If you go down to the woods today you may be in for a big surprise.
Today was another short walk taking advantage of a sunny afternoon and celebrating the plastic bag man‘s birthday. The real reason was a birthday curry buffet at a favourite restaurant, Bangla Spice in Leyland. One of my sons joined us for the laugh, the day before I’d been on the streets of Stretford following a jumble sale trail with my other son and family.
Cuerden Valley was our venue having never really explored here before. The area was popular with dog walkers and families all enjoying the space and sunshine. We had a rough map of the park and set off along a path that soon had us crossing the busy M6 motorway, not a peaceful start.
But before long we were walking in a strange walled path towards the hall, we imagined the masses walking to work in the past.
The hall itself, not an edifying building, was approached. This is the centre for the Sue Ryder Charity. We found in the stables area of the hall several good charity shops – books, brickabat and clothes – all for a good cause, neurological care and support to local people and their loved ones.
Onwards past hidden housing estates, the offices for Lancashire Wildlife Trust and a walled garden to the woods where a Gruffalo hunt had been underway. Thankfully this was over and the big G had gone home. Plastic bag man still felt a little uneasy, mouse-like, as we entered the mature woodland. There was a wide range of trees planted by the estate a century ago.
Going into an interesting looking nature reserve we were accosted by a volunteer suggesting there was no entry, we didn’t argue [there is always another time to explore unnoticed.] We meekly walked down to the bridge over the River and followed the masses and their dogs. Another carpark was reached and we crossed the road to continue down valley, it was here we got bored and hungry and decided to retrace our steps. What lies down the valley will have to remain for another visit. The whole area is worthy of further exploration.
Above us on the return was the new visitors’ centre, an impressive Eco-designed building, which will be worth a visit soon. Further on was the fishing lake, an old lodge.
Paths took us back to our carpark and that tasty curry. ***
It takes real character and pragmatism to decide to turn back. The foolhardy carry on. I’m sure you calculated very carefully that the odds were against you for the likelihood of being mauled by a Gruffalo.
Yes we turned at the best place, will explore further next time. I think the Gruffalo are rather reclusive.
Now then? Is the plural of Gruffalo the same as you have written since you said “are”, or is there only one of them ?
From my dictionary:
noun (plural same, buffaloes or buffalos)
So going by that they are blessed with three optional plurals!
As in herd of Buffalo.
There may only be one Gruffalo in the story, but in ‘real life’ there must be more to propagate the species. Just like Santa.