* UPDATE - Although the heaviest rain has been forecast for this Friday, the weather forecast for the weekend indicates that there will still be some rain (heavy at times) on Saturday. With this in mind, I'm still going to go ahead with the walk though going to play it by ear on the day - as it's highly likely that we won't go as far as Highfield country park if the weather is really bad. At least the Fallowfield Loop path shouldn't be muddy, though, as it's tarmacked all the way. Obviously, wearing waterproof jackets and footwear will be somewhat important! Although I'm bringing a telescopic fruit picker with me (to reach the higher branches in the plum and apple trees) it would be great if anyone else who has one can bring one along too - though this isn't essential as people can use mine on the day. Also, If anyone isn't able to make it please let me know as soon as possible as we currently have 3 people on the waiting list. I look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.
A foraging walk of up to 6 miles in total (there and back) along an old, disused railway line which has now been converted into a shared cycle and pedestrian path(Fallowfield loop) - and which is easily accessible by public transport via the metrolink. The meeting point will be at St Werburgh's Road Metrolink Station platform (in Chorlton) which is where the fallowfield loop begins. We will aim to walk and forage for approximately 4 miles along the route , via fallowfield , until we get to Highfield country park where , time allowing, we can explore the fruit trees there and where people might want to eat any sandwiches they’ve brought for lunch. Although there are apple trees along the route which may be ready for picking there are certainly plum trees there which are bearing some ripened fruit . Certainly, there should still be plenty of blackberries and, possibly, some late raspberries too. I also know a good spot where there were tayberries growing and ready for picking. No matter what we forage on the day, this is still a great opportunity to explore a very pleasant, flat and well surfaced green corridor which snakes its way though the heart of Manchester . It will also provide us with opportunities for pinpointing apple trees which we can then revisit in October for picking. If people decide they don’t want to go all the way to Highfield country park then there are opportunities to leave the path at Fallowfield where there are plenty of buses heading back in to Manchester. At the end of the walk there will also be an opportunity to get a well deserved drink in Chorlton whilst we examine our spoils!
Please note: As the cycle path can be quite narrow and is very popular with cyclists , people need to be mindful of this and of not obstructing the path by trying to remain in single file, where possible, for obvious safety reasons. I'm also limiting the number of people attending to a maximum of 10 for this reason too.
We will meet at St Werburgh's Road Metrolink Station platform (Chorlton) for 12.30 on the Saturday (just look for the man with the telescopic fruit picker in his hand!) where we will forage our way towards Fallowfield
Bring paper bags, carrier bags and, ideally , old fruit or mushroom punnets (as supplied in supermarkets) to carry any foraged plums, blackberries and late raspberries etc which we may find. I'll be bringing along a telescopic fruit picker for reaching fruit on the usually inaccessible higher branches.
A map of the fallowfield loop can be viewed and downloaded here : http://www.mmu.ac.uk/staff/travel/cycling-walking/fallowfieldloop_map.pdf
A map showing the location of St Werbugh's Road Metro Station can be found here: http://www.metrolink.co.uk/stationinfo/Documents/13-0768%20St%20Werburgh%27s%20Road%20local%20area%20map.pdf