Sunday, November 7, 2010

St Wilfrid's Ribchester - November Sun

Continuing with the November Sun theme (and making the most of the calm before the storm), here are some pictures I took around St Wilfrid's Church in Ribchester this afternoon. Please let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beacon Fell - Birds

I took so many pictures at Beacon Fell this morning, I've collected the birds into a separate post. Coal tits and blue tits were enjoying the peanut feeder behind the Bowland Visitors Centre, and I've included a mallard pair on the Tarn for good measure.

Beacon Fell - November Sun

I had some time to myself on Beacon Fell this morning, so I made the most of the late Autumn sun to wander around the woods and trails and grab a few shots of the scenery. I hope you enjoy them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Big Longridge Weekend - Friday 8th - Sunday 10th October 2010

This is a quick plug for The Big Longridge Weekend which starts this Friday. I'll be going along to support it, and I am really looking forward to getting inside the newly restored and extended Old Station Building, which should be a great asset to the community for years to come.

Full details are available on the Goosnargh and Longridge Show website, and there is also a Big Longridge Weekend Facebook Group.

Clitheroe Castle - Autumn Scenes

War Memorial and Trees by Clitheroe Castle
A couple of weeks back I found myself with a morning to kill in Clitheroe. It was a beautiful Autumn day, sunny and fresh, and everything looked great, with the views to the hills largely free from the heat haze that you get in the Summer. Here are a few pictures I took around Clitheroe Castle - they seem to have come out with a remembrance theme, apt for this time of year.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bowland Wild Boar Park

Pig at Bowland Wild Boar Park

Bowland Wild Boar Park, located close to the village of Chipping, is a nice take on the farm park concept. Set in a valley, flanked by the River Hodder, it hosts a selection of farm and exotic animals; the wild boar for which it was named, red and fallow deer, wallabies, meerkats and more. In addition to the animals, the park also offers a series of nature walks, along the bank of the Hodder and up through the wooded valley side - good for watching birds and other wildlife. There are indoor and outdoor play facilities, including a well-stocked playground with two zipwires (always a bottleneck), tractor and barrel rides, and a cafe with a decent selection of meals for adults and children, some made with produce from the farm. Bowland Wild Boar Park is a lovely place to visit, great for families with kids, and with enough to interest those without children too. Here are some snaps taken from our visit last month:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Myerscough College Gardens - Six Butterflies and a Baby Bunny

Red Admiral Butterfly
Red Admiral

I'm back in Lancashire, having had a great couple of weeks exploring County Durham and Northumberland with the family. The sun made an appearance today, so we shot over to Myerscough College for a spot of lunch and a wander around the gardens. It was a great day for butterfly spotting, and I managed to take some reasonable pictures of some common ones - please correct me if I've misidentified any. There were also some wild rabbits young and daft enough to let us get close.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

lostnortheast Holiday Special

Old Post Bus by Derwent Reservoir
Old Post Bus by Derwent Reservoir

I'm away with the family for a couple of weeks staying by Derwent Reservoir, County Durham, within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You can see what we discover at lostnortheast.

P.S. I'll be selling the minibus when we get back - drop me a line if you're interested.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Calder Vale Walk

Ducklings at Calder Vale Mill Pond
Ducklings at Calder Vale Mill Pond

The village of Calder Vale nestles in a steep sided valley around the River Calder, in the west of Bowland close to the A6 and the market town of Garstang.  It was originally founded by Quakers Jonathan and Richard Jackson, who sited a water-powered cotton mill, Lappet Mill, here in 1835 and built the stone terraced housing for the workers.  The Lappet Mill is still in use today, having found a niche weaving cotton for Arab headscarves, and although it is no longer water-powered the original mill pond and sluice machinery remain.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Marles Wood to Dinckley Footbridge - River Ribble Walk

River Ribble at Marles Wood
River Ribble at Marles Wood

Taking a chance with the showery weather, I took my eldest three off for a walk along the River Ribble from Marles Wood down to Dinckley Footbridge.  Marles Wood is a quiet and beautiful piece of woodland close to Salesbury Hall, to the west of the Roman village of Ribchester.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Platform Gallery, Clitheroe

The Platform Gallery, Clitheroe
The Platform Gallery, Clitheroe

The Platform Gallery, housed in former railway station buildings in Clitheroe, is an art gallery specialising in contemporary crafts produced by artists working locally and nationwide.  It is a good option for those looking for some free rainy-day entertainment.  The gallery has two current exhibitions, both with a recyling theme.

Precious: Reclaiming Art and Craft, in the main gallery, is on tour from Hove Museum and Art Gallery, and features the work of nineteen artists (listed below) produced from recycled and found objects.  Precious runs until 4 September 2010.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Wits Playspace at Witton Country Park

The Wits Playspace, Witton Country Park
The Wits Playspace, Witton Country Park

Witton Country Park is a large area of open parkland, woods and farmland lying to the west of Blackburn, crossed by the Rivers Darwen and Blakewater.  Witton Park is free to visit, and is popular with walkers, dog owners, cyclists, horse riders, wildlife watchers, athletes (there's an outdoor running track) and families with children.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stonyhurst College Gardens

Stonyhurst College
Stonyhurst College

Stonyhurst College is a Roman Catholic boarding school near the village of Hurst Green on the Longridge to Clitheroe Road.  The school has an interesting history, being originally founded in France to educate English Catholics when that kind of this was frowned upon at home.  Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien was a frequent visitor to the area, as his son taught at Stonyhurst, and is said to have found inspiration for his novel The Lord of the Rings here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ribble Steam Railway

Restored steam engine in the Ribble Steam Railway Museum
Ribble Steam Railway Museum

The Ribble Steam Railway lies within the redeveloped Riversway Dockland area of Preston, just off the A583 heading west out of the city.  Staffed by enthusiastic volunteers who restore, maintain and run the collection of steam engines and trains, it offers indoor museum and workshop areas, a small cafe, and a short train ride.  The line runs through the dockland area, passing through a marina then running alongside the River Ribble for around a mile and a half before returning the same way.  The engine changes ends at the half-way point, and the children enjoyed watching through the guard's compartment as it rejoined the train with a bump.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Goosnargh and Longridge Agricultural Show 2010

Bullock at the Goosnargh and Longridge Show
Bullock at the Goosnargh and Longridge Show

It was a bit drizzly and overcast first thing, but feeling optimistic I headed over to the show ground on Lower Lane, Longridge for this years show, with wife Maggie and littlest child Megan for company.  Our gamble paid off as it soon stopped raining and warmed up nicely.

Clitheroe Castle Museum

Clitheroe Castle Museum
Clitheroe Castle Museum is a recently redeveloped local museum forming part of the castle in the heart of the thriving market town of Clitheroe, which lies between the two sections of Bowland just off the A59.  The museum offers exhibits on the social and natural history of Clitheroe, Bowland and the Ribble Valley from pre-historic times through the Norman invasion (when the castle was established), the industrial revolution, to the present day including the wildlife supported by the area.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Brock Valley Picnic Site and Brock Bottoms

River Brock, Brock Bottoms
I made a flying visit to Brock Bottoms yesterday, leaving the car at the Brock Valley Picnic Site and following the well maintained path (pushchair and wheelchair accessible, cycling not allowed) which forms part of the Brock Valley Nature Trail.

Goosnargh and Longridge Agricultural Show 2010 Preview

It's Goosnargh & Longridge Agricultural Show next Saturday (10th July), promising the usual array of farm animal and pet exhibits, vintage tractors and other vehicles, kids crafts and bouncy slide, jazz band, farmers market, craft and food stalls. I've been before and it's a great day out whether you are taking kids or not - I hope the weather holds out this year!

Full details are available on the official Goosnargh and Longridge Agricultural Show website.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Parlick and Fairsnape Fell Walk

Paraglider against blue sky with fluffy clouds

Armed with a surprise afternoon pass (thanks Maggie) I slipped on my old walking boots and headed for the hills.  Parlick and Fairsnape fells lie to the north west of the village of Chipping, and together with the adjacent Wolf, Blindhurst, Saddle and Home House fells form and extensive open access area.  Popular with walkers and birdwatchers, the area is also used by gliders, which adds to the spectacle.  The Ordnance Survey Explorer OL41 covers the area and names the places mentioned here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stocks Reservoir

Stocks Reservoir
Stocks Reservoir lies to the north of the picturesque village of Slaidburn and adjacent to Gisburn Forest which lies to the east.  It is a working reservoir, providing drinking water primarily for the Fylde area of Lancashire, and it is also managed by United Utilities to provide leisure facilities (for walking, fishing, picnics and birdwatching) and offer a variety of habitats for wildlife conservation (coniferous and broadleaf woodland, meadows, bog and moorland).  The water catchment area around the reservoir is used for forestry and farming (mostly raising traditional Swaledale sheep).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Longridge Field Day 2010 Pictures

The sun was out, the mood was relaxed, and most importantly Field Day this year was all about the kids having fun. Here's how it looked:

Gold Wings leading the Longridge Field Day parade
Gold Wings leading the Longridge Field Day parade

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Longridge Field Day - Saturday 12th June 2010

It's Longridge Field Day next Saturday, our local version of what other parts of the county call Gala Day/Carnival/Rose Queen Procession etc., so I thought I'd post the schedule (taken from the Programme published by the Longridge Field Day Committee) in case anyone fancied joining the fun - if so I'll see you there.

Fun Fair

Friday 11th 6pm - 9pm & Saturday 12th 12 noon - 6pm

Programme of Events on Saturday 12th

10:30 amJudging of Decorated Houses/Shops by the Mayor
12:00 noonVintage/Classic Cars and Gold Wing Motor Cycle Club assemble on Spar Car Park
12:00 noonParade assembles Civic Hall Car Park
12:30 pmParade moves off led by Vintage/Classic Cars and Gold Wing Bikes
1:45 pmCrowning of the Field Day Queen, Shannon Callaghan
2:00 pmFancy Dress Judging in the Arena
2:30 pmLongridge Gym Club
3:00 pmJanet Sutcliffe School of Dancing
3:30 pmATC Display
3:30 pmPunch and Judy
3:30 pmJudging Vintage/Classic Cars and Gold Wing Motorbikes
4:00 pmFootball Semi Finals and Tug of War Semi Finals
4:45 pmFootball Final and Tug of War Final
5:00 pmField Day Raffle Draw

NB: Times subject to change

Beacon Fell Country Park

Bowland Visitors Centre at Beacon Fell
Bowland Visitors Centre

Yesterday was Holly's monthly meeting at Junior Rangers for a round of pond dipping, which gave me chance to go for a solo wander around the fell.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Cobble Hey Farm & Gardens

On the lapwing walk at Cobble Hey Farm - stunning views of Bowland
On the lapwing walk - stunning views of Bowland

Cobble Hey Farm & Gardens is a working hill farm not far from the A6 south of Garstang, offering visitors a range of attractions including a farmhouse cafe offering food home-made from locally sourced ingredients (Dewlay cheese, Goosnargh chicken and turkey, Robinson's ice-creams), delightful gardens surrounded by mature trees, a selection of rare breed livestock, a children's playground, and a conservation walk allowing access to land managed to support Lapwings, which are becoming increasingly rare.  The hillside setting also offers fantastic panoramic views of Bowland and across to the Lancashire coast.  There is good access for disabled visitors and nice clean toilet facilities.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dunsop Bridge

Dunsop Bridge
Dunsop Bridge

A scorching Sunday and niece Lily's second birthday gave us all a great excuse for a picnic at Dunsop Bridge, a beauty spot where the rivers Hodder and Dunsop join (Dunsop Bridge also claims to be the geographic centre of Britain).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Myerscough Pictures

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece on Myerscough College which was picture-free due to camera trouble.  Back from my holiday on the dark side (North Yorkshire) I went there again today - here are the pictures:

The Garden House Cafe and Plant World viewed from the Myerscough College Gardens
The Garden House Cafe and Plant World viewed from the gardens

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Myerscough College/Plant World/Garden House Café/Gardens and Arboretum

I'm off to a great start with my first review – Myerscough College isn't actually in Bowland, lying just outside the south-west corner, my camera is playing up, so no pictures today, and I'm not really discovering it as I know the place pretty well, as I spent a year studying tree surgery here back in 2005/2006.

That said, it was sunny but freezing, the kids were starving, and we didn't want to spend much, so off to Myerscough we went.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Get lost with me

It's almost five years since I moved back to Lancashire, and settled in Longridge, just south of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Bar a couple of regular haunts, I've hardly seen any of it.

Starting today, I'm going to put that right, and I'm going to write about it too, here.

I enjoy walking, picnics, birdwatching, trees, nature, cycling, eating, writing and photography.  I'm an expert in none of these things.

If you're interested too, stay tuned and I'll let you know how I get on.  Hopefully you'll find it entertaining, and maybe even useful.