When we saw him at the jazz on Monday, Reg recommended a visit to Irlam Station. So I arranged a short notice outing, starting from the station, which is only a 15 minute drive from Timperley.
Sue came along, and we were joined by Rick, Andrew and John B, with apologies from various others including JJ (wedding) and AlanR (diy). [You missed a good one.]
After supping coffees outside the station on the warm, sunny morning, we set off basically along the route I took with Reg on 25 September 2014, adjusted for the different starting point. That link (click on the date I’ve just given) gives a bit more ‘colour’ that I’m not going to repeat in this posting.
The footpath work around Great Woolden Moss has been completed since Reg and I were there. Very impressive it is too.
The old (exhausted) peat beds have now been flooded and are awaiting wildlife to discover this new sanctuary. Quite a lot of wildlife has already done that. There were excellent views in the clear air to Kinder Scout in one direction and to nearby Winter Hill, pictured below.
Lancashire Wildlife Trust have put up a splendid set of information boards.
I’ve not seen plants trained to form an arch on a path like this before!
“I am pretty sure the arch of plants on the moss is a willow arch. Shoots of willow are planted and will take root so it will be a living arch in future. Living willow sculptures are quite common - see a few examples here.”
Here’s the view across the Moss towards the Lancashire coast. Near here we met David Steel**, a chap who spends a lot of time hereabouts studying the bird life. He spoke of peregrine falcons, swallows and stonechats having been spotted today, and I believe this is an area where he brings folk who want to see yellow wagtails. There were certainly buzzards and kestrels in attendance as we passed through, and David assured us that the place is rich in bird life.
Splashed everywhere are markers for ‘The Salford Trail’ – a route devised by Roy Bullock just a few years ago. The route, and its accompanying brochures, has recently been updated – mainly to handle the changes to footpaths generated by Peel Holdings’ activities.
Leaving Little Woolden Moss, we strolled down a track past Moss Lodge and Red House Farms, outside which there was an assortment of miscellaneous machinery that couldn’t quite command the title of ‘tractor’!
With Glazebury almost in sight, we turned left, past Moss House Farm, to join the Glazebrook Trail that runs along the east bank of Glaze Brook nearly all the way to where the brook empties its contents into the Manchester Ship Canal.
Andrew took advantage of a passing bench while the rest of us stood to enjoy a cuppa (or whatever) and a few crumbs of cake left over from Outdoor Activities’s recent birthday party.
Being so close to Glazebury, and having forgotten the relative merits of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway as compared with the Stockton and Darlington Railway, we agreed that I would include some clarification in this report. It’s as we thought…
Nearby Glazebury and Bury Lane railway station was closed in 1958. It was opened on 15 September 1830 by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and was originally named Bury Lane. In July 1878 it was renamed Glazebury and Bury Lane. The station was one of the original passenger stations of George Stephenson's 1830 Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first railway to cater for passengers as one of its primary functions. It was also arguably the world’s first inter city railway.
The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) was a railway company that operated from 1825 to 1863. This was the world's first public railway to use steam locomotives. Its first line connected collieries near Shildon with Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington, and was officially opened on 27 September 1825. The movement of coal to ships rapidly became a lucrative business, and the line was soon extended to a new port and town at Middlesbrough. While coal waggons were hauled by steam locomotives from the start, passengers were carried in coaches drawn by horses until carriages hauled by steam locomotives were introduced in 1833, some three years after the line that passes through Glazebury was opened for passengers in carriages pulled by steam engines.
The black soil may be good for some crops, but it seems to have taken its toll on a wide range of farm machinery that we now found littered on farmland in the vicinity of Little Woolden Hall.
What’s this, Alan?
Alan says: “The fabrication is called "the lower frame", it is part of a 360 degree excavator.
From the looks of it, it could possibly be a prototype, it looks too good to have been a replacement part. Maybe it was purchased for scrap when Fermec on Barton Dock Rd was vacated and then demolished.
It's a fair size so I guess it would have been 10-15 ton machine.”
(I’ve deleted Alan’s comment and link to a picture as my virus checker told me it was infected with malware.)*
There must be about twenty tractors in various states of (dis)repair around here.
This one looks exceptionally sad…
Here’s Alan’s report on the machinery:
“The Fendt with the puncture is a nice piece of kit but a bit expensive at around 70/80k to leave it idle.
The yellow Fergy is quite a rare sight. It's an MF 65 in industrial yellow. They were built in Coventry and were painted red. If they went to an agricultural dealer they stayed red but if they went to a council or contractor they were repainted yellow as this one was. Hence the red front end.
When Massey moved the industrial section of the company to Stretford in Manchester they initially shipped machines from Coventry to be converted to "industrial". A few years later the Manchester factory started producing the machines entirely and they were painted yellow from scratch.”
As the sky started to cloud over, we made our way back to Irlam Station for an excellent lunch. It’s one of a number of a great dining spots hereabouts. Thanks to Reg for the recommendation.
Here’s our route, 13.5 km taking about 3 hours – very easy to navigate, and ideal for a half day stroll in countryside very close to the city centre.
Thanks for coming along, everyone.
* See Alan’s further comment, and here’s a picture:
**John B has now sent me this excellent link to an article written in 2013 describing some of David’s activities. Here’s an extract:
“David’s sightings have helped the Wildlife Trust to know when and where they can work on restoring the moss. The Trust owns Cadishead Moss and Astley Moss and manages 12 Yards Road and Highfield Moss. They bought the 90 hectares Little Woolden Moss last year and have worked over winter to ensure this expanse of peat extraction is returned to a carbon-capturing moss landscape.”