Thursday, 4 September 2014

Week 35 03/09/2014 - North West Boundary, Outside and The Stables

Photo Blog Week 35 - Wed 03 September 2014

With most children back to school, there was an eerie quiet about the Park today after the hectic days of summer holidays with children and families actively enjoying the open spaces. It is odd to think that this will seem to have been a busy day when I'm plodding the frozen ground in February.
I opted to check a section of wall and fence along the NW boundary today. A lot of this involves pushing through difficult access areas in the back of woods which are currently filled with brambles, nettles and flies. Tiring and hot work, at times somewhat unpleasant. One section is impossible to reach and I headed out of the Park onto footpaths in adjacent farmland to get a visual inspection of these sections.

Today's patrol was shorter than normal as it didn't start 'till lunchtime due to a meeting in the morning.

The Lyme Park Management Team do their best to keep volunteers informed as to the wider goings on in the Park and these occasional get togethers involve all the heads of departments presenting and answering questions. I appreciate the effort and, though I know very few other volunteers, it's nice to be able to recognise the staff and to feel part of the 'whole' team. The Park is doing well and the plans in near and longer term future all sound good.

I have seen some commentators speak negatively suggesting that all NT properties are interested in is money. (Twitter recently)
When I say, "doing well", above, I mean getting money in to at least address some of the massive effort which is needed to maintain The Park, Gardens, Hall and Collection. A couple of small examples: the work on the setts at the North Face of the Hall is costing about £9,000; with many miles of  Drystone Wall which is deteriorating, a typical cost of stone for rebuild is £50 per ton. Now that may sound OK, until you consider that, in an average height wall, a single metre of contains about 2 ton of stone. 
Others comment on 'all the staff' inferring the frittering away money on wages; I think few realise that most of the people they will encounter on a visit are Volunteers and that the remarkably few Staff are not particularly well paid, often work unsociable hours and are frequently on short contracts.

Patrol Time

route: Hall North Face; Green Drive; drop across grass to Timberyard Cafe (lunch)

A peaceful scene across the Mill Pond

route: Across Mill Pond outlet race; Crow Wood; climb hillside to boundary wall; follow boundary wall through Crow Wood; exit  wood and follow Boundary Wall ; enter Elmerhurst Wood; break off path and climb to boundary fence; follow fence as much as possible; rejoin path and exit over ladder stile.

 Bridge across toward Crow Wood from The Timberyard complex

These tall spires are Foxgloves gone to seed

Nest sculpture over Crow Wood Playscape

 Crow Wood Playscpae

The Cage framed in a gap in the tree canopy from above Crow Wood

 Larch with green cones

Larch is a deciduous pine. By October these needles will turn gold and when they drop will create golden carpets on the ground beneath the trees and along the footpaths

 Helium Balloon fall out

Ever think about helium balloons; where they go? These Hen Party balloons came down in woodland. 
I hope this Hen is having a wonderful happy life with her husband but we could do without the loose balloons thank you.

 Puzzled by this bird box entrance. Bird use or squirrel damage?

The bare area under this thick tree canopy shows how ground vegetation fails when deprived of light.

Nature's Artwork:  Beautiful patterns in back lit Horse Chestnut leaves.

First leaves on this Beech showing autumn's approach

It's interesting to watch how the whole tree doesn't suddenly move to autumn colours but individual branch ends across the tree start the process

This Grass reminded me of November 5th fireworks

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 Interesting closed passage in wall. Heavy lintel clearly visible and opening filled below.
This was a large opening, possibly to pass sheep?

Attempt to show that this grass was shoulder high on me. (I'm 5'11")

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 Attractive bridge on the woodland path through Elmerhurst Wood

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Some of the 'easier' terrain at the back of Elmerhurst Wood

The boundary to open farmland along this stretch consists of wire fenceing on wooden posts. A large section needs renewing as 2 out of every 3 posts have rotted at the base. (More money and time)

 Hawthorn Berries

 Lots of ripe juicy Blackberries;  
(a few less after I passed by, lovely but purple fingers.)

Seed for this this Honesty plant must have blown in from adjacent domestic garden

route: exit Park by Elmerhurst Cottage; follow metalled track parallel to boundary; (to end of Elmerhurst Wood boundary); retrace steps to Park entrance

Out of The Park

Leaving the Park by Elmerhurst Cottage you immediately encounter some of the web of public footpaths which cover the whole area. I took the track toward Hilltop Farm which runs parallel to the boundary fence so that I could visually inspect the fence in the inaccessible area of the wood for any breaches.

A view from Outside
Taken from adjacent farmland, the wall in the foreground is the Lyme Park boundary.

Back in The Park

route: Leave Elmerhurst Cottage drive on small paths along brook; pass ladder stile exit to High Lane; Main Entrance; Cage Hill; The Cage; The Stables; Hall Estate Office

Stinking Robert
Always have to include as I love the name :)

The brook passing under the lane to Elmerhusrt Cottage through an unusual bridge

Beautifully silhouetted mature Maple on the way up Cage Hill

Main track up to The Cage


I'm sure that I have read that sacks stuffed with thistledown were used as bedding once upon a time. Believable as the quantities are huge.

Lantern Pike and Kinder Plateau

Ploughing on farmland adjacent to the Park with Manchester Airport control tower centre background

Today's Manchester centre pic'.

Visibility low so no Winter Hill in the background.

Lantern Wood and Park Moor from the slopes of Cage Hill.

Dots against the sky on top of the Moor are Bowstonegate Farm

Work going on in the Red Deer Sanctuary (Long telephoto)

'Scrapes', temporary ponds are to be made to encourage further diversity of wildlife, particularly birds including Curlews and Lapwings.

Grass cutting or 'topping'

Topping is for presentation as well as management and the cut slopes of Cage Hill look good.

TIP: Open your window as you drive along the Main Drive - the smell of newly cut hay is gorgeous.


The Hall coming into view on descent from The Cage

Drinkwater Meadow - a different perspective

Autumn colours coming to big Horse Chestnuts outside The Stables

The Stables

The Stables rarely get a mention. The building and yard are not open to the public but house the Estate Management offices and workshops for Building, Conservation and Ranger teams.
Still a nice building with some interesting features above the entrance tunnel.

Weather vane showing a man with dog hunting hares

"EN DIEU EST MA FOY" - In God is my faith (French)

Today's track 

Including an excursion outside the Park to footpath in adjacent farmland to examine far side of inaccessible boundary fence at back of Elmerhurst Wood

5.5 miles  4 hr 15 mn 

(+ 2hr meeting)


Graham E said...

The main tree for bare earth beneath is beech. Not sure about the maple on cage hill. Sycamore?

Ged i said...

Hi Graham E,
The beech is indeed the outstanding tree for bare earth as can be seen throughout Knightslow Wood. The 'Beech Mast' which results from the fallen nut casings produces a growth supressing Mulch.

I'll have a look at that tree next week. Leaves looked too sharp for Sycamore; may be Plane.


Ged i said...

Tree revisited and it's a Sycamore. Have a look at next week's post for more on Maple, Sycamore and Plane.