Saturday, 16 May 2015
It's been a lovely sunny day today though with a cold and brisk wind. Good for hanging out the washing but not as good for being out and about. Luckily on the April day that we headed to Sunnyhurst Wood in Darwen, it was both gloriously sunny and very warm. The wood covers 85 acres and was planted in the 1800s. It became a public park in 1902.
Our walk started near the larger green circle on the right and followed Sunnyhurst Brook to Earnsdale reservoir on the left.
There are formal areas at the beginning around the visitor centre and cafe.
The paths then climb into the woods.
A feature of the woodland trail is a number of sculptures...
...and stone carvings.
There's real wildlife too. Standing in one spot, we saw robins,
and coal tits. We also saw wren, dunnock, blue tits and chaffinch but they were too quick for photos. There was the call of a green woodpecker too but it stayed well hidden.
Apparently there are real kingfishers in the woods but we only saw this carved one. Seeing a kingfisher is on my bucket list.
I loved this little cluster of celandine growing halfway up a tree.
Believe it or not, this is a badger. Maybe it's the lack of stripes but this really doesn't say badger to me.
At the end of the wood, you can continue to follow the public footpath to a gate...
... and into the fields towards the wonderfully named Donkey Brew, which is a steep cobbled path.
We stopped at Earnsdale reservoir though. On the top of the hill you can see Darwen Tower which we visited last summer.
Descending back into the woods and following a different loop, we came across more carvings and sculptures.
There's a small pond where children can have a go at pond dipping.
It was the first time I'd walked these woods and I'm told it's full of orchids in the summer so I'm sure we'll be back. In the afternoon though, we headed east to a museum: I'll probably tell you about that next time.
We've had a quiet day in today catching up on washing and housework. Tomorrow we're planning to visit a few more sculptures on the Irwell Sculpture Trail which also happen to be in a country park. I'm hoping the cold wind drops: photographing sculptures is ok but trying to photograph flowers while they're waving around in front of you is tricky!
Before I go, I also wanted to thank you for your lovely comments about my journal qulit - you are all so kind. Something happened this week that I think might be making it onto my May quilt...but that's all I'm telling you for now :-) xx