Another sunny autumn day saw me out with the dogs again, this time for a walk round the lakes at Moses Gate Country Park, three miles south of the town centre. I hadn’t originally intended taking Sophie and Poppie with me as I was actually going to visit some friends, but it was such a nice day it would have been a shame to leave them behind and the country park was on the way to where I was going anyway.
An area of some 750 acres, the country park lies on the Kingfisher Way which runs from Clifton Country Park about three miles south up to the Jumbles Reservoir on the northern outskirts of the town. The three lakes are often referred to locally as Crompton Lodges as they were originally mill lodges supplying water to the nearby Crompton’s Paper Mill back in the 19th century. The mill closed at the beginning of the 20th century and the area fell into ruin, and it wasn’t until the mill itself was finally demolished in 1972 that there was local interest in developing the site as an area of recreation. Over the next decade the site was cleared and the country park was created, and ongoing work in the years since then has transformed the place into what it is now.
Parking is free in the large tree-shaded car park, there’s an adventure playground for kids and miles of riverside and woodland paths. Of the three lakes one is reserved for fishing, one for water sports such as canoeing, and the third and largest is a nature reserve for migratory birds and other wildlife. That one was absolutely teeming with hundreds of birds including seagulls, mallard ducks and Canada geese, and several families with young children were throwing bread and wild bird food to many of the eager web-footed residents.
It was lovely walking round with the dogs, and strange to think that even though the place is only five miles from home and really easy to get to I very rarely go there. Looking at the photos I got though, I think that matter will be rectified soon and another dog walk round there will be on the cards in the very near future.