Sunday walk, 18 August 2013
Fifteen of us set off from the Trap Farm Car Park at the foot of Watergrove Reservoir, just north of Wardle. Within 15 minutes, we had a horrid downpour but fortunately were able to shelter in the wooded cover beside the reservoir. We lost two of our group shortly afterwards – well not really. Pete & Sue H had decided to join us and circle the reservoir on a shorter walk, then attend to family matters in the Rochdale area.
The rain eased off and we ascended one of the packhorse routes which once went down into the village of Watergrove, now drowned under the reservoir. We had our morning tea break in the shelter of 3 of the few trees on the wild slopes of the area.
Following the Rochdale Way, fortunately the weather seemed to be in our favour and we had no more rain for the rest of the day. In fact it got sunnier and sunnier.
We passed the Lobden Golf Club on the Pennine Way and headed south to a pleasant lunch stop beside White Hill.
Next we circled Rushy Hill and two reservoirs, one devoid of water and the other with just about a third capacity. A slight hiccup followed (what a surprise) in the area of Lobden House. Fortunately a local chap was able to put us right, as the gated road allowed us to pursue our route through a field of cows and heifers and down through a extraordinary collection of old vehicles, dog kennels and garden nursery products at Flower Hill Farm.
Arriving in Wardle from the west, we stopped for a well deserved drink in the beer garden at the Globe Inn. After this we had a steep ascent via Wardle Fold and up what appeared to be a sunken stream, followed by a passage over very rough reeds and grass before we walked through the memorial woods on the side of Watergrove Reservoir. The last stretch of reservoir wall revealed many date stones from houses and mills which now are drowned in the waters of the reservoir.