Friday, 28 March 2014

Week 18 26/03/14 - Copses and Antlers

Photo Blog Week 18 - Wed 26 Mar 2014

An excellent day in the Park but a chaotic performance from me. Working on something before I left home, I failed to bring a camera with me so today's rather dark pic's are courtesy of my low spec' HTC Wildfire mobile phone. Normal service will hopefully be resumed next week.

Visitors are greeted at Admissions

I have heard people question the location just inside the entrance but I also remember days when it used to be up the hill and selfish people parked along the drive itself to avoid paying.

Entrance for non-member cars has risen to £7 this season. This may seem a big jump but when you appreciate the cost of maintaining this place and compare to £9.60 for just a couple of hours in a Manchester city shopping car park it is very reasonable.

route: North along outside Crow Wood around copses either side of Main Drive; Up to The Cage; diagonal to East Lodge drive crossing onto Caters Slack; via bottom of Lantern Wood into Turf House Meadow; Cross Meadow and then descend to Timberyard Cafe (for lunch)

Corsican Pines next to the main drive

Copses like this are very characteristic of the Park

As the trees age in the copses planting needs to take place to regenerate them. 
The copses with saplings are fenced off as the deer would strip them

In this copse, these more established individual trees are protected from the stags damaging them when scrubbing the velvet from their new antlers or browsing on new growth.

Spring has definitely arrived on Hawthorn Drive

A low pressure weather system, the air was clear to see long distances...
..however, as I only had my phone camera it doesn't show.

Postman Pat heading out along the main drive.  Shows how far the drive is below The Cage.

An odd earthwork on Turf House Meadow. 
If you have any knowledge about this please comment.

View of Park Moor and top of Hampers Wood from Turf House Meadow

Frog Spawn in the pond at the head of the Archery Field

Two Red Deer enjoying the softer grasses by the Archery Field

route: via Car Park; follow drive to The Knott car park; West Parkgate drive; Climb hillside to Pursefield Wood; follow wall path above Poynton Brook to Knightslow Wood.

Filming of "The Village" continues up at The Hall. Quite an encampment in the main car park.

Nature's Artwork: twisting tree on West Parkgate drive just down from The Knott car park.

Nice mix of grass, rock outcrops and trees on Haze Bank

Having climbed up through the cut rhododendrons from the drive, this shows the steep slope being worked.

The top section I worked on last week

These rhododendrons are not young. Sorry, can't be bothered counting rings.

leaf burst continues above Poynton Brook

"I defy nature!" oak

route: into Knightslow Wood; along edge to gate to Drinkwater Meadow; stay in wood - follow wall bounding Fallow Deer enclosure; exit wood to Park Moor

At the edge of Knightslow Wood the light gets in all year and grass grows and Beech seedlings take..

.. but looking the other way, into the wood, the Beech canopy closes all light on the floor for much of the year leading to a dead woodland floor.

Through Stones

Ever wondered why regular stones are sometimes left sticking out of the side of dry stone walls?
They are usually "through" stones, a stone long enough to go right through the wall binding both sides. Sometimes they are left showing just because that's how long the stone is and it's not normal to trim. Some builders also left them protruding as the client wanted to see that they had been put in.

In the 2 metre high wall over at Four Winds, suitable stones are rarely available so interlocking longer stones from both sides is the best available solution.

Lime Avenue replanted.
Lime Avenue leads from the Hall up to Lantern Wood. It is within the Fallow Deer enclosure and therefore closed to the public in the winter months.

route: cross moorland South to join Bowstonegate track; follow to Bowstonegate exit; turn left along Boundary wall to Lantern Wood

Red Deer from the Moor herd to North of Bowstonegate track

Even with the poor phone camera escarpments can be seen looking across Cheshire

Boundary wall stretching along the ridge to SW from Bowstonegate exit

Bowstonegate Farm has an unusual income stream in hosting aerials for many companies and services due to it's high exposed position.

Mmm?  That rain is coming my way.

One of the many small quarries all over the Park and the Moor.

route: left outside Lantern Wood then enter wood; follow path to The Lantern; descend directly toward The Hall; Cross Turf House Meadow and return via The Stables

Compared to the dead floor of Knightslow Wood, the floor of Lantern Wood is positively verdant.

Recent tree inspections have led to many requiring attention or felling. 
These markers are not forgotten ends of tape so please don't 'tidy' them away.

Daffodils behind The Stables

Antlers and Skulls

I heard over the radio earlier in the day that Ann, another volunteer ranger, had found newly cast antlers so I called by the Ranger's office in the stables to have a look.

The Red Deer Hinds are now heavily pregnant and the Stags are shedding their antlers ready to grow a new set in preparation for next year's rut.  This spectacular set were found by the same person in two locations and are a matching set from the same stag. Pure chance that having found the first she was taking it to the office when she came across the other. Looking at the freshness of blood on one compared to the other they were probably shed 24-48 hours apart.

Still blooded so less than a day since cast

A stunning matched pair from a large stag

and also....
A random Badger Skull with a section of vertebrae connected

5hr 30min  8.25 miles

1 comment:

Paul o'brien said...

That Oak Tree is bizarre.