On Sunday 14 February 2016, 21 ramblers and 2 visitors began a six and a half mile walk in the Cotswold Water Park. The weather was cold and dry but largely sunny throughout. Starting from the Gateway Centre, the walkers followed the course of the disused Thames & SevernCanal to Kensmyth Stud Farm, passing Boxwell Springs Lock and South Cerney Golf Club. Kensmyth Stud is a recently established working Agricultural Farm near Siddington. It specialises in Alpaca and natural Alpaca products related to the Huacaya breed. Following a coffee stop, the group made their way along a footpath into South Cerney, passing the site of a former castle. Thanks to the splendid visibility, there were excellent views from here across to Kemble and beyond. After a stroll through South Cerney village, including Bow Wow and Station Road, the walkers joined the old Midland Junction Railway path and proceeded to the old railway bridge. Here, seven of the group, following a shorter route, returned to the start point by walking along the Spine Road pavement. The rest continued along the railway path to a point near Cerney Wick Copse, where a furtherfootpath took the ramblers into Cerney Wick. Here, they rejoined the Thames and Severn Canal towpath at the roundhouse.
A short break was taken to give the group an opportunity to admire the roundhouse and lock (which was restored a number of years ago). Following the exceptional rainfall of the past three months, the level of water in the canal was very high. Finally, the ramblers made their way back to the Gateway Centre car park, an opportunity being taken to inspect the new footbridge which has recently been installed with the assistance of the Cirencester Footpath Maintenance Volunteers.
Group in the Cotswold Water Park
KenSmyth Alpaca Stud in South Cerney
Swift flowing River Churn
Passing the pretty village Hall in South Cerney
leaving South Cerney, along Bow Wow Lane
Group on the Bridge that Footpath Volunteers helped to create