Monday, 5th January 2004
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
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The area as it was a few years ago; 'Calder Park' is the area
to the left of the Denby Dale Road.
we get to the highest point on the soap waste mound by the Calder
there's as wooshing of pinions just above us and over go six swans,
on their way to the lake that's been left by sand and gravel extraction.
A huge flock - easily hundreds but to me it looks like a thousand,
even two thousand, it's so difficult to estimate such numbers -
golden plover gets up from the flat at the edge of the
lake and circles, along with a smaller number of lapwings
glad that the golden plover are still wintering here as they did
in previous years as the most impressive wildlife spectacle you're
likely to see in the Wakefield area. Old Moor Wetland
near Barnsley attracts increasing numbers and I thought our Wakefield
birds might have gone there in preference.
Gravel extraction at Grange Farm is now coming to an end. On a
mound of unsorted sand and pebbles by the track we spot granite
and quartz pebbles amongst the predominently local
Boat House Farm
sorry to see that two historic farms have vanished. All that is
left of Boat House Farm which had an old stone
flag-roofed barn (which might have been the original farmhouse)
- is a couple of groups of shrubs, marking where the gardens were.
Nearby Grange Farm had a barn which was remarkable
for the flaggy sandstone used in the construction of it's walls.
I was astonished to see that it had gone, it was such an impressive
and historic building, perhaps 150 or 200 years old.
Still standing at Grange Farm is a wall made of unusual handmade
bricks, each the size of a cereal packet. I guess these would have
to be at least a hundred years old, more like 150. It probably once
enclosed the stable yard or piggeries but now serves as a hopper
for piles of sand and gravel.
the gravel is dug out and the landscape restored Calder
Park, as it will be called, will boast over a million square
feet of office space. It's a shame that the farms can't be a part
of that but it looks as if the part of the site they are on is to
be used as washland in times of flood.
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