I was drinking coffee and debating whether to go for a stroll or even rescue my bike from the garage for a ride when JD phoned suggesting a walk, we chose a short one circumnavigating the village as I was interested in the changes taking place. On reflection if we’d had more time we should have climbed onto the fells to take advantage of the perfect weather.

Anyone who knows Longridge will be aware of the rash of indiscriminate housing developments. These are immediately obvious from the road where for some reason the football club have sold off a field within their grounds, previously used for youth training, for six houses. Already this is creating problems on match days as now their parking is limited there is dangerous parking on both sides of the busy road and footways, time will tell.  Across the road the cricket pitch is being surrounded by development. I was surprised to see this strange buiding practice…

Climbing up through the estate onto Higher Road was an alteration of a different sort, the local Thai restaurant’s entrance porch has been destroyed by drunken drivers badly affecting trade over the Xmas period.

There were however peaceful views from up here over the Spade Mill Reservoirs. The little the bridleway past the reservoirs is popular with dog walkers and leads onto Alston Lane. Once across we followed a farm lane and found our way into fields with occasional waymarkers, so we only lost our way once heading down to a bridge across a beck. The next farm, Alston Lodge, was a mud bath.

The path weaves its way between the Alston Reservoirs, built for Preston as it increased rapidly in size. A large group of Canada Geese had descended looking for food. Alongside the last stretch of water a wetland reserve has been created and there are hides to observe the birds. Today we saw mainly Mallards!

At the end of Pinfold Lane onto the main road all is changing with a large housing development on its north side and unfortunately a long stretch of hedging has been unnecessarily removed. Fortunately our onward footpath bypasses the development, for how long?  Mardale playing fields give us a bench for refreshments before we cross the old railway line into Shay Lane industrial area. An old path follows a small stream where one used to hop across on stones but recently a wooden bridge has appeared.  Green Nook Lane is usualy quiet but at he end are more new houses on the left and then even more being built across the road and guess what – an Aldi has arrived.

Round the corner is Halfpenny Lane whose fields will all be built on before my next walk round our previously lovely little community. So a day where the negatives outweighed the positives I think.



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