While we can

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I was hoping for a lie in on this Saturday morning. It is Saturday, isn’t it ? With all this staying at home, then a bank holiday one day seems very much like the next.

However, the dogs had other ideas so I had to crawl out of my pit at around a quarter past six so that at least one of us could get that lie-in. Leaving the other half slumbering, I got myself ready and took Misty out for about a third of a mile. Her leg is slowly getting better but we still need to take it easy.

Back home, I put on my dog-running belt complete with treats bag and a new addition, a drinking bottle for Gabby.

I picked up this travel water bottle on my last visit to Pets at Home. It only cost a quid so I thought that I’d give it a go. It holds 500ml, about enough for what I had planned.

We started, as so many other walks lately, along the cycle path, admiring the blossoms, to Arran Way and on to Bacons End.

From here, we dropped down to cross under the Collector Road and out into fields.

A short walk alongside the River Cole brought us to a set of stepping stones.

Gabby has experienced this crossing before when she just jumped in the river and ran across.

Today, after an initial paddle, she decided to try it the proper way and, a little hesitantly at first, trotted across, stepping from one step to the next.

After our adventure with the river crossing we were soon back to ‘civilisation’ walking around the houses until we came to a tunnel cutting through under the M6 motorway.

Not the prettiest of portals but at least I knew that on the other side was a nice path cutting through the trees which would take us to Coleshill.

I was rather surprised when I emerged on the other side to see that the path, the trees, everything had been bulldozed away.

We managed to pick our way through the devastation until we reached the tarmac track next to the M42.

“Bloody HS2!” I thought, “I’ll check t’internet when I get back”.

Sure enough, where we had just walked will, assuming the HS2 gets built, be under four railway lines.

In a way, it’s good that we did walk this path today as it won’t be here soon and we’ll never get the chance again.

Here are the ‘before’ and ‘after’ maps (not same orientation).

As can be seen on the ‘after’ map, there is a lot of my local countryside that is going to be under metals with many paths obliterated. Looking at the gov.uk maps (LINK) I can see that a number of my local paths will be diverted with new bridges being built. Even my well trodden (by me and the dogs) path the Water Orton is going with a new bridleway from the M42 slip road bridge to Gypsy Lane.

We pressed on hoping to follow, what is marked on the OS map as, Hall Walk to the lay-by on the Birmingham Road. However, our plans were thwarted by a narrow stile with no dog access and then by a wire fence strung directly across the path.

We managed to squeeze through the fence but then had to divert into an adjacent field to finally get to a gate leading onto the lay-by.

Back on better ground, we took a short walk along the Birmingham Road before turning off and into the Colehill Manor campus.

There are many indications around that the HS2 will soon be cutting through.

There is a compound of portacabins, fences, hazard tape and bird scarers aplenty. Maybe they’re afraid that the gulls are going to attack the trains !

As we turned off from the road onto the public footpath, I whipped out our new water bottle cum bowl.

By pushing the bottle up and squeezing, water fills the bowl which the dog then drinks – simples!

The thing worked fine but with it only holding half a litre it won’t be too good for a long walk.

The footpath led us to the Collector Road which was crossed. We then retraced our earlier steps and were back home after nearly two hours and six and a half miles.

# WALK 1000 MILES in 2020

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