A follow-up to my post of last week on Woodland Trust sites in Fulwood.
I had to go into Preston to pick up my camera after its repairs. Wilkinson’s has served me well over the years and many cameras with personal care.. My pocket Lumix Leica had started with a fault involving the electronic zoom – it wouldn’t. I persisted for a while using the manual setting but eventually returned it to the shop for attention under its two-year warranty. The young shop assistant tried to tell me I had damaged the zoom by dropping the camera, I explained I hadn’t. He wrote about ‘damage’ on the repair form and said he would speak to his manager – he didn’t. Subsequently, I was informed the camera’s zoom mechanism was replaced and ready for picking up at a charge of £167. I phoned to say I had disputed the cause of the failure and expected the warranty to cover the charges, the temporary assistant said he would speak to the manager – he didn’t.
I arrived in the shop clutching my warranty and asked to speak to the manager. He was very understanding and agreed that the repairers had said there was no sign of any physical damage. Of course there was no charge, I thanked him for his fairness. I will no doubt be giving this independent but expanding business, my custom in the future as opposed to the internet. Just don’t deal with the young temporary assistants.
Being keen to try it out and as I was in town I thought I would visit the two Woodland Trust woods in Fulwood omitted last week. They didn’t fit into my circular walk being more stand-alone sites. The Woodland Trust website gave me maps and access points.
“Public access is informal and limited. There is a stile on the southern boundary which is used irregularly as a foot access route to Asda, a network of informal unsurfaced paths run through the site for approx. 500 metres. The woodland is not thought to be well-used except perhaps by a small number of people as a shortcut to the superstore.”
“The small size of this site, and the fact that it is surrounded by housing and a superstore limits its value as a wildlife habitat. Unfortunately the woodland does not l ink with any other habitats, and there is no opportunity to extend it. However, it is a mature and stable woodland which provides a refuge for urban wildlife.”
Not exactly encouraging. I parked up in the far corner of the superstore car park and found the shortcut mentioned, a muddy informal track connecting to Eastway. What else did I find? Well everywhere along the border of the wood with the car park an unbelievable amount of dumped rubbish. Not just the odd drinks bottle or takeaway box, no everything but the kitchen sink. There was probably a sink in there somewhere. A lot of the mess was Asda packaging hurriedly discarded whilst on the premises, but others must park up here, well away from the public eye, and have a right clear-out. It was disgusting, and I am surprised Asda are not sufficiently ashamed and embarrassed to do something about it.
My enthusiasm for the oaks, birch, hawthorn and sycamore dwindled – it was so messy at the edges. The woods drop away steeply and would be difficult to access even if there were paths. Best stay away, or at least just sit in the car park listening to the bird song whilst you throw away your rubbish. I notice The Woodland Trust does’n put their usual signs up here, or more likely they have been burnt.
“A popular wood with local dog-walkers and joggers Clough Copse consists of a wide variety of tree life including oak, ash, sycamore, cherry, beech, elder, hazel and holly. Bluebells, dog’s mercury and red campion can be spotted as well.”
Sounds more promising. I’ve never been into these housing estates alongside The Guild Wheel. A maze of roads, upmarket houses and plenty of green spaces. From one of the roads where I parked I eventually found a path onto the Guild Wheel which I followed downhill towards the Old Tannery on Savick Brook. On the map I had spotted a track heading back up into Clough Copse. This well maintained way alongside a smaller brook is local authority owned. There are bridges and steps leading off into unseen housing. The deep clough divides and there didn’t seem to be any track up the right-hand branch. The Woodland Trust announce their presence. I followed the pleasant left-hand clough and yes there were dog walkers about.
A small ‘smoke-free’ children’s’ playground appeared on the edge of the housing. I continued upwards with the stream below giving interest. Patches of Wood Anemone, Lesser Celandines and Primroses added colour. Only the Blackthorn was showing any blossom.
All too quickly I popped out the other end onto some unknown road and was able to find my way back to the car. Really this wood is just a narrow strip offering locals a welcome green way out of their estate. Again there was plenty of bird song, so it is providing a habitat for our wildlife.
!. ASDA WOOD. 2. CLOUGH COPSE. Purple, route walked.
Maybe Clough Copse would be worth a revisit when the bluebells are out and the trees leafed up. But really it is only of use to the surrounding estate. Stay well away from Asda Wood.
My curiosity satisfied and the camera tested. Now after the two visits I have in my mind’s eye an idea for a pleasant walking circuit of the best of the Woodland Trust sites in Fulwood. But let’s wait until the woods are farther on after Easter.