Monday, November 19, 2007

Sacrificing all the glories of nature

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
Swallows Wood.

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.


karen said...

I remember the frog in the wall from childhood. We used to go blackberry picking round there. Is it still there? I've not visited the area for over 20 years.

Children of Lewin said...

Yes it is - it's been repainted fairly recently, so it stands out. You can't miss it.

Stephen said...

Many sites can be lost due to a lack of wildlife/biodiversity information to inform objections and planning. If your local site is under threat then please contact your Local Record Centre - see over at: - to see how they can help with relevant information.

Your local Record Centre also needs your sightings of wildlife from your local patch both to aid in building a picture of species distribution and also so that a timeline of information is avaialable for the future to inform decisions. Please do send in your sightings (species name, date, location name and grid ref, your name and contact details and number of teh species see) to (contact details and information entry methods can be found there).

Cheers and thanks