that border the back of the Grappenhall Heyes estate. The ponds, managed or unmanaged, are a haven for local waterfowl life and are actively visible as healthy working water features.   

Once through, you can take the routes through to Wright's Green that will afford you the options of either Doods Lane or Dingle Lane, both bordering the famous Dingle Woods, a local luxury in its own right and adjacent to the wonderful Millennium Green. For the longer journey, I head left and meander through the paths that will take you on the field edges all the way to the B5356 / Grappenhall Lane. Endless rolling greenery; a visual view that will engage your senses and make your mind smile.

I must note that all along these chosen walks the all too familiar 'reserved for housing' by 'Homes England' seem to be at every turn and corner; no space untouched it seems by the will to 'land grab' and mark off space for future housing developments. 

Heading into Appleton Thorn from here, a direction to take would be to follow Green Lane, adjacent to Lumb Brook Road. This little gem takes you to the end of Doods Lane mentioned earlier with yet more options. I dare say Alice in Wonderland would struggle to make her next choice of direction, smiling like the depiction of the 'Cheshire Cat' on the side of St. Wilfrid's Church overlooking the widely known Parr Arms. 

For me, take yourself through the enchanting Dingle Woods all the way through to Dingle Lane where you can cross over to the next section, trekking you back to Lumb Brook Millennium Green managed by the Woodland Trust, linking to the bottom of Stockton Lane. From there back up to Grappenhall village, taking in the farmland along the way and you'll find yourself back on the historical cobbles hosting beautiful houses, a sought-after primary school and of course two of the most famous Warrington South pubs! Crossing the top of Australia Lane where this journey started, this is where it also ends. Time for a well-earned coffee and muse over the many photo opportunities along the way. 

The positive and personal impact on mental health and wellbeing of these escapes are immeasurable. 

For more of Dave Weston's stunning photography visit our Citizen Journalist page.

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