“The Dream”, St Helens, 18th July 2010

The weather wasn’t encouraging when we met at Lime Street Station for the 10.01 Manchester train.  We left Lea Green station at 10.25 and walked south on Chester Lane in a continuous light drizzle. Turned right into Brickfields Daisyfield nature reserve where a Kestrel was hovering among the electricity pylons. At the far end of the reserve we crossed Walker’s Lane into the King George Playing Fields and stopped to deplore the state of two young maple trees which had been burnt and ring-barked by vandals. We crossed Jubits Lane and into Sutton Manor Woodland. Wildflowers included Dove’s Foot Cranesbill and Ribbed Melilot, and we were entertained by a young Song Thrush practising short couplets and triplets in a thicket. We could see the Dream  above the trees as we approached but it is always bigger than you expect when you get close up.  Happily, it stopped raining just in time for us to have lunch overlooking the M62 with views towards Helsby and Moel Fammau, and as we started back the sun came out.  Almost immediately two Gatekeeper butterflies appeared, followed by a Comma and a blue dragonfly beside a small pond. More wildflowers included Weld, bright blue Chicory and Yellow Loostrife, and there was a Sparrowhawk over the playing fields. We were back at Lea Green in time for the 2.25 train back to Lime Street.
There is no Sunday Group walk next Sunday, 25th July, because about half of us will be on the MNA Hodbarrow coach trip.

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