Travelled 5.5 miles, worked 2 lift bridges in a time of 2 hours 15 minutes.
We left our over night mooring on the Prees branch at 9.00am and I got ready to work the first of the two swing bridges.
This time I did not have a fisherman in attendance on the bridge bollards.
We were back on the main line at the junction at 9.25am and heading off North West towards Cole Mere.
We cruised along another straight embankment, which I find quite impressive. To our right and left there was woodland and bogs as we left Whixall Moss, we crossed over into Wales.
So we said "goodbye" to England for a short while.
On passing Bettisfield, I spotted this large statue in a garden.
Dandelions seem to be in abundance this year, the towpath and some fields are covered in them. The canal twists and turns, which made it difficult when we kept meeting boats at tight bends or bridge 'oles coming in the opposite direction. It is not a problem when they know what your doing, but when they do not it can get a little hairy. The open countryside became hilly with woodland on both sides as we reached Cole Mere we could see it from the boat, we pulled on to the 48 hour moorings, whilst I held the centre line, Keith stepped off the boat, to see how far the moorings went up and whilst he did so, a boat came past us in the opposite direction at such a speed, I had to ask them to slow down, because other wise I would have been pulled over. I just about managed to hold on to the boat, which at the moment weighs in at around 28 tonne. The gentleman did say sorry, so I thanked him.
Having moored at 11.15am, I made us a packed lunch and a flask of coffee, we then took off to walk around Cole Mere.
Cole Mere is on of several mere's in the area. Cole Mere is the only one of the glacial mere's in North Shropshire to have a full circular walk which is 1½ miles/ 2.4 km. It was made when a
huge chunk of ice melted. It was dumped and buried by a glacier
in the last Ice Age 11,000 years ago.
On the mere there is also a sailing club.
As we walked around the mere we could hear a church bell peeling, in the distance we saw this very sweet little church.
On reaching the car park, we diverted to the church of St. John the Evangelist to have a look around.
Next to the church is St. John's Wood. In 1860's Lady Marian Alford had St. John's church built in memory of her son Lord Brownlow. It was also for the people of Cole Mere and Lyneal. Until 2009 the woodland had stood unloved and unnamed, so the name of St. John's Wood was taken up. In the 1970' and 80's a cash crop of Sitka Spruce was planted. The trees were removed in 2008 to allow the natural woodland to take over. Yew tree saplings are in evidence, where they have self seeded and the wildlife has taken over with the help of locals.
An insect hotel has been erected, by the Sunday school children. There are different areas for different wildlife, butterflies and birds. It was such a peaceful place, that Keith and I decided to sit and have lunch there over looking the mere.
The view across the mere was breath taking.
After lunch we continued on our walk around the mere and were alarmed by this sign about Killer Shrimps, which have come across from Europe.
The bird song through the woods at times was deafening. Most of the time we could hear the birds, but seeing them was another matter. However we did see, Robins, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Tree Creeper, Black Birds and Chaffinches.
There was a lot of Spring flowers, including Wood Anemone, Blue Bells, Primroses etc.
Ferns were unfold from their Winter slumber.
I also spotted a Speckled Wood Butterfly and an Orange Tip Butterfly. There were a couple of Great Crested Grebe on the water and the usual Mallards and Canada Geese, a pair of Swans flew in probably from the mere in Ellesmere.
Both Keith and I enjoyed a lovely walk, and I certainly recommend it.