A post by Sarah from late summer 2019 about our day out in a much needed place still threatened by what many consider an unnecessary new road.
These days, that is these last few weeks, Ronnie is only ‘back home’ at weekends as he’s mostly in Port Sunlight writing his University Dissertation. So we’ve consciously had some days out together when he’s back here. This weekend Ronnie knew I would be delighted by the wildflower photos his friend Myriam had posted on Twitter from the ‘Rimrose Valley’, and so we set off for a day out there.
We had encountered Rimrose Valley briefly on our Leeds Liverpool canal walk back in 2017. The canal runs along the eastern edge of the country park, and on a cold February day we’d stopped here for our first of many lunches along the canal between here and, nearly, Leeds. On that day as we continued along the canal we’d briefly looked into the space that was Rimrose Valley, which looked vast and was windswept on that winter’s day, but were focussed on our walk and had continued to Netherton. But as I drive around north Liverpool with my work I often see the edge of the park and so it had long been on my mind to have a proper look at it.
Rimrose Valley is large, nearly 4 miles from north to south, and forms a border between Crosby and Litherland. Before visiting I had really no idea just how big it is. Say, for example, compared to Sefton Park….
We start our visit from the point where we had our lunch back in February 2017, entering the park from the Litherland side at Hatton Hill Road, crossing a bridge over the canal. We immediately start to reminisce about ‘our days on the canal’! And applaud as we see evidence of people living on the canal, out on their balconies and decks, appreciating the beauty of their location. ‘Well done!’ we say, as we pass their back gardens. ‘Utopian!’ says Ronnie, it’s ‘his thing’ at the moment.
We walk along the canal for a bit, have our lunch at the next bridge, and then enter Rimrose Valley.
You could get lost here. It’s enormous. And it’s wild, not manicured. We like that and both take these lots of photographs of its beauty.
There are ‘secret’ paths and we enjoy exploring, feeling like hobbits in a new place. “Don’t leave the path or the giant spiders will get you!” shouts Ronnie, at ease as usual in his Gandalf role.
And we discover a magical place.
Much loved and used by the people here – who of course don’t want it turned into a road to service the Docks at Seaforth and Everton FC’s proposed new ground.
On the hot and late summer afternoon we find an idyllic spot next to the canal and enjoy the ‘everywhere you look is gorgeous’ scenery. We have missed this canal, our canal, so much.
And talk, like we’ve often talked, about finishing the complete walk of the canal. We’d got as far as Gargrave, about 30 miles from Leeds, when we paused in 2017. And one day we might complete the walk. Not yet though.
But what we did decide is to do more of this, local walks along these close to Liverpool sections. Perhaps even “walking backwards from Burscough” Ronnie suggested, covering from there back into central Liverpool this autumn? If we do you’ll no doubt read about it on here.
And although we saw plenty of flowers we didn’t find the wildflower meadow Ronnie’s friend Myriam had inspired us with in her pictures on Twitter. But as the place is so big, well that was not really surprising. But we were delighted by the Rimrose Valley and return along the canal to ‘our bridge’.
So, having had an initial explore of the northern part of the Rimrose Valley, we were impressed by how porous and accessible it is, by how many people we saw using it and cutting across it, without fences. A glorious and really useful greenspace, unlike, say, a golf course, or even an allotment site… it really is accessible to all and a precious jewel around the north end of the city.
So impressed was I, that I returned the next day on my own, with some more exact directions from Myriam, to find the wildflower meadow. To Chaffers Field… this meadow was sown on 28 May this year.
And here is the wildflower meadow. Lovely photos of it being sown on a May evening…. here. Well done everyone involved in creating this.
Simply and accessibly gorgeous.
A magical place, the Rimrose Valley. Let’s save it forever hey?
Directions – you can find the wildflower meadow in Rimrose Valley from the gates at Glenwyllin Road and Queensway, just turn right.