Pennington Flash has been on our list of places to visit for quite a while. Created by mining subsidence and flooding, it has been turned in to a large nature reserve which is something of a mecca for north west twitchers. Of course, bird watching and mad Springers don't tend to mix too well but fortunately the Country Park provides space for both, as well as catering for sailing enthusiasts. Keep your dog on the lead near the main car parks and the bird hides and you'll find plenty of rough but open land for a game of fetch far not too far away with no danger of you or your dog ruining the twitchers' day out.
Our walk began at the main car park (£1 all day) next to the gold course, where we were greeted by hundreds of noisy geese and ducks gorging on scraps of burger buns being thrown to them by some equally noisy kids. Leaving the car park to follow the obvious path round the shoreline and past the bird hides we were soon away from the crowds and following well made paths next to a huge area of rough grassland where the dog was able to have a good half hour or so playing with his ball. Continuing onwards we reached the far end of the park, where there was plenty of evidence of fly tipping as well as rubbish left by inconsiderate anglers and dog owners, before working our way back around the shoreline to our start.
Our route was probably no more than a mile and a half, mainly on good tracks, but the dog must have run at least 10 times as far endlessly chasing his ball.
Some places need a sunny day to see them at their best. I think Pennington Flash is probably one of those places. Although I'm glad we've been, it's not a place we'll be rushing back to and we'll leave the twitches to enjoy the wildlife in peace.
Doggy rating 5/10
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