After living near Shrewsbury for close to a couple of decades, we finally today wandered along the Rea Brook Valley Circular Walk, a guided 3 mile amble.
We began in a large car park next to a supermarket, not the best launch pad for a walk but things could only get better! We couldn’t find any signage to help find the starting point, but did know that we needed to find the station platform of the historic railway, “The Old Potts Way”. We also knew this was to be found near the town’s abbey.
We noticed a footpath sign on the grass alongside the abbey and luckily it pointed us in the direction of the route we wanted to follow. But there was no sign of the kingfisher logo which the walk details led us to believe would guide all round the walk.
We walked in front of the old railway station where the line terminated and wandered along the platform where our start to the walk we discovered to be far from auspicious. We passed a supermarket carpark and the back wall of the building – most uninteresting except for some graffiti. Soon we wandered passed a multi-screen cinema and a few fast food outlets. At least to our left the Rea Brook itself looked a little more promising.
To our right as we wandered along the back of the supermarket the ground sloped upwards and was cover in deep green ivy dotted with clumps of Bluebells just coming into flower. We were surprised when Jude found a nest fallen from the branches of one of the tall sycamore trees. It was a nest constructed beautifully from dried grass stems and lined with a cup of dried mud so would have belonged to a pair of Song Thrushes who would have nested in the ivy covering the tree trunk.
Our first real glimpse of the Rea Brook was to our left as we passed the supermarket where it ran at the bottom of a steep nettle covered bank. These would have provided plenty of food for caterpillars of some of our common butterflies. A little further on we enjoyed the blossom of an ornamental cherry. Soon, after wandering through a pasture field with shiny black cattle in, we found ourselves walking on the site of the Old Potts Railway track and here we found more wildflowers and even the odd reminders of its past.
We also noticed the kingfisher sign for the first time which the walk leaflet said would guide us all the way – at least it did from there on!
The next set of photos is all about whites and greens.
We began to notice that traffic noise started increasing as we approached the first of several tunnels and bridges we were to encounter along the way. These underpasses are such miserable places! When we were met by green pastureland on exiting this dark tube it felt so cheering. We began to get better views of the brook itself too. We found a dried up side stream coming across the grassland and providing a habitat for marsh/bog plants.
Sadly we soon viewed another ugly underpass which our path took us through. It did have some interesting graffiti though.
We were nearing the point where we were to cross over the brook and return to our car on the opposite side. Enjoy my gallery of the return journey.