We had a weekend at home and this gave me the chance to do some local walking. I can’t pretend we live in the most beautiful part of the UK, Salford is as urban as it gets and developed as an industrial city in the 19th century. The cotton and brewing industry that lead to the growth of Salford came because of the rivers and it is the river Irwell that winds its way in to Salford and along the Salford-Manchester border. Nearby we also have two canals, the massive Manchester Ship Canal and the Bridgewater Canal.
Walking along rivers and canals is always interesting and enjoyable. In Greater Manchester this is where you find plenty of industrial heritage and history but it is also where you can find wildlife. On my walk along the Irwell, the Bridgewater Canal and the Ship Canal this weekend I saw groups of squabbling black-headed gulls, flocks of Canada geese, a diving cormorant, a languidly flapping heron and a few elegant swans. Of course, there is no shortage of litter along the river and canal paths but on my walk I chose to seek out the beautiful, rather than the squalid.
To get to the river Irwell from our flat I walk through Peel Park. This is one of the oldest parks in England and is currently undergoing renovation thanks to Heritage Lottery money and is slowly becoming the splendid place for a Sunday stroll and a green space for city wildlife it was designed to be. More work is planned over the next twelve months and I look forward to seeing the park become beautiful once again.
Exploring our local area is on my list of things to do when I am no longer tied to paid work. Of course, we will travel further afield too but we are both looking forward to finding more of the many gems across Greater Manchester, maybe buying a day ticket on the bus or the tram to a country park, spending a day in one of our many museums or following a route on foot or by bicycle to just see what we find.