Saturday August 25th 2012.

It’s still smoky around the Radcliffe end of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal paths after a fire along Bury Road on Thursday night.
Yesterday I was looking at pictures of the Lancaster Canal at ‘Barton Grange’. Pristine clear waters and stones, gaily painted Narrow-Boats and small cruisers…and nearby the superbly arranged retail departments, with indoor plant displays and trendy ornaments…
…in contrast today I look across at what the old maps of the area call ‘Capstick’s Marsh’. It’s just an acre or two of watery land, across the Radcliffe Canal, that’s full of bullrushes and reeds…it’s entirely wild yet not far from civilization.
A bit further along the canal, to the right, are a few stables and grazing fields for horses. They’ve probably kept horses around here for donkeys years – especially when the canal was busy – well over a century at the very least.
And the canal itself isn’t a weed-free waterway for ‘Classic’ Narrow-Boats – just the opposite in fact – no one ‘gardens’ so water-weeds are rampant and there are no boats at all.
There are also no car-parks and the resulting retail outlets en-route, which, naturally speaking, is a real USP!
And I did notice, on some photo’s of ‘Barton Grange’, a fairly solid incursion of Himalayan Balsam.
So the (unsuspecting?) gardeners there will be on overtime very soon…

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