Thursday, 1 May 2014

Week 21 30/04/14 - Boundary, Bluebells, Red Deer, Butterflies, Birds and Lambs

Photo Blog Week 21 - Wed 30 Apr 2014

I arrived with a goal in mind today, to walk the entire boundary wall/fence of the Park.  The result below is almost 200 shots as I worked my way along a route of almost 11.5 miles so you may wish to scan through and stop at anything interesting; there are Bluebells, Red Deer, Butterflies, Birds and Lambs as well as walls and fences. 
In the week since I was last here, the green of the trees has increased massively as the canopies fill, particularly the Beech. A pleasant warm though humid day, shirt sleeves all the way though spits of rain just appeared as I returned to the car.

Advice Against Trying This Route:

This is not a walk to plan to do yourself. Many sections of the boundary have no path and the route I followed has left me bitten from clouds of insects, my lower legs scarred with bramble tears, my left hand has three plasters with 'drawing ointment' to try to extract buried bramble spikes. I also have scratches right next to my left eye and a knackered left knee from walking along severe slippery sideways slopes. Many sections were unpleasant and bordered on impassable; indeed, when this years growth gets under way, they will be impassable and in some cases dangerous. The only reason to do this is an inspection and I do have a list of items noted for attention to report back.
A short section of boundary in Elmerhurst Wood was physically inaccessible and the North Eastern edge of the Deer Sanctuary out of bounds to me.

Next Steps
In the next few weeks, I plan to develop a walk which follows paths but covers an outer a track as available. That one you may wish to use.

Route Summary:

From North Face of Hall, head to East Lodge Cottage; retrace steps along track to stile into Caters Slack then follow fence back to boundary wall. Follow boundary clockwise to Lantern Wood, follow edge of Wood exiting to Park Moor. Follow wall passing high view point, cross track at Bowstone Gate and continue along edge of Moor to Cluse Hey. Stay with boundary wall and cross Poynton Brook, follow edge fence through brambles, nettles and high slippery woodland until dropping down to and crossing brook at West Parkgate. Follow drive and break uphill to left as soon as possible following fence and wall along top of Hase Bank Wood. Drop to gate at The Knott Car Park and immediately climb the other side of wall to summit before dropping down towards farmland. Follow boundary parallel to farmland diverting around enclosed area. At house turn along Four Winds past the wallers and then cut through behind wooded area to hillside above millpond before continuing along top toward Crow Wood. Drop down to Crow Wood entrance then climb by other side of wall before following fence at top through Crow Wood. Drop along boundary wall/fence to area cordoned off due to dangerous tree and skirt around hazard taped area. Cross stream and work along to boundary wall before existing Crow Wood over steps and then follow wall below main drive.
Elmerhurst Wood forces departure from boundary so when entering wood turn sharp left and make way through wood crossing stream and climbing far side back to fence. Once back at fence, follow tight into fence with farmland other side. Taking care of barbed wire and occasionally having to divert around fallen trees and too severe slopes follow to end opposite house and drop along wall to exit of Elmerhurst. Turn left on drive and then right to follow boundary wall along open ground, cross stream and continue to Main Entrance road. Pass Admissions and Red Lane Cottage then follow wall toward old pump house and the up to boundary of reservoir. Continue to Coal Pit Wood which is part of the Deer sanctuary so depart from boundary and follow outer edge of wood before turning left below the Cage and heading up the hill with sanctuary on left to join East Lodge track. Return to North Face of hall.

The boundary through Coal Pit Wood and around the Red Deer Sanctuary was not covered.

7hr   11.3 miles

Route Section:  Main Car Park & Hall North Face - East Lodge

Green Drive is truly green now

The first of many Deer sightings today. Park herd unusually close to track

Heading out to East Lodge

Park herd

Route Section: East Lodge - Bowstonegate Farm

East Lodge Cottage and Park Entrance

Back along the track to....

Stile into Caters Slack

Back along fence toward boundary wall

Caters Slack wall

Approaching Lantern Wood

Note: Images which have been moved to the Right side are views back or to side from route. All centred shots are looking forward along boundary.

Looking back toward East Lodge

Close to Lantern Wood and ladder stile entrance

First break of the day for a brew

Lantern Wood

Ladder stile exit to Park Moor

Heading up the edge of the Moor

Looking toward Kinder plateau - very murky day.

Roof of the Hall and the mist beyond. No sign of Manchester today.

Animal gap in wall. Note track in grass from heavy use

Direction plate at high point of the Park. Sponds Hill in background.

Aerials at Bowstonegate Farm

Route Section: Bowstonegate Farm - West Park Gate

Bowstonegate entrance and part of Park Moor southern boundary in the distance.
(central high spot is Sponds Hill, high spot at right edge is Dale Top)

Red Deer Moor Herd dotted on hillside with boundary wall stretching out at top

Continuing along Southern boundary wall 

Meadow Pipit (I think?)

Looking back along Moor Southern boundary wall

Peacock Butterfly

Descending toward Park Moor Cottage

Ladder stile park entrance SE of Park Moor Cottage

No path and really difficult walking

Ladder stile to cross wall into Cluse Hey

Heading West above Park Moor Cottage

Collapse in boundary wall fenced and wallers have commenced sorting stone for repair

easy walking but full of flies in shade of high wall

Wall crosses a tributary of Poynton Brook. Land the far side of brook get increasingly inaccessible - it is not a path!

Crossing the stream on tufts of reeds

Animal tracks along wall but very narrow for human

Route getting difficult, steep slippery drops

Brambles tearing lower legs and clouds of flies

Looking back toward Park Moor

A different view of Cluse Hey
In a couple of weeks, brambles and bracken will be impassable

Getting very difficult now, big drop

heading NW above Deer Clough toward West Parkgate

Holly adds to the pain

Paling fence by Green Close Farm trashed by fallen tree

Road bridge over Poynton Brook indicate West Parkgate reached at last

Wild Garlic cascading over brook side

Flowers appearing on Wild Garlic (Relums)

West Parkgate entrance

Route Section: West Park Gate - The Knott Car Park

West Park drive

leaving drive and heading up edge of Hase Bank Wood

Reaching the top before turning NE along boundary with farmland

Very difficult undergrowth

Bluebells looking very pretty

View down from top of Hase Bank to the drive below
Continuing along boundary wall

About to enter Pine woods, hopefully better undergrowth

View across top of valley to Park Moor in far distance
Artistic cairn someone has constructed with stone left over from wall repair

A fair size animal's home freshly used (Badger maybe?)

This Den is really solid. I don't think children built this.

Arriving at deer fence; room to squeeze through and continue boundary check

Finally, the end of Hase Bank Wood with view to Cheshire fields. Now to work down the wall to the drive so as to use gate.

The Knott car park

The other end of the deer fence

Gate at The Knott from West Park drive

Route Section: The Knott Car Park - Crow Wood

Back up the hill on the other side of the wall from descent just now


Entrance up hill from Green Farm

Entrance at Green Farm

Striking North toward Four Winds

Fenced area around deep gully

following diversion around fenced area

and back on track along boundary to Four Winds

Entrance at Four Winds

Descending toward Main Car Park and Hall

Gap behind copse connecting to Mill Pond area

Really odd wall pattern in this corner

High above Mill Pond heading toward Crow Wood

Mill Pond below
Nature's Artwork: stripped hollow tree

Annoying wall at end of Crow Wood - follow right down to path then climb up the other side

Crow Wood play scape and the Timber Yard

gate into Crow Wood

Route Section: Crow Wood - Main Entrance

Human Artwork: Nest in tree

Back to the top of the wall rejoining Boundary

End of Crow Wood

Cordoned area around dangerous tree

onto path in Crow Wood

Crossing brook as soon as possible

Looking along track though Crow Wood toward Timberyard
Crow Wood boundary with works over wall

Exit Crow Wood

Heading North along wall

Entrance to Elmerhurst Wood

Backtracking through Wood to try to reach Boundary fence far side

Very rough undergrowth, gave up reaching end but  crossed stream and climbed to fence

Edge of Elmerhurst Wood looking back along fence to point were forced from Boundary wall by wood.
Difficult terrain with little space to pass along barbed wire fence

Small White Buttery fly (actual name, not description)

Mother and lambs in farm field adjacent to wood

Elmerhurst Cottage and the end of the wood

Exit from Elmerhurst Wood 

Using private drove to return to boundary

boundary heading NE toward main gate

Crossing Bollinhurst Brook

Pedestrian entrance 

Main Entrance

Route Section: Main Entrance - East Lodge track

Fishing pond over fence near Red Lane
Approaching Admissions

Red Lane entrance

Following wall toward reservoirs

Looking along brook toward admissions
The old pumphouse over the wall converted into an expensive residence

Castellated wall bounding Reservoir property

The Dam

Heading South by Horsecoppice Reservoir - top of The Cage showing over hill

Approaching Coal Pit Wood where we depart from boundary as the Wood is part of the Red Deer sanctuary

Corner of Coal Pit Wood

Caters Slack and the woodland around the Stables the far side of East Lodge path come into sight - almost there!

Stream crossing by Coal Pit Wood

Park Heard spread right across the track I'm walking up

The finally decide to move to one side

And then head the other way!

Across the sanctuary toward the Peak District - still no views today

Route Section: East Lodge track - Hall North Face & Main Car Park

Heading back to start, Park Heard still unusually close to track

Looking back
Threatening colours appearing in the sky behind The Cage

Sky getting blacker - glad I'm not far from car now
Actually quite relieved to see the Hall again. Because of the off-track nature of most of the walk it felt further.

7hr   11.3 miles



Graham E. said...

Great stuff, Ged. Might the Bowstones boundary be the eastern boundary?? Look forward to the publication of your accessible boundary walk.

Ged i said...

Hi Graham, Bowstones is indeed on the Eastern boundary but where the wall bends right from the centre of the photo is part of the Southern boundary. I have added to the text for clarity.
Thanks for the comment, and welcome back! Ged