Tag Archives: Nutclough

Waterworld

Pool reflections 1

A late May Sunday, we forced ourselves out of the house despite feeling tired and lazy and initially walked to the Sunday market.  Phil nipped in the newsagents while I looked at a few new stalls along the roadside.

Purple bloom with bee 2He came over and was taken by the posh pie stall with a massive queue of punters being fleeced (which later prompted us to consider ideas for selling stuff to idiots).  I said he would be better off going to the bakers, where we bought pastries at a third of the price.  We then walked up to Commercial Street and admired structured flower beds and bees.

Continuing up Keighley Road and into Nutclough, we noted several changes since our last visit in January (I don’t remember ever visiting in May before; we usually go further on our walks at this time of year).

Iron gate

 

A profusion of greenery created a picturesque frame for the iron gate.  Through the gate, we took the lower path and up steps overgrown with more greenery and yellow flowers.

Coming back up, bluebells edged the path and populated an area above a wall opposite, creating a forest amongst the ferns.

 

We proceeded down to the water where newly placed stones made it a lot easier to cross to the ‘island’.  Amongst the waterlogged ground we found more grasses and flowers.  A woman with a small dog came to talk to us and suggested going further up the clough.  I thanked her and said we did know the area.

We wandered around a while then sat on the sunken bench to eat our pies and enjoy the reflections of sky and branches in the water.  The scene was marred somewhat by a man with three kids playing at the other side of the stream, as he allowed a small boy pee in plain sight – not something you want to see when you’re eating your lunch!

White and yellow with tiny mothA more pleasant distraction was found in a moth that resembled a leaf.  As it settled on a nearby plant, we vied with each other for the best spot to get a close-up shot.  My efforts were appalling but earlier I had captured a tiny moth among a clump of small white flowers.

We then walked towards the weir and turned sharp left to take the path up, admiring the large sycamore as we reached the treetops.

On arriving at the row of houses on Sandy Gate, we walked back along the road for a short time before taking a shortcut down a path and through the car park of the Birchcliffe Centre.

Back in town, we crossed the busy pedestrian area and went down by the river to look at crows and pigeons behaving strangely in the late afternoon sun.

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Bluebell forest

From Ginnel to Crow Path

Nutclough Swamp 4

On the last Sunday of July, we sought respite from our troubles and headed out in search of greenery.  Deciding on Nutclough, for some reason we found ourselves walking up Hangingroyd to the little park rather than taking the normal route up Keighley Road.  At the corner of Victoria road, we took the small steps between houses onto Foster Lane, noticing the old backs of buildings as we did so.

Ginnel 5

We then spotted an unfamiliar ginnel on the opposite side of the road.  As we climbed the steep cobbles, we imagined hob nail boots clumping the path, amidst the tightly-packed terraced ‘top and bottom’ houses.  The cobbles were replaced by modern concrete steps.

At the top, we were rewarded with a vertiginous view of the narrow passageway. We emerged onto Unity Street, looking unfamiliar from our different perspective.  At the corner, a black and white cat kindly posed for us.

We headed to the traffic lights and across the road and into the familiar clough.

 

 

 

Crow path 1

Crossing onto the island we tarried on the sunken metal bench, enjoying the tranquillity as we eyed bobbing birds and a plethora of new plant life including large bulrushes.

We stayed on the east side of the clough aiming for town, when we noticed the ‘Crow path’.  We headed up, utilising the wooden steps made for the purpose and contemplating the views looking down from the treetops on the climb up to Sandy Gate.

 

 

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Common Bank to Nutclough Circular

Nutclough glen 2 This year, the late September sun felt more like summer than autumn. Emerging from the still-green Common Bank Wood, we traversed the small stream and stayed on the top path to see how far we could go. The small hillside field provided a perfect isolated spot for a topless man and his wolf-dog to partake in a spot of sunbathing.

Rowland Lane 1We followed a signed path as far as possible but again were thwarted by barbed wire. We walked back to the stream and staying on the left-hand side, walked up a lovely path flanked by livestock fields on both sides. The goats eyed us warily. Emerging onto Wadsworth Lane, we came across a bumper crop of blackberries and filled two tubs with the lush fruits. After resting on a bench at the corner, we took a flight of steps and turned left into Rowland Lane.

More brambles and fantastic views of Old Town and Heptonstall awaited us. We continued along the pretty well-kept lane to the next junction and dropped down onto Sandy Gate Lane. Stopping again to harvest berries, a couple I knew from dance classes came by and we chatted awhile.

Nutclough descent 1We then carried on until we found a gap in the hedgerow leading to a dappled footpath into Nutclough woods. Taking time to capture the picturesque scene of the bridge bedecked in copper beech leaves, we crossed over and turned left onto the steep path leading down to the old mill ponds.

It looked totally different again!  The stepping stones had been augmented with recycled tree stumps; the small islands were covered in lush vegetation; brown mushrooms sprouted in dank corners. We enjoyed the tranquil scene for some time before crossing back over the stepping stones and continued down the path.

We came onto Keighley road and descended into town. We both agreed that it had been a lovely circular walk and marvelled that it had taken us three hours!

More photos at: http://1drv.ms/1FCZRujNutclough Creek 3

Up to Old Town

Joan wood tree trunks 1

Joan wood stepsOn a sunny April evening, we headed to Nutclough for one of our favourite strolls up to Old Town.

Finding the path closed, we decided to try an alternative route that my walking friend had mentioned.

We walked a little further up Keighley Road and climbed a flight of stone steps into Joan Wood. We followed the path up and along through the small wood to another flight of steps.

I sarcastically commented that the new concrete steps blended almost seamlessly with the old ones!

Rock wall

Emerging onto Hurst road, we crossed over a stile and through a series of fields.

At the boundary of the second field, we could see Old Town mill a short distance away.

We rested on a rock wall to take in the views, from Heptonstall on the right to Dodnaze on the left.

We carried on up and admired the horses in front of the mill.

From there, we skirted round the mill and through the old part of the village onto Billy Lane.

Mill with horses 1More photos at: http://1drv.ms/1IVm31X

Pootling Around Nutclough Woods

Snowy Swamp 3Nearby Nutclough woods is the perfect place for a pootle. Behind what was once Nutclough Mill on Keighley Road, lies a mini reminder of our industrial past. Now, the remnants of that Victorian legacy, including a variety of trees, mill race and ponds (maintained by the ‘Friends of Nutclough Woods’ i) are worth a visit at any time of year.

In autumn 2012, we spent a couple of enjoyable hours wandering around the post-flood altered landscape. We discovered several bits of pottery that had been washed down from the hills.

I doubt everyone would agree, but we decided it looked better as a result. A lot of silt had disappeared from the old mill ponds although that meant the ducks had scarpered, probably due to a lack of food.

Nutclough uphill 2aDuring the dry summer of 2013, it was easy to navigate the low waters of the beck via conveniently-placed stepping stones and explore the small islands.

A variety of wild flowers and a smattering of archaeology could be found. On one visit, my friend found a very interesting hook in the river.

After exploring, we often carry on up the hill to Old Town via a number of routes. Following the course of the beck, the path may be too boggy to navigate at any time of year, but especially in winter.

Last summer however, the problem was quite the reverse: it was so dusty and dry that it had become dangerous in a different way. As I found out to my cost, skidding on a pebble and landing on my arse.

A drier route involves a steep climb across a field. A scattering of meadow flowers, the views across the valley and a lack of mud, make this an attractive alternative.

Kestrel in flight 1On a recent visit to admire the snowy woodland scenes, I chickened out of crossing the fast-flowing water via the stepping stones. Instead, we crossed via a small bridge from where we climbed a steep path. This led through a private garden and out onto Sandy Gate.

 

Walking along the road, we paused to watch a kestrel hovering above. I spotted a path going down on the right. I thought it might go back into Nutclough Woods but disappointingly, it skirted the Birchcliffe Centre with cheeky signs telling us which way to walk!

Flooded Islands 1After the Boxing Day floods of 2015, the islands had got even smaller! I refused to even try fording the streams and took the top path to the stone bridge.

We crossed to the path on the other side. Missing the turning up to Sandy gate, Phil started going towards the white house where the path had turned into a muddy stream. I refused to follow him and started heading back until I spotted the path I was looking for above and found a way up to it. I

had planned to walk further but I felt exhausted and stressed. I sat on a wall to rest.

On the way back down, we noticed odd bits of Birchcliffe including a private burial ground which we explored despite the ‘no admittance’ signs.

Private burial ground 1

i https://friendsofnutcloughwoods.wordpress.com/

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