We were walking along the top of Wenlock Edge earlier this week – Edge on the left of this photo, Ironbridge Gorge right of centre. This is a circular walk that can include Windmill Hill as a slight detour, but otherwise takes you out of Much Wenlock before sending you up a field path (with fine views of the Wrekin) to the Edge above Homer village.
The final climb to the Edge top is quite steep and rocky, but once negotiated, you step out on a pleasingly level track, farm fields on one side, hanging woodland on the other. I should say, though, that for those nervous of heights it doesn’t do to stop and look down into the wood. There, the huge ash, beech, oak, and sycamore trees grow hugger mugger on prodigiously tall, straight trunks that cling to several hundred feet of near vertical hillside. Here and there, between rare gaps in the canopy, you can just glimpse the fields of the Shropshire plain way below.
This is a winter’s day view of the Edge trackway, the seeming benign but beetling Edge wood on the right:
There’s a point further along this track where a path hives off at right angles, taking us back and down to the town. There’s also a particular fence post here that I often use in lieu of the tripod. I used it to take the header shot, including the grass stem pointer, but in the past I used it to capture these views – the cooling towers of Ironbridge Power Station, shortly to be developed into a very large riverside housing complex:
Here’s another winter’s view with the cooling towers steaming away, and to the left a glimpse of the chimney beacon that finally came down this summer:
All gone now. This may well be a good thing. On the other hand, we need to think very hard and carefully how, and at what precise cost, we will heat and power our homes in the future. At present there is, to say the least, something of a technological shortfall. Nothing, it seems, is settled.