Friday, 25 February 2011

Unusual Garden Visitors

For the last two days we've had some unusual visitors to our garden, a Peacock and two Pea birds. They've turned up mid-afternoon pecked around, sat on a wall for a while and then disappeared after an hour or so. From where they've come and where they go to I've no idea. Hopefully they'll keep coming and I won't be at work so I'll get chance to see them.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Sledmere for a short walk

It was a grey cold day on this February Sunday and staying home would have been an easy choice. Our need for exercise over-rode that potential decision. So, we decided to do a short walk that we'd done before at Sledmere. Sledmere is an estate village set on the Yorkshire Wolds and has a distinctive character. Ownership by the Sykes Family for hundreds of years has left the village unspoilt by unsympathetic development.

We parked at the small car park near the Sledmere Memorial. We then walked through the village past the Triton Arms and as the village peters out a gate through a tall fence takes you on to a path. The path skirts a paddock and then comes round the back of a barn. This is where this farmland with a difference starts. 

The barn provides housing for the estate's Red Deer herd. All the deer were housed at the time and they peered nervously at us from their pen. At other times the deer are free to roam across the parkland that the walk now crosses. Red Deer are fantastic athletes so the parkland is surrounded by over six foot fencing. High Stiles are provided to cross the fence and they do need to be clambered up and down. So if your unsteady on your feet this isn't the walk for you.

As you cross the parkland Sledmere House offers an imposing sight. The house is the home of Sir Tatton Sykes and has been in his family for many generations. The house and gardens are open to visit during the months are well worth a visit. Whether to wander through the grounds and garden or to see the impressive design and architecture. Details can be found at Sledmere House. A small museum tells the story of the Wolds Waggoners a regiment raised in World War 1 from the men that worked the land in the area.

A couple of stiles later and you exit the parkland and enter a small wood. Soon the path turns south and skirts a field. Tucked into the next wood is an impressive folly - a barn with fine sculpted columns. The purpose or reason for the design is unknown to me. But cost was clearly not the only consideration when it was built. The path heads up towards this wood with the parkland to your left so one some occasions you may have a deer herd for company.

A track takes you through the wood. Which is clearly being managed by the Estate as the undergrowth has been thinned. Many fine trees sit within the wood reaching up to the sky. Perhaps they have or will be the subject of one of David Hockney's many paintings of trees on the Yorkshire Wolds. The track leads to the main road in to the village but just short of joining it you can take a path to the left and north and this parallels the road back in to the village. As we walked back through the village we again passed by the Triton Inn. We didn't stop off but I have visited in the past and can say that I have enjoyed a good meal there. The pie is to be recommended. Soon we were back at the car and it was time to head home home for a beef casserole to warm us up. 

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Stream after the Storm

Snapped this picture near Kilnwick. Normally, this is a crystal clear Chalkstream but heavy rain the day before has washed sediment in to the stream. This can if sustained over a period of time lead to the bed of the stream becoming blanketed in sediment smothering plant life and preventing fish from laying eggs in the gravel.