Firwood Fold’s hidden lake

As it seems that the long hot summer is well and truly over and many of us in the UK have now experienced two weeks of dull, grey and often rainy weather, my Monday walk this week brings back the blue sky and sunshine from the end of June. After my walk round the hamlet ofΒ Firwood Fold back in MarchΒ – the first time I’d ever been there in spite of it being less than two miles from home – I was impressed enough to want to go back during the summer months, and since March I’d found out about a lake which was ‘hidden’ round the back of the place so the day after my Rivington ramble the dogs and I made a return visit to Firwood Fold.
Back in March I’d noticed that several of the cottages had rather bare-looking window boxes outside which presumably would be filled with flowers during the summer months, however if I’d been hoping to see the place full of pretty colour I was destined to be disappointed. Apart from the greenery of the surrounding trees and various shrubs there was very little colour anywhere, although with it being the football World Cup season two of the cottages had their front walls ‘defaced’ by two huge England flags hanging from the upstairs windows – certainly not something I wanted to take a photo of.
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Down the lane to Firwood Fold
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Samuel Crompton’s birthplace
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At the bottom end of the hamlet was a tarmac lane, the only way into Firwood Fold for vehicles – turning left just led to a dead end and some garages but just before the dead end a footpath on the right took me through the trees and down to the lake hidden behind the hamlet, although there was no signpost or anything to say it was there. The lake, known as The Bunk, had actually once been the reservoir belonging to Firwood Bleach Works which was established in 1803, but with the bleach works long since gone the lake and its surrounding area has been left to thrive and support a good diversity of plant species and wildlife.
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The Bunk – Firwood Fold’s hidden lake
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The lake wasn’t all that big so it didn’t take long to walk all the way round it, then back at the bottom of Firwood Fold I took a path off the left of the tarmac lane and down a dirt track where a right turn took me to a couple of fishing lakes which I’d been to back in March. Both lakes seemed to have a lot of yellow-green weed floating on the surface of the water but there was quite a lot of wildlife around with plenty of ducks, geese and coots, and a family of swans with three young gygnets which came gliding up to say hello. The parents weren’t impressed with the dogs though and they did quite a lot of hissing to warn us off.
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The path to the fishing lakes
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Retracing my steps back towards the hamlet, and just out of curiosity, I took another path which led me across a bridge over the nearby Bradshaw Brook and onto the end of an open field. At the far end the land went up a slope so I decided to see what was up there – it was another big field with trees on each side so with my curiosity growing with each step I walked on and came to another field. In the distance I could see yet another field and behind the tree lines were even more fields, one with grass mown so well that it looked more like a golf course than an open field, and with no fences or boundaries anywhere one open space just led into the next. This place was both beautiful and amazing – and to think I’ve lived in this town all my life and never knew it was there!
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My good sense of direction gave me a fair idea of where I would end up if I continued walking straight on, which would be a good distance from where I’d left the van, so reluctantly I turned and headed back towards Firwood Fold. Those were to be my last shots of the walk, which had turned out to be more surprising and interesting than I’d expected, and I headed back towards home having made the decision that sooner or later I would return to that area to do some further exploration.
Linking up withΒ Jo’s Monday walk which this week takes in some wonderful views over the North York Moors – the photos really make me want to go there but it’s raining again so I’ll settle for a brew and a good read over breakfast instead.
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22 thoughts on “Firwood Fold’s hidden lake

  1. The cottages are lovely and you certainly would have expected to see a riot of colour in the gardens and window boxes. I do love to see swans but you do have to be careful as the parents defend their young. Another lovely walk, shame the weather has turned wet and miserable these last couple of weeks.Hopefully there’s more sunshine to come with the possibility of an Indian summer, fingers crossed.

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    1. It was a shame there was no real colour anywhere in the hamlet – having noticed the window boxes back in March I would have thought that at least they would have been full of pretty plants and flowers by then. It’s raining again here as I type this so I’m glad I didn’t go away – I’m hoping for ten days down in Norfolk from mid September so an Indian summer would be lovely πŸ™‚

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  2. Hooray! I have sunshine again this morning πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Don’t know how long for so I’ll treasure it. I love the old stone cottages too. My husband is a football fan but he doesn’t go around with flags flying. I find it tedious but he feels the same about the tennis I love. US Open starts this week. πŸ™‚

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    1. I hope the sunshine is staying around for you, it’s raining again here 😦 I was hoping to do another walk over the weekend but it’s been so miserable that I haven’t been anywhere 😦

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  3. I didn’t notice the tree stump until after I’d taken the photo – if I’d seen it before I would have moved away. I know it sounds odd but even though I like mushrooms to eat I don’t like to see fungi growing from places, it gives me the creeps 😦 That first lake was surprisingly pretty so I’m glad I found out about it πŸ™‚

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      1. I know mushrooms and other fungi like damp conditions so I hope yours aren’t actually on the house wall 😦 Presumably the tree ‘mine’ were growing on had been very damp at some time but conditions were really dry when I took the photos. Definitely one of life’s little mysteries πŸ™‚

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  4. The walk was really nice and the open fields I found were a lovely surprise πŸ™‚ I suppose the great weather had to end some time but I wish it had lasted longer – hopefully it will come nice again during September.

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  5. Thank you. I’m lucky to live on the northern outskirts of town with some lovely countryside and scenery on the doorstep so I can usually get some nice photos πŸ™‚

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  6. It was a lovely walk and the weather was just right for it. I’ll definitely go back and explore those fields another time though – autumn might be nice when the leaves change colour. To be honest, as far as football, or any other sport, is concerned, I have no interest at all so my knowledge of the World Cup only goes as far as knowing that England didn’t actually win it.

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  7. Maybe the window boxes were planted up earlier in the year and drought / need for twice daily watering just proved too much? You certainly have some beautiful walks nearby – do the girls appreciate it or are they just happy to be out with Mum?

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  8. I thought the same thing about the window boxes, maybe they did have flowers in them to start with but the hot weather proved to be too much for them. The girls love being out on long walks, Sophie especially likes being able to run thorough open countryside and explore – it’s a shame I can never let Poppie off the lead as she misses out on so much – but mainly they are just happy being out with me wherever I take them πŸ™‚

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