The Wych Brook - Lower Wych - Oldcastle Mill Circular

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The valley of the Wych Brook is not easy to visit, with few rights of way and even fewer roads anywhere near it. The wildlife benefits from this undisturbed life, so plants like the cowslip and false oxlip are found here. Insect and animal life is abundant – butterflies and dragonflies are plentiful on warm days and if you sit quietly you may well see some of the shyer wild animals. The woodland margin and hedgerows are particularly rich in wildflowers, so April and May are a very good time to explore the area. Autumn brings superb colours and hedgerow fruit. This is a rewarding route on a clear winter day, especially if hard frosts have made the wet parts easier to negotiate. Many points on the walk give views of the valley, sometimes extending west to the Berwyns and the moors above World's End.

Please note that the route may sometimes require a pioneering spirit. In the Maelor section there are various obstructions resulting from human (in)activity, while in the Cheshire part, the sheer exuberance of the vegetation means that unless the path has been cleared recently, jungle-bashing may be required. In May 2010, the quarter-mile between Points 17 and 19 took less than ten minutes. In late July 2010 it took thirty minutes through six-foot-high entangled undergrowth. Vigorous clearance and a severe winter made this section almost a 'walk in the park' in early April 2011. Because walkers are rare round here there is little pressure to maintain the paths in good order. The staff who look after Rights of Way are keen to help but need your input to demonstrate to their chiefs that time and money spent path-clearing is justified. Call 01978-292057 or see for issues on the Welsh side of the border and 01606-288539 or see for issues on the English side. Both authorities are aware of the issues in their respective patches. Wrexham say they will fix the issues in their patch when they can locate a key landholder and Cheshire say the overgrown stretch will be put on the annual strimming list for the future. After reading the above, it may be clear why the wildlife has the place largely to itself!

Parts of the walk can be very boggy in wet weather. Boots are essential except after prolonged drought. This is cattle country, providing milk for the Cheshire and Shropshire Blue cheeses made in the area. It is likely that there will be cattle or sheep in many of the fields across which the route passes. The route can be shortened by heading down the lane from the parking place to join the route at Waymark 14, or by leaving the route at 14 and turning left up the metalled lane to the parking place.

The walk is graded moderate because of obstructions; please don't underestimate the effort needed to get through 400 yards of dense undergrowth.

Wales - North Wales - Wrexham - Countryside


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, River, Wildlife, Woodland
4/25/2011 - Walkingworld Administrator

Our thanks to Philip Ingram for his updates for this walk. April 2011. Adrian (Admin)

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