Monday, November 19, 2007
The letter below appeared in last week's Glossop Chronicle, and whilst it's a little twee in places and seems to be a little too overly-impressed with 'the great and the good' it's worth reading and then comparing with the picture above - an artist's impression of what the bypass will look like, crashing through Swallows Wood.
As a walker/rambler for over 60 years, my favourite location is Swallows Woods, the 60 acre nature reserve at Hollingworth, on the edge of the Peak National Park.
Every year I have visited this lovely area in all the seasons and just as I write, the leaves are just turning and falling, and I am left wondering will this be my last changing of the seasons at
One of my favourite spots to start a ramble has always been at Roe Cross, at Mottram Cutting, and onwards towards Rabbit Lane Hamlet, near the Old Hall and via Thornsett Hall.
Around the area of Mottram Cutting we have the frog stone, an entombed amphibian, which is difficult to find.
It's very small, above head height in the east side of the wall cutting. On the A6018 road and almost nearby, stands 'The Elms', the last home of the great artist L S Lowry, and just 100 yards away, a life size bronze statue of Lowry can be found sitting on a bench.
At the Roe Cross Inn, a footpath public signpost on the right hand side, which leads to Rabbit Lane, we have a wild meadow and an old milestone with a plaque, also an avenue of 40 lime trees donated and planted in 1993 for Queen Elizabeth, by a local school.
On the Old Road near the Roe Cross Inn, the white stone can be found located within a private garden associated with the legendary Sir Ralph De Staveleigh of Stayley Hall.
On Dewsnap Lane can be found built in the wallside at the farmgate near No.1 Cottage, a very old milestone reading 13 or 10 miles to Manchester. You can just make out the lettering.
Soon all this lovely open space and countryside around Swallows Woods, which is very popular with local people and visitors, could soon vanish for ever.
Swallows Wood is a beautiful place for wildlife, and also a very important stopping off place for migrating birds on their epic flight from South Africa.
Also in the Longdendale Valley, Tameside Council is to install four new boundary stones, one in Hollingworth Woolley Lane, and Roe Cross Mottram, and we must not forget the blue plaque which is situated at Etherow Lodge in Longdendale, the former home of the gardener Mr Bill Sowerbutts, of Radio 4's Question Time fame, situated near Arnfield Towers, another one of Longdendale's famous buildings, on the Woodhead Road.
All the things I have mentioned could be lost forever once the bulldozers and earthmovers move in Swallows Woods must be saved for future generations.