Range Walking Club
Sunday 12th April 1987-Cannock Chase-Milford
The location of the April walk, which takes place on Sunday, 12 April, is Cannock Chase. This lies a few miles south-east of Stafford and is a popular recreation area for the industrial cities of the West Midlands. It is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and contains four Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Much of it is a Country Park. A small part of the area is used for military training. Castle Rings, about 800 ft. above sea level, is the highest point. Here there is what remains of an Iron-Age fortress. The forest became a Royal hunting ground in medieval times and later was used for the same purpose by the Bishops of Lichfield. The original 13,000 hectares of forest was reduced by more than half as a result of charcoal burning in the 17th and 18th centuries. There are now about 250 deer, which are conserved, rather than hunted, and much of the area has been replanted with conifers by the Forestry Commission as Cannock Chase is an important source of timber today. The coach will leave school at 8.00 am. and there will be a short stop at Keele Service Station on the outward journey. We should be back at school before 7.00 pm. The cost of the walk is 3.00 for adults and 2.00 for children. Please indicate on the attached slip which walk you are likely to join and return it to Barbara Craine in the school office by Thursday, 2 April.

Cannock Chase is in an unfortunate position as regards maps for all three walks are partly on O.S. 1:50,000 Sheet 127 and partly on Sheet 128. Boots are definitely recommended as many of the tracks will be very muddy if there has been rain before the walk. All three parties will finish at Milford, 970212 Sheet 127, where there are facilities for refreshments of all kinds, from a cup of tea to a full scale meal with fancy cakes, at The Little Fawn. Seating is available inside or out depending on the weather.

'A' Walk
Though the country varies in height only a matter of 300 or 400 ft. it is rather more hilly than one might expect. All walks go up and down quite a bit and though climbs are short some are fairly steep. The 'A' walk will start at Moors Gorse (023152) and pass southwards through woodland to Castle Ring. It will then turn northwards through Horsepasture Covert to Wandon, Smarts Buildings, and a lunch stop by the delightful little Fairoak Lakes (with picnic tables) 015162. Later we shall pass the German and Commonwealth war cemeteries and the Katyn Memorial. If we can find it there is a Toposcope, and a large glacial erratic is the next point of interest. We shall then descend to the Sherbrook Valley and follow part of the Nature Trail before climbing up to walk through Brocton Coppice, the only remaining area of original oak forest . Any one of several paths may then be followed to Milford.

Distances 14 miles
Leaders: Patrick Ferguson and Ian Almond

'B' Walk
This walk will start at the Visitor Centre on Marquis Drive (003153) and takes us along forest tracks to the lakes at Fairoak Valley. From there the route will rise to Penkridge Bank and along Pepper Slade. We then cross heathland before descending to the Sherbrooke Valley and climbing up the other wide to Wolsely Plain. Another stream takes us to Seven Springs where we turn west to complete the walk at Milford.

Distance: 10 miles
Leaders: David Guiver and Arthur Jones

'C' Walk
This walk will start from the same point as the 'B' walk and will head northwards over easy tracks for the first mile or so. From there the party can follow any or all of the points of interest on the 'A' and 'B' routes, from the cemeteries or Pepper Slade. If the weather is good there will be plenty of time to stop along the way and enjoy different features.

Distance: 6 miles, with possible additions if people wish.
Leaders: Ken Lamb and Phil Morgan