Wood Anemone The Churnet Valley - Snow Around Alton
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February 2007 and after a rather mild winter so far, suddenly the proper stuff arrived. Naturally, the news media went berserk as the odd snowflake or two hit London but I was made of sterner stuff and decided to venture out.

Click the images to enlarge.

I left the car at the community centre in Alton. Given the dodgy conditions, this was a good idea, as it's high up on the valley side and safely away from steep slopes. It's also opposite the start of this footpath.

The footpath leads across the fields to Saltersford Lane. The lane was frozen and treacherously rutted but the line of stones, known as a "causey", laid to keep the path passable, was doing its job.

By the time I reached the end of the lane, the snow was coming down hard enough to white out the view of the Weaver Hills.

Down in the valley, the banks of the abandoned canal were dusted with snow.

The Oakamoor to Denstone greenway was more of a whiteway.

The local livestock were not impressed by the conditions.

At Crumpwood, Seventy Bridge had a dusting of snow, too.

And the old canal was full of slush.

Later on, it began to snow harder, and I was glad to be heading back towards Alton. Up on the valley side, Alton Castle was half obscured.

The greenway used to be a railway and Alton Station has been preserved. At this point I left the greenway and headed into the village.

In a car park next to the Churnet, a Jaguar was spinning its wheels and going nowhere. This wasn't smart driving but it emphasized the worsening conditions and made me glad that I'd parked at the top of the hill. Getting out of the community centre car park was easy and the drive home was no problem.
And that was it for the snow. The thaw set in overnight and the rains arrived instead. Stomping around the snowy landscape was fun but I'd rather it was spring.