In which brave Sarah goes out into the more than choppy waters of the Dee Estuary and the boundaries of her comfort zone are well and truly pushed.
One of my favourite places in the whole world is ‘The Shining Shore’ – the shining waters and mudflats of the Dee Estuary. Me and Ronnie have walked all along this shore, from Parkgate to West Kirby, and have a default walk which starts at Thurstaston, goes inland through lanes and woodland, and emerges on the beach and the cliffs at Thurstaston for the last stretch. We’ve done it so many times in the last six years I feel I could probably do it blindfold. We also walk further up the shore, further inland where the marsh is gradually encroaching, and we call that part ‘The Marshlands’. And yet each time we walk here there is always something to see – wildflowers, the change in the light, the birds in the estuary…. Here’s a selection of photographs of this part of the world from the last five years.
Two days after Christmas it is cold but still and a good day for walking. So Sarah and I drive over to the far side of the Wirral and do our favourite walk, our favourite meditation. It’s The Shining Shore walk and I’ve written about it many times on here before. So today I won’t write about the walk so much as a few observations on the way round. And some more pictures of those curlews.
If you’ve been around here for a while you’ll recall the practical help offered by ‘The Wirral: A guide for Liverpool people.’ That provided useful instructions on how to get to a place where many Liverpool people have simply never been. And then some handy hints about what to do when you get there. View this as Part 2. More information about the delights of the Wirral. And further handy hints about what Liverpool people can get up to over there.
Our ‘home’ walk, our meditation. Though over two months since we last walked it. But taking advantage of the lighter afternoons and the fact that Sarah has time to spare from her funeral work, we arrive at Thurstaston in the middle of a mid-March Thursday.
The heavy mist blankets everything. Wetting hair and branches and leaves. Deadening distant sounds, so nearby birdsongs, footsteps and water tricklings appear louder.
The cliffs at Thurstaston are a thing of great beauty. Made of eroding boulder clay, they are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and cannot be protected from erosion – it is the erosion that is important to their status. But the erosion is now proceeding faster than we’ve ever seen because of the extremely heavy rainfall that’s been happening much of the time since last Summer.
If you love Thurstaston cliffs and haven’t seen them for a while, I’d recommend you come for a visit fairly soon, or you might not recognise the cliffs as you remember them.
The yellow colour of the cliffs used to make me think they were sandstone. But I was wrong. And the boulder clay they are made of has got so wet now that they’ve all changed colour. Continue reading “The erosion at Thurstaston”