leafA Walk around Newmillerdam

Wednesday, 5th October 2005

PlantationaspenWhat should a country park be?

Well, for me, the clue is in the name and I think Newmillerdam, south-east of Wakefield, gets it right.

It's a park in the sense that it's easy to negotiate with good paths and it's difficult to get lost (if you keep the lake on your left you'll get back to the beginning) so you can escape here from town, park the car and just get out and walk in the trainers you're wearing (in all but the worst of weathers). We find an hour's parking is just right for the circuit.

bramblebridgeAs it's a park, you're not going to meet random barriers such as impassable tracks, bouquets of barbed wire, rickety squeeze-through stiles and neck-high nettles.

Does that mean that you loose out on the experience of 'real' country? No, because in this particular park you can't see one end from the other and the scene unfolds before you - lakeside path, a narrow grassy clearing and a conifer plantation until you're far enough away from any road to escape the sound of traffic.

brookLeaning on this bridge at the far end of the park, overlooking the stream, you could be in any quiet part of birchthe country and it's hard to believe that just 45 minutes ago we were delivering books in Wakefield.

On the walk back, the sun dapples the foliage of the plantation and there's a delicious, nutty smell of woods in autumn.

If you're in a wheelchair I think you'd find the circuit, especially the broad lakeside path, reasonably easy to negotiate. And there are buses from town. Next Page

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk