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Walk leader : Geraint W
Walk details : This is a pleasant short and easy walk which should be suitable for most (particularly those who may be recovering from the excesses of last weekend!).  The walk is just over 5 miles and over good paths pretty much all the way. There are a couple of gentle inclines and a couple of flights of ‘rustic’ steps (about 30 steps each, one up and one down) along the path but there are no stiles or other obstacles.  From the meeting point we’ll walk along Canal Street and cross London Rd on to Ducie St . Here we join the Ashton Canal and walk along the towpath until we reach Philips Park – one of the oldest municipal parks in the UK, dating back to 1846. After a stroll through this historic park we briefly follow a disused railway track before dropping down into the Medlock valley and following the river through Clayton Vale country park. Crossing Edge Lane, we enter Sunnybank Vale, a former landfill site transformed thanks to the efforts of the local community. From here it’s just a short walk to the Edge Lane metrolink stop on Ashton New Road where we catch the tram back into Manchester. if walking with a dog please check that it can travel on the tram.  (Anyone feeling energetic and wishing to extend their walk could leave the group here and walk back along the Ashton Canal – distance approx 6km – but please note that this is not part of the walk). This should be a good walk for anyone who may find most our walks a bit challenging and I’d like to encourage everyone to come along and enjoy a leisurely walk or alternatively to join the group at the end of the walk.
There is a Morrisons Local on Ducie St at the start of the walk but nothing after this – please bring lunch and drinks for the walk.  There are a couple of spots along the walk suitable for a lunch stopat the end of the walk there will be an opportunity for a drink on Canal St.
Risk assessment : A risk assessment was carried out on 28 August 2022.  A summary of identified risks is below:
This is an easy and safe walk suitable for most members of the group. We have to cross a couple of busy roads, the first being a controlled crossing at Piccadilly at the start of the walk and the second at Edge Lane after the Clayton Vale country park. This is not a particularly busy road but being between two bends in the road care is needed when crossing. As we’ll be walking along the canal towpath please be aware the risk of slipping / falling into water. We need to pass under a couple of low bridges with very limited head room.  Be aware of other towpath users, particularly cyclists, who may not always alert walkers of their approach. When we walk along the disused railway track the ground falls steeply to either side – this may not be the best place to leave the path (eg for a ‘comfort’ stop.)  The walk is very suitable for dog walkers but as always, please be aware and considerate of other users. There won’t be any livestock to worry about. 
Start time and meeting point : Meet at 12:00 at the Alan Turing memorial in Sackville Garden, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3HB
Directions to the start : Sackville Gardens is located between Whitworth Street and Canal Street.