Around the Edge

10 Jul

Some further notes of my explorations around the Shrewsbury Edgelands.  Photos can be found in Edgelands Gallery2.

7th March 2008 – Greenfields/Ditherington/Coton Hill

This side of town dips in and out of quite dense urban areas and rolling countryside.  I set off with Julie into Greenfields where the terraced streets seem wider than Castlefields.  It is effectively an island above the older river bed that loops around to the north.  Breaking out into a playing field, there are views of the Flax Mill (visible from all parts of the walk), across reeds in the old river bed. 

A private road prevented access along the “river”, so we went via graffiti and litter strewn paths and estates of Ditherington and Harlescote.  Over the railway, there is a wooded footpath, with a steep drop down to the wide expanse of the marshy river valley.  Crossing the Ellesmere Road, we took a steep path to higher ground near Crosshill farm with fine views across the whole of Shrewsury to all of the Shropshire Hills beyond.  The atmosphere of the walk changed quite dramatically to that of quiet rural farmland.  There are rolling glacial hillocks in an area potentially earmarked for the route of a new Northern By Pass.

Eventually, after crossing back over the railway at Hencott, we headed back into Coton Hill.  Approaching town we passed through Corporation Gardens – no sign of an old Council nursery but a street with brand new detached houses was called Nursery Street.  The new houses form an abrupt interface with the rural land, tempered slightly with a community woodland, albeit with the usual litter and dog mess everywhere.  Coton Hill has a very tight claustrophobic feel after the open fields.

21st March 2008 – Radbrook/Nobold

At the site of the demolished former Radbrook Hotel, a large new house was left partially built, presumably due to the ongoing economic crisis.  [Last time I drove past it appeared to have been finished]

We passed through expanding new housing, all crammed in at the western end of town.  Smell of bacon cooking. Finally at the edge, there is a narrow path leading into a “community woodland” surrounding a fishing pond – old gravel pit, or glacial mere?  There are a series of such ponds in this area of town.  Alongside the pond there is a council depot for storage of bins and containers and to the south there is a concrete batching plant run by Hanson.  The boundary fence was just a tangle of undergrowth.

We walked a loop back towards the town, passing houses built in a clinical “box” style with block paving.  There is a ribbon of industrial buildings along Longden Road.  Back in the housing estates people were busy with their cars.  Pockets of the old rural land are still around, including a small pond isolated within the estate.  They are a retreat for birds, and wigeon could be seen on the pond.

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