I’ve been trying to find the public footpath that starts (or finishes) at the junction of Bells Lane/Altcar Lane* right on the boundary of Lydiate and Great Altcar. It runs from this point in a southwesterly direction over the Cheshire Lines/Trans Pennine Trail footpath/cycle path and then on via Showicks Bridge to Lunt Meadows Nature Reserve.
Actually, it’s just the short section of it from Bells Lane/Altcar Lane to the Cheshire Lines Path that I’m trying to trace because when I travel along the CLP I can’t find it at all. Below is a photo of the general area of the CLP that I’m referring to and the footpath should cross it just a few yards to the north of the concrete posts according to the Ordnance Survey map that I have:-
The concrete posts denote where a farmer’s track crosses the CLP (although on the right-hand side it is clearly out of use – note the fencing) and I think the path should cross it more or less where the large tree is.
I’ve raised the matter with West Lancashire Borough Council’s Footpaths Officer to see if they can shine any light on the matter.
If any local walkers or indeed Maghull Ramblers can assist with this mystery please do so…..
* The starting/finishing point which I refer to used to be through Upper Gore Farm but that was redeveloped for housing some years ago and it’s now called Mercer Court.
Click on the photo to enlarge it
The other day I was cycling the short path that leads from Green Lane to the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail when I noticed workmen reconstructing a footbridge across Maghull Brook.
Maghull Brook is the boundary between Maghull & Lydiate and it also forms part of the boundary between Sefton and West Lancs. It was indeed this very brook that the Leeds Liverpool Canal collapsed into in 1995. Here’s a reminder of that day:-
Anyway I digress as this posting is about what seems to be a rarely used Maghull Footpath which the bridge pictured above serves. Trouble is I have never seen anyone use that footpath, a point also made to me by one of the workmen who clearly lived locally. The path runs northwards effectively alongside Maghull Brook towards that group of houses on the sharp bend in Bells Lane. The houses, once known as Upper Gore Farm but now called Mercer Court, are actually just in West Lancashire. In fact two footpaths radiate from that group of houses, the one we are talking about here and a second which ends up crossing the Cheshire Lines Path and then the River Alt on Showicks Bridge and leads you to either Sefton or Lunt Villages.
Showicks Bridge over the River Alt
Um, I seem to digressed again! Anyway a footpath sign showing where the path across the recently rebuilt bridge goes would be handy, then maybe it would be used by walkers who don’t have a local Ordnance Survey Map.
There’s a public footpath/public right of way just where Lydiate’s Bells Lane joins Altcar Lane in Great Altcar Parish. The path crosses the fields of Great Altcar and ends up at Showicks Bridge, which is a footbridge over the River Alt. When you cross the bridge you are back in Sefton Borough (in Lunt Meadows Wetlands & Nature Reserve) as you were in Lydiate but the whole length of the path is actually in Lancashire County such is the odd shape of Sefton Borough.
The former Upper Gore Farm now a small housing development
And why do I raise this matter now? Well the footpath is not presently sign posted at the junction of Bells Lane/Altcar Lane and it could do with being so to aid walkers. It does not help that to those unfamiliar with the area, or who have not got an Ordnance Survey map with them, the path looks to go through a small housing development (which it does) that used to be Upper Gore Farm.
Showicks Bridge over the River Alt
I have raised the matter with Sefton Council’s Footpaths Officer and have contacted the Public Rights of Way Team at Lancashire Council in the hope that a finger pointing sign for the path can be erected.
Sheila and I went for a walk around this vast area of meadow and woodland that sits to the east of Lunt Village and north of Sefton Village.
Here’s three links to web pages which detail the site far better than I can explain it:-
Showicks Bridge is on the eastern boundary of the site and it crosses the River Alt
If memory serves Showicks Bridge had to be replaced in the 1990’s and I think it took quite a while for Sefton and West Lancashire Councils to agree who would be paying what towards the cost of this significant wooden bridge.
Whilst we were there a couple of chaps were carefully uncovering the part of the meadows where the ancient archaeology is buried.
The dig site is within yards of Showicks Bridge.
If you want to visit the site you can either walk to it from a footpath off Bells Lane in Lydiate or there is car park that is accessible on the right down a short track just as you have passed through Lunt Village heading towards Homer Green/Ince Blundell.
The site is vast so we will have to go back there to discover more of it.
Click on any of the photos to enlarge them