Dog Walker, Beaudesert Old Park
Location: Beaudesert Old Park, Cannock Chase
Another brilliant day in the West Midlands was all I needed to get the walking boots out again. I started our before dawn heading in an easterly direction so the sun was in my face. Had wonderful conditions for the first few hours of the day, with mist combining with the low sun to create really atmospheric views. The other thing that stood out was the smell of freshly cut pine in some locations where the forestry commission staff are working; it was so evocative.
I've noticed that the beech and larch trees are now the most colourful of the trees on the Chase. While the silver birch have held on to their leaves in some sheltered spots (see one of the extras), much of the early colour in leaves is now on the floor. When you consider that many of the plantations are evergreen it is a stupendous show of autumn colour at the moment.
My route took me through Upper Longdon to Brereton and then onto the Trent and Mersey Canal at Rugeley. The weather was still fantastic with not a cloud in the sky. This walk only had 4.5 miles of towpath work; no herons today but I was honoured by two flashes of iridescent blue and orange towards the end of this section. They were there and then gone but despite it being a fleeting memory, it made my day. I then headed back onto the Chase, along Seven Sisters and the Sherbrook Valley to the car. In total 18.5 miles in 6 and a half hours. I'm quite chuffed when I realised I'd also taken 195 photographs and stopped for 15 minutes for lunch. The boots performed better now the new insoles have been installed.