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Posted:  Wednesday 24 January 2018

North East Associates
Chopwell Woods Walk

- Tuesday 23rd January -

Today's walk was entirely within woodland and seventeen of us took up the challenge of the 'Boundary Path', including its short, steep sections.

Moist underneath and a little clarty – that’s muddy - a good path meandered around the woods, which were criss-crossed by mountain-bike tracks, many of them hair-raisingly steep.  Fortunately there were no bikes to concern us.
This is also a popular place for dog walkers and horse riders.

There are several
wooden artworks
in the woods,

including that of
a Red Kite
- common here -
a bat,
an emerging bracken frond
and a pair of hands

The former ancient woodland of Chopwell Woods has been put under pressure for centuries.  In the earliest days wood was taken for building bridges and ships.  Later on, in the 16th century, coal mining began, resulting in tracks and wagon-ways being constructed.  A mill was built for the manufacture of paper and is now converted to apartments.

Local volunteers have, over many years, restored various features such as a bridge, a culvert, and settling tanks for the paper mill.

Over the much longer-term, the plan is to restore the woods to reflect their 'ancient' status, with the re-introduction of native trees as the non-natives, mainly pines etc. are harvested.

Following a prompt start and an early finish we went to the nearby golf club for lunch, arriving around 12:45.

The weather was fine especially following the recent snow-fall only two days earlier.

Cliff Sore

pictures:  cliff sore

(cs  23/01/2018)

(ph  24/01/2018)

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