Trip reports

Guided Walk: Shipley Canal and River

Guided Walk: Shipley Canal and River
Paul Barrett

Monday, 15 April 2019

As an experiment, the local group organised its first ever Saturday afternoon guided walk. It proved to be a great success. Eighteen people met at our starting point at 4pm. Whether this number was primarily due to the time of day or the fact that the circular route started and ended at the Saltaire Brewery Tap Room, one cannot be too sure. One thing is certain, we will be repeating the experience in future years.
We were delighted that Steve Warrillow, Warden of the Denso-Marston Nature Reserve, was able to join us - his expertise was invaluable.
We headed along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at our usual leisurely pace, stopping regularly to listen to and spot the birds in the area. Some bushes gave out huge cacophonies of sound, making identification a little difficult.
Reaching Buck Woods, we took a left turn, dropping down to the River Aire, crossing it and heading back towards Denso Marston Nature Reserve where participants took the opportunity to take a comfort break.
By this time, we were running a little late, so did not spend as much time on the reserve as we would have wished. We walked along the riverside, spotting a female goosander and a kingfisher skimming the surface of the water and a roe deer on the opposite bank. The footpath was somewhat uneven in parts and sections had suffered from erosion. Hopefully this will be rectified over the summer months.
Arriving back at the Tap Room early evening, a significant number of the walkers treated themselves to a well-deserved refreshment!
Birds: mallard, Canada goose, magpie, heron, wren, jackdaw, crow, wood pigeon, bullfinch, chiffchaff, blue tit, black-headed gull, sparrowhawk, great tit, mistle thrush, song thrush, blackbird, chaffinch, grey wagtail, goldfinch, blackcap, dunnock, pheasant, robin, mandarin duck, greylag goose, kestrel, kingfisher, goosander.