Walking in a wet field
Geopark Way - the walk, day eight
by Anthony Collis
Join Anthony and more than 30 other walkers as they make the 108 mile trek from Bridgnorth to Gloucester, along the newly opened Geopark Way. Day eight takes them from Newent to Birdwood.
Seven glorious days gave way to a misty, wet morning.
Rain had fallen most of the night to herald a soggy start, so that waterproofs became the required dress for the penultimate day of the Geopark Way.
The walk resumed at Newent, and headed out along the aptly named Watery Lane and on through Acorn Woods down to Clifford's Mesne.
The word 'mesne', pronounced meen, means in law, 'middle' or 'intervening'.
A mesne lord is a lord who holds land of a superior, but grants a part of it to another person, in which case he is a tenant to the superior, but lord or superior to the second grantee.
Thus, Clifford is, or was, the Mesne Lord.
On May Hill
After passing through the village, we were met by David Owen (Head of Geology – Gloucestershire Geology Trust- GGT) outside the Yew Tree Inn.
A mile-long climb up to the summit of May Hill ensued, where David pointed out the various sights from the viewpoint that the 25-strong party was unable to see owing to poor visibility.
May Hill, cared for by the National Trust, is one of the region's most familiar landmarks, as a result of the Scots pines planted on the summit in 1887, to commemorate Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
Successive trees were planted to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of our present Queen.
May Hill is composed of sandstone, and is of the early Silurian period of about 440-million years ago.
The disused and previously overgrown Huntley Quarry has been purchased and is now managed by the GGT, who coveted it for its particular geological interest.
David Owen pointed out a large exposure of Huntley Quarry Beds.
These consist of an alternating sequence of coarse to fine sandstone and siltstones, which indicate rapid deposition in water.
By now the rain had stopped and lunch was eaten in the churchyard of Huntley Church.
The interior is spectacular, and is dominated by an alabaster pulpit, which was exhibited at the Great International Exhibition of 1862.
A nearby garden centre proved irresistible to a member of the group who purchased a splendid rosebush as a gift.
Sandra flew from San Diego, California especially for this inaugural group walk along the Geopark Way!
Hopefully the rosebush will be for a local recipient as she is unlikely to be allowed to carry that on board an aircraft!
The afternoon walk continued, with rosebush, to the hamlet of Birdwood, from where the coach, provided by Malvernian Tours, conveyed the 26 walkers, plus rosebush, back to Malvern.
last updated: 09/06/2009 at 08:17
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