Recently seventeen East Cheshire Ramblers led by Sue Munslow started their 5 mile walk at Biddulph Country Park. This parkland area in the 1800s was part of a larger estate owned by James Bateman a local colliery owner. The group walked through the Park along the Himalayan Path through the ancient woodland, with ferns and mosses covering the valley and alongside the brook flowing down through rapids and waterfalls. Leaving the Country Park, the local lanes and paths took us below Troughstone (a quarried gritstone outcrop) and from this hillside we had views across Cheshire to Queensferry Power Station, Jodrell Bank, Beeston Castle and the Wrekin in Shropshire. We eventually joined the dismantled railway now known as the Biddulph Valley Way.
The railway was partly financed By James Bateman to connect Biddulph to Congleton and Stoke, to move coal and other heavy materials. Closed during the 1960s the route way now is a valued by walkers and cyclists. Trees and hedge line the path providing a rich habitat for wildlife and nature reserves.
We returned to the Country Park passing the National Trust gardens which were originally developed by James Bateman as part of the original estate and now returned to their former glory by the National Trust.