BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘Norton’

#365daysofbiking Lost lanes

August 4th – A lane I’d not really ever registered the existence of disappeared a while ago, without me being aware. This is unusual, as I’m normally fascinated by these things.

School Lane, Little Wyrley was a quiet, winding, lightly used lane with no dwellings between the A5 Watling Street and Gorsey Lane. This whole area of scrubby, grubby not-quite countryside between Brownhills and Great Wyrley is plagued with fly tipping and other antisocial behaviour, but School Lane was particularly badly affected.

Having endured enough, in 2016 [Edit – It’s been closed much longer than this, from at least 2009 – Bob], Cannock Chase Council decided the best way to stop the problem was to gate the lane. Permanently.

This completely passed me by at the time, and I only noticed when it was mentioned in passing a few months ago on social media, so I made a mental note to ride it while I still could. As you can see, nature is now taking over and it’s an odd, but peaceful and wonderfully pollution-free byway disappearing slowly back into the landscape.

Like Dark Lane near Longdon, lost lanes intrigue me no end.

I’m glad I checked this out.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking On grey days, I dream in colour

June 23rd – A tired, grumpy recovery day. I set out mid afternoon to find something to cheer me up – no easy task in the grey and drizzle that prevailed: Such a shock after the bright, warm summer of the day before.

At Norton Bog, I found what I was looking for: The brightness of summer flowers around the small pool by the bypass.

Several varieties of orchid, devils paintbrush and birdsfoot trefoil mingled and competed to be the most vivid.

A lovely display that did indeed perk me up no end.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking Adopted

May 6th – In Norton – a lovely village if I’m honest – a treat: The local Brownies and Guides have adopted a public open space and bus stop in the old village and have created a wildflower patch, a bug hotel of proportions a certain pUs President would welcome, nicely planted beds and lovely sweet decorations on the shelter.

A joy to behold, and a great way of showing – and fostering – community spirit.

Thank you to all involved.

This journal is moving home. Please find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking Way out west

May 6th – It wasn’t a bad day, really, and thanks to some emergency help from a doctor, I had some good medication and felt much, much better.

So I did what I always do when improving: Get on my bike.

This season I want to expand my horizons a bit. I want to explore places I’ve not been in years. So I thought I’d make a start by heading west rather than north or east.

West is difficult from Brownhills. Beyond Great Wyrley is miles of lovely, rolling countryside, but sadly, Great Wyrley and Cannock are in the way. When the motorway and bypasses came through, it left few peaceful, viable paths to the countryside of the west, meaning getting to it is a chore.

But as I reminded myself today with a 52 mile bimble, it’s actually gorgeous when you make the effort. So I will. Far more often.

I went via Norton, Washbrook, then into Wyrley, Landywood and Shareshill. Up through Hilton Park, Saredon to Four Ashes, then on to the canal north to Penkridge, Acton Trussell and Milford, and from there down the main roads to Rugeley and back over Red Hill and Chorley.

A really fine ride, sadly in mostly grey, cold weather but the scenery – and lack of discomfort – more than made up for it.

This journal is moving home. Please find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr

March 5th – Back to the wet, blustery weather. Escaping after a period of spannering the bike in the afternoon, the rain held off as I rode to the Orbital Centre at Bridgtown on an errand. I used the new road that curls through the industrial area that’s being developed there. It’s fast, but soulless.

This is a good area for such development – former brownfield, with mining and historical contamination issues, this land is scarred, ugly and ideal for the warehouses and factories it’s sprouting. But bless me, it’s a dull ride.

Nothing is on a human scale. Everything built here is huge. Everything is massive, and punctuated by huge amounts of open space.

Modern development is a curious thing.

April 7th – A surprisingly hard ride up to Pye Green, over the Chase and back over Shugborough. The wind was wolfish, and changed direction mid-ride, attacking on the way, and the return. Hugely enjoyable, though.

It was a ride of oddities and unusual scenes. The ghost doll and Bassett hound weathervane were spotted within meters of each other in Norton, while the rabbits dined happily on the grass of the Shugborough Estate. A young lad fed swans corn from a narrowboat, and the the Chase itself was as cinematic as ever.

I feel autumn at my shoulder already, and the lords and ladies berries are showing well – their vivid colour warning of their strong toxicity.

On the way back, in the evening cool not far from Longdon, I was surprised to come upon a badger, crossing the road; before I could get the camera, it scooted out of sight, and a mate tentatively stuck it’s head of of the hedge. I wanted 15 minutes or more, camera poised and perfectly still for them to re-emerge, then I gave up. Just as I zipped up the camera bag, both animals sauntered back over the road, as cool as you like.

They knew, they obviously knew. Buggers.

March 13th – Always nice to see the deer; this large herd were between Norton Bog and Cuckoo bank, and didn’t seem much bothered by me al all, eventually being scared off by a the noise of a siren on  the nearby main road.

It was quite misty so the photos aren’t as clear as I’d like.

They look healthy and content.