Monday, 2 April 2018

Post 92 30/03/2018 - A Good Day's Walk, Spring, Water and Closures

Hello! I'm still here though sadly I see it's almost a year since my last Delta-Ged blog post as I continue to gain traction as a member of the Drystone Walling team at Lyme. My confidence and ability have increased massively over the two and a half years but I still class myself as a 'rooky'.
Welcome if you are new to my blogs. I posted my photos with commentary from my weekly patrols regularly for over 2 years but seldom get chance now since dedicating my time to the Drystone Walling team.
A rare opportunity for a patrol arose Good Friday so, camera in hand, I headed off to explore My park. OK, you can share it as well. It's a long one, hang in there.

The Rangers had set up a wonderful drop in near the Stables and one of the exhibits was this fungus collection

Heading out along East Lodge track, The Cage can be seen still flying the family flag after Lord Newton's visit yesterday to formally open the restored Lyme Avenue Ponds.

People tend to just stride out along East Lodge track and bypass interesting sights such as the Kennel Wood ponds which may also be restored to their former glory one day.

When this section of wall had to be rebuilt last year, we found this ornate stone used as a 'through' which seemed a shame. We did our best to find some history for it but none was discoverable. Instead of burying it inside again we built in into the external skin of the new wall as a feature.

 Looking East to the high Kinder Plateau still hanging onto the snow.

Invasive Rhododendron clearance is a constant for conservation volunteer teams hand cutting and burning but here in the edge of the Red Deer Sanctuary, the Rangers experimented with bringing in mechanical clearance. The ground is awful to work in and being adjacent to the deer, people and fires are not attractive.

 Spring blossoms appearing

I love this beautifully meandering stream between Bollinhurst Reservoir and Admissions.

A Bracket Fungus detached from a tree

I set out with the intention of seeing 3 things today and here is the first success, frogspawn. Usually this is in a quiet backwater of a bend in the stream or remains of an oxbow but there is so much water on the ground that all the stream bed is flowing and this spawn is actually in surface water alongside. Let's hope it doesn't dry out before they mature.

There are so many listed item in this Estate which is actually listed in it's entirety presenting a nightmare when planning the most meagre of changes. In this case the item is the ornate gate posts at the Red Lane entrance.

Corporate signage working it's way through the estate. A contentious issue but personally, I quite like the white on black and at least it's resulted in some of the more jaded old signs being replaced.

A chirpy friend watching as I head down to the Northern entrance to Elmerhurst Wood.

 Spring announcing its presence again with the young Bluebell shoots. Elmerhurst Wood has some of the best displays in the Park.

Nature's Artwork: Swirling patterns in the bark. Feel free to add what tree it is in comments.

Our lovely new bridge courtesy of the Tuesday Conservation Team. Well done folks.

Corsican Pine plantations line parts of the main drive. The Corsican Pine is favoured because it retains lower branches as it matures resulting in a more attractive profile than such as the Scotts Pine which has a bare trunk heading up to foliage at the very top.

Sadly we lost a few in the resent storms. People complain when the Park is closed for safety reasons but at this location a massive pine came down straight across the main drive. There is an alarming photo of one set of tyre tracks in the thin snow running straight under the fallen trunk.

Heading into Crow Wood, the volume of water flowing through the culvert is much more than usual resulting in an attractive cascade.

 Three fantastic Chain Saw sculptures in Crow Wood; The Crow, Green Man and Lyme Mastiff

I always wonder who's Grandad. It's lovely that after all these years there is invariably a small floral tribute here.

The new Willow trail. I'm looking forward to seeing it green up and fill out over the years.

 A busy Playscape

The Millpond looking tranquil though the overflow is racing (above)

 Is it just me that sees a monster head?

If there was ever any doubt that the case for all weather parking is deserved; this is the equestrian area overflow car parking area on Easter weekend. Hard, thankless work for those involved with traffic management and lost revenue turning cars away at the A6 for parts of the day.

The Fours Winds wall rebuild continues to travel across the landscape. The dedicated team that work this wall on Wednesdays have had to endure foul conditions this winter with wet and biting cold winds.

 A 'lunky' in the Four Winds wall. Where they exist in the previous wall they are restored in the new.

The Stone Pile. This is not a pile of scrap as some people think but an essential resource for the estate. New stone from a quarry in Kerridge is delivered here and recovered stone from other projects rests here before moving into a wall repair or lower quality into restoring pitted tracks such as the Gritstone Trail up toward Bowstonegate Fm.

A sighting of Red Deer above The Knott. It is amazing how you can spend a day all over the estate and not see any. I guided several visitors to top a small brow to see them.

This is the original road in and out of the Park before the drives towards Disley were built when the railways arrived. Leaving after a stay at the House, this is the view across Cheshire that the visitors would see from their carriage.
The white building right of centre is Manchester Airport and the power station seen outlined on the horizon is Fiddlers Ferry 27 miles away near Widnes. (These are of course a later addition to the view)

 Manchester City centre.

Looking into the Estate along the old road. Lantern Wood and Park Moor ahead, all part of the grand estate.

Looking further North across farmland to Cage Hill and the Pennine Hills beyond.

No2 of my target finds for the day, Lesser Celandine, always a first herald of spring with it's cheerfull shiny yellow petals.

Several years of Rhodi clearance along Hasebank now planted to regenerate as mixed English woodland.

 No3 completing my target finds list for today, Coltsfoot, another early harbinger of spring.

A fern being a parasite growing on this old tree instead of in the ground.

More - Lesser Celandine.... does that make sense?

I've only recently become aware of Ram Pumps which allow water to be pushed uphill using water power. I believe this dome in  the stream bed along Westpark Drive is part of one.

Remains of the pipework can be seen in the bed and by the cascade.

Not long now before the wiff of Wild Garlic spreads across this area.

Another volunteer project; these steps make the  ascent to the path along Deer Clough safer and easier; though the yet to be completed top few feet are really awkward in the wet.


It always amazes me how Bracken rotates between Massive lush green growth and this brittle paper like residue. I'll be on the lookout for the delightful young fronds uncurling up through the brown.

We have surprisingly little heather. It is the hillside summer purple flowering so at this time of year it is brittle and dull.

 Nature's Artwork: Amazing patterns on the stone. Algae?

Look out for banks of Silver Birch just as it is budding up and notice the amazing maroon/purple colour across the canopy.

 More frogspawn - again in surface water and at risk

Heading up toward Paddock Cottage. By this gate, the fence takes an odd swerve which is around the foundations of Pursefield Cottage, a farm and in the 1950/60s a scout camp.

 Buzzard overhead.

 Gorse coming into flower behind Paddock Cottage and along Cluse Hey.

 A brief diversion into Drinkwater Meadow to Darcy's Pond. This is the actual film location for the BBC Pride and Prejudice production where the stuntman carried out the Darcy dive into the lake. It also features as a flashback to Darcy and Wickham as children climbing around the roots of the twin oaks on the right of this picture.

 Drinkwater Meadow. Clear at the moment but the sheep will be back for the summer shortly.

Entering Knightslow Wood it is starkly apparent how bare the floor is. A combination of the thick canopy of the Beech Wood which starves the floor of light in the summer and the Beech Mast residue of the nuts which acts a bit like bark chippings on a garden mean that little grows on the floor.

An odd shot of Middle Moor wall heading away from Knightslow into the Moor. Middle Moor wall appears in the background of several shots in the BBC Pride and Prejudice as a broken wall with many gaps. It was restored along it's full length in years after the filming making it difficult for people to identify shot positions.

 Park Moor with it's gorgeous tan winter coat on. I actually love this colouring more than the summer colours especially in a low sun casting shadows and a glow.

Knightslow Wood again but a few pines have resulted in light getting to the woodland floor where the Beech is self regenerating in the pools of light.

 Fungi always add interest

Mandatory photo of the House

More recent storm damage. The walling team were just completing a long repair where the standing Sitka Spruce roots had lifted and topped a section when another tree came down in the winds and took out the next section (far side of standing tree)

The trunk in the background is just the root plate of a massive tree than went over lifting the ground in a 15 metre circle. After the trunk had been sawn through, the root plate was winched back into position for safety but a massive circle of damage remained.
This stone bridge needed a step adding at one end as the ground in now 6" higher than it was.

 Wallers 'Pixie Circle'. These logs make a great dining area.

 Restore Lyme Avenue ponds in the distance. Lyme Avenue re-opened the day after this patrol so distant shot only.

 It is so wet that even the trees are wearing gators.

 Heading back passing the North Front which though the only entrance to the house is the rear elevation.

 The ornate fa├žade faces the gardens.

 So much water and it's great to see it on the cascade after all the dramas and massive amount of heavy and complex work in this area.

A full park, closed twice so far and this is the rest of our overflow parking - unusable unless your car has a snorkel and tracks.

Well, that was a big old walk today, if you followed my this far, Thank You, and I hope you enjoyed yourself.  Bye for now, Delta-Ged

Today's Track and Profile

 Total: 12.9 km / 8 miles
scale 170-330m above sea level

This Time Previous Years

2015 Week 63 01/04/2015 - Brief and Mainly Deer

2014 Week 19 02/04/14 - Fallow Deer and Iranian New Year