Shelswell Loop is a series of 17 caches on a 6 mile circular walk. It was a chilly start and after the DNF at number 1 “The Butcher’s” (which was expected due to the number of DNF’s logged) we started the trail proper. We had A short encounter with a muggle at number 2 “Newgate” but don’t think we gave the position away. Before finding number 3 “Gap (not the shop)” we took a quick detour for another local cache “GC2FQB5 Blackberry Loop Half way” which wasn’t part of the series but too close to leave it out. I was generally impressed with the quality of paths most of the way around the trail and it was nice that the farmer has left a strip of land unploughed between number 3 and number 4 cache for us to walk down.
I was lucky to have found the cache at number 5 “Poplar Spinney” as it was laying in the grass having become detached from it’s wire. The log book also disintegrated in my fingers as I tried to unroll it. I got out my swiss army knife (I knew there was a reason why I bring it) and using the scissors cut a new log roll for the cache, signed it and replaced it somewhere suitable. It was not too far to walk to get to the next one “Fraxinus excelsior” which I now know means common ash and thankfully no repairs needed here. Good way-marking by the landowner made it much easier to navigate around the trail.
“GC1R8BJ Warin’s Barn” was the next cache I felt uneasy at first about going inside but the lure of the cache was too strong, and the location was quite exciting. Whilst we were here we had a look around upstairs!! Rather than taking the footpath from here, we followed the the stream along the edge of the field to reach “The Old Gate”. Thus far we we were really enjoying the walk which has been nice and flat and easy going. The log book was full at this cache so I replaced it again, (the second one this year!!).
Up to now it hadn’t been too muddy but it all changed for a short section across the next field. By the time we arrived at “Hedge your bets” our boots and paws were heavily clogged up, but we found the cache very quickly though so it was worth it. Instead of going across the next field and risk more mud Pip lead the way around the field to “Spilsmere Wood”, as the grass was very wet from the melted snow our boots were soon clean again.
We were now onto a a very straight and flat track leading to “The Lake” which was still frozen despite the thaw setting in. To get to “cornered” we now entered into the Shelswood Park Estate and the first section took us through a huge field of sheep, which Pip thought was quite scary!!
After going back and forth between some very large and impressive trees we couldn’t find the the next cache called “Aesculus hippocastanum”, I’ll let you Google this one. So we after spending a while hunting without joy we moved on to “Roots” Passing a nice mansion on the way. We spotted the cache very quickly which is usually the way after a DNF, however, to my surprise as I pulled back the stickoflauge there was not one but two, yes two caches, obviously one has travelled from it’s location to join this cache!!!!
“Warren’s Place” was next and as other cachers have found the co-ordinates are about 60ft off and the cache size is somewhat different to the one described however it all adds to the fun. I signed the log whilst pip sniffed out rabbits. Er! what’s up doc!!! “Willaston Farm” and Willaston Spinney” quickly followed and although I don’t think I quite followed the intended route, Pip enjoyed playing on the horse jumps as we walked across the field
Finally we arrived at the last cache of the series “Staggering” I really enjoyed this series, it was very easy going and great countryside and a variety of caches and hiding places. I awarded the series one of my a favourite points.”
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