Apedale Country Park

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This is a relatively short walk but covers some great views, fascinating industrial and geological landscapes and is a lovely place to walk the dog!

The walk was inspired during a field trip conducted by Drs Ian Stimpson and Peter Knight of Keele University and organised by the North Staffordshire Group of the Geologists' Association, marking 150 years of the Geologists' Association.

The path starts at the Apedale Heritage Centre. This is a great place to stop at the end for a drink and an ice cream and there are usually drinking bowls outside for warm puppies too. There are also tours of the disused mine workings available from here (on the hour every hour between 11am and 3pm at weekends, £4 per adult (with discounts for concessions) or if you don't have time to visit the mine there is also free access into the mining museum, where you can experience what it was really like to work in the pits).

From here the path passes the exposed (and largely degraded) Cannel Row coal seam. The land at the base of this exposure has been cultivated into an educational garden and nature reserve. Here you can see evidence of fossils found during excavations in the park as well as a seated terrace made from traditional, hand-built techniques.

The path continues around the perimeter of the park, passing what was once a canal which served to transport the produce of the mineworkings. You will also pass the Apedale Outcrop on the left and shortly afterwards you will stand in the mouth of the Apedale Volcano.

The path then returns through a meadow and woodlands, past the idyllic cottages with views across the valley, along Apedale Drive and via the 'soon to be restored' chimney and the relatively new mining memorial, with great views as far as The Roaches and Cannock Chase, before return to the car park.

Dogs can be let off the leads for a majority of the route.

For a much more detailed description of the area's geological significance, please see Bob Fletcher's article How Grey Was My Valley published in the 84th edition of the Bulletin of the NSGGA.

See www.esci.keele.ac.uk/nsgga/bnsgga84.htm

England - Central England - Staffordshire - Common or Park

Features

Cafe, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Museum, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
11/03/2011 - Philip Ingram

An enjoyable walk made more interesting by the geological commentary. Just as Pat Chipping noted in April 2009, in March 2011 we found no sign of the wide track between 13 and 14 but we followed the plausible path and eventually found point 15. The paths have changed after point 21: it is now the /third/ turn on the left that takes you to the memorial. The grid reference takes you to the right spot, as does the photo. The paths are clearly visible on Google Earth. Thank you for introducing us to an area we had not previously walked.

30/01/2011 - Andrew Swindells

Really enjoyable for 1st walk of the year for a group of friends. A couple of climbs can be steep but are generally short. We were lucky that we did the walk on a frosty day which reduced the mud quotient. In amongst some of the small woods the paths are obviously quite muddy. So ideal for a frosty day or dry weather. Alternatively if you drive to the park, remember to bring different shoes for in the car. A dog walker's heaven by the look but good in that very little evidence of it being used as a dog loo. Good little cafe in the visitor centre with excellent value simple food (egg, chips and beans for example). Well worth a trip and introduced me to footpaths in an area that I know reasonably well.

14/04/2009 - Pat Chipping

Excellent walk and very good description. The wide track described at point 13 is not obvious now - 14/04/09 - overgrown? Pat Chipping

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