High Tides and Green Grass: A Friday Walk

Unusually for a Friday Walk Sarah was able to come on this one, a brief gap in her funeral work occurring on a Friday for once.  So, having access to the car that Sarah’s usually out in, we headed for the Wirral coastline to see how it’s been coping with the recent storms and extreme high tides, which even our slippery Tory leader now accepts are something to do with global climate change.

We'll get to the high tides in a bit, but first we head inland.

We’ll get to the high tides in a bit, but first we head inland.

This is Station Road in Thurstaston, so called as it used to lead to a railway station, long gone. It’s also evidence of land enclosure, the greedy 17th to 19th century rich drawing straight lines on maps and saying ‘This bit can be mine and that bit’s yours.’ They did it all over Africa too, you can see by the borders on maps.

At this time of year the mile long hedges are almost empty.

At this time of year the mile long hedges are almost empty.

A few hawthorn berries left.

A few hawthorn berries left.

And white briony berries.

And black bryony berries. Poisonous to us and not too popular with birds either by the looks of things.

Yes I know, the flowers that are white, the berries are red and it’s called ‘black’. I didn’t make this nomenclature thing up.

And you can see all the beehives as the hedge is so bare.

You can see all the beehives along here as the hedge is so bare.

At the end of the long straight road we reach the bustling centre of Thurstaston.

St Bartholomew's Church.

St Bartholomew’s Church.

With a splendid new sign, or one we've never noticed anyway.

With a splendid new sign, or one we’ve never noticed anyway.

We love this place, though we’ve never managed to get in. Sadly it’s always securely locked when we’re out walking.

In the churchyard we are looking for some special visitors.

In the churchyard we are looking for some special visitors.

And here they are. Not quite out yet, but it won't be long.

And here they are. Not quite out yet, but it won’t be long.

So in deepest winter spring is on the way.

We leave the churchyard.

We leave the churchyard.

Finding spring in a sandstone wall.

Finding spring in a sandstone wall.

The lanes are very muddy from all the recent rain.

The lanes are very muddy from all the recent rain.

And here is the new grass, spring green.

But the rain and growing light cause new life, and here is the new grass, spring green.

At Church Farm, as we pass, there's this splendid black pig we've never seen here before.

At Church Farm, as we pass, there’s this splendid black pig we’ve never seen here before.

And down the hill, our first sight this year of the Shining Shore.

And down the hill, our first sight this year of the Shining Shore, the Dee Estuary.

In the hedgerow, hazel catkins.

In the hedgerow, hazel catkins.

Thurstaston18

And honeysuckle.

We enter the marshy Dungeon.

We enter the marshy Dungeon.

The stream is full today.

The stream is full today.

Sarah collects some dry bark. Good to use for starting fires on her allotment.

Sarah collects some dry bark. Good to use for starting fires on her allotment.

While I walk on to this bench.

While I walk on to this bench.

To look out over the Estuary to Wales..

To look out over the Estuary to Wales.

Further along the stream is almost carrying this small bridge away.

Further along the stream is almost carrying this small bridge away.

We stop near here for our lunch and spend a happy half hour listening to the stream gurgling over the rocks. Sarah tells me she’s ‘got that sound on an app’. Not this sound, not this day, you never listen to the same river twice.

Lunch over we pass one of our favourite trees, full of squirrels today, though none of them still enough for a decent photo.

Lunch over we pass one of our favourite trees, full of squirrels today, though none of them still enough for a decent photo.

A little further on we pass this lovely parish boundary marker.

A little further on we pass this lovely parish boundary marker.

And we reach the Shining Shore.

And we reach the Shining Shore.

For any new readers I should explain that, along with the whole of Liverpool of course, this place and this walk are at the core of my being. We’ve both walked in this place regularly over several years now. In sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow. We are at home here and could do the walk blindfolded. But why would we want to? We read the trees and the lane’s like sacred texts and we watch over the health of the shore and the cliffs here like the carefullest of curators.

And in all our years here...

And in all our years here…

We have never seen evidence of tides this high.

We have never seen evidence of tides this high. Beach flotsam and jetsam pushed high up onto the land.

And the boulder clay cliffs utterly battered now.

And the boulder clay cliffs utterly battered now.

In muddy pieces all over the beach.

In muddy pieces all over the beach.

These cliffs are from the end of the last ice age, about ten thousand years old. And over these last couple of years have declined dramatically, as we’ve been witnessing on our constant walking and showing on here.

Much of the erosion is happening at the foot of the cliffs, the high tides battering making the whole of the structures unstable.

Much of the erosion is happening at the foot of the cliffs, the high tides battering making the whole of the structures unstable.

But the recent storms are also hollowing out higher areas of cliff face.

But the recent storms are also hollowing out higher areas of cliff face.

Still, the cliffs are at least drier this winter than they were this time last year. Last summer being relatively dry.

So under the wet and slipping surface we can at least see the dry interior.

Under the wet and slipping surface we can at least see the dry interiors.

So it's raw place, and it's changing.

So it’s raw place, and it’s changing.

But it's savagely beautiful.

But it’s savagely beautiful.

And intensely interesting to littorals like us.

And intensely interesting to littorals like us.

We can never spend too much time here.

We can never spend too much time here.

Out on the edge of things.

Out on the edge of things.

On the Shining Shore.

On the Shining Shore.

A good walk and a lovely day.

And the title of this post? More or less the title of the first Rolling Stones hits album from, I think, 1966. This could be the last time? I doubt it.

From the back, Charlie, Bill, Keith, Mick and Brian. On their own shining shore?

From the back, Charlie, Bill, Keith, Mick and Brian. On their own shining shore?

4 thoughts on “High Tides and Green Grass: A Friday Walk

  1. Liz

    Happy 2014 Ronnie and Sarah
    Thank you for this wonderful blog – and all the others
    They are absolute gems x x x I appreciate them so much xxx

    Reply
      1. Sarah Horton

        Not quite all gone, still enjoying some raspberry jelly as I made sure to stock up well this year! Thank you, and happy new year to you too Liz.

  2. Pingback: Walking the Dee shore at Thurstaston with birthday dog | That's How The Light Gets In

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