Cheshire West and Chester Council Cycling Officer: 01244 977440
The landscape of Ince, Helsby and Frodsham Marshes is unique. The sea used to inundate this area of low-lying former coastal marsh. In Roman times, the Gowy estuary would have been much wider and at high water only land above a certain height would have been visible.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the monks of St Werburgh's in Chester and the Cistercian Abbey at Stanlow reclaimed land from the sea. They excavated extensive networks of dykes and ditches, many of which were subsequently destroyed by storms and flooding. Despite these setbacks, land reclamation carried on through the ages.
The Manchester Ship Canal was opened to vessels in 1894 and its banks, and subsequent canal dredging deposit dumps, provided perhaps the most effective man-made defence against flooding.
Common reed, widespread on the Marshes, was once harvested on a grand scale to provide thatch for roofs. The Marshes today are largely used as grazing land, with a small area used for grain crops such as wheat and barley. Root crops, such as potato, can be found on the drier fringes of the area.
Head east along the A5117 towards Elton.
Turn left on to School Lane on entering the village.
At the T junction turn left.
Cross the railway.
Bear right at the centre of the village of Ince and follow Marsh Lane, which becomes Lordship Lane, all the way to a kind of staggered crossroads shortly before the motorway.
Turn left on to Moorditch Lane.
Bear right and cross the motorway.
Bear left into Frodsham.
Turn left on Main Street.
Turn right into Church Street at the Golden Lion PH.
Turn left into the station car park.
Arrive at your destination.