July 17th – A spin out over The Swag and Clayhanger Marsh before the rain came. It’s not often I come up into the marsh – the former trackbed for the mineral line makes a good, elevated dry path. The fields were alive with a yellow carpet of ragwort. I had a scramble up the very old slagheaps and took a look at the foreboding scenery before me. It may not be the most beautiful bit of our area, but it’s fascinating and stuffed with rare species.