Given the weather is so warm I opted to pop out for a walk after work today instead of a run, craving some degree of exercise having missed out on Tuesday football and indulged in a lot of celebratory food and drink at my works’ ‘Best of the Best Awards’ dinner last night (I was pipped to the post in my category – Boots is a veritable haven of awesomeness when it comes to folk who do great stuff for charities and community schemes, so it was always going to be competitive).
Anyway.. I decided to take the camera with me this time, and head into the old Gedling Pit site again. I even chucked a head-torch in my pocket incase the whim took me to revisit the Mapperley railway tunnel. I did revisit it, the torch was nigh on useless – a high power torch will be the way to go should anybody want to venture further down there. So I continued an aimless meander and eventually found my way to the top of the old pit slag heap – this has grassed over and been planted with trees and is a nature reserve.
There were echoes of the Terns on their island up north when some shrill cries accompanied a bird who started doing quite close laps of me warning me away from their ground nesting sites. I retraced my steps a little and found a way without going too close by, it turns out they were Northern Lapwings – they have a degree of protection under EU law as their population has dwindled somewhat – so it’s great they’ve found a good habitat so close by to home.
From the top of the slag-heap as was (okay, it is more charmingly known as Wicketwood Hill now if my phone’s map application is to be believed) you are afforded a lovely panoramic view of Gedling and beyond over the floodplains to the Trent. There’s an easy way down to the top end of Lambley Lane too making it less faff to get back home compared to the meandering route I’d taken to get up there – it looks like you could get down to Spring Lane too – I must admit, I’m quite enjoying the childlike exploration of the local wilderness, I’m going to do some more of it.
Where we live we’re blessed with lots of lovely parks and countryside to explore around – as well as the echoes of old industry or transport that I find fascinating, whether it be abandoned railway routes (the railway line that ran through the Mapperley Tunnel through to Woodthorpe loops right through our estate and through Gedling down Shearing Hill (I think there used to be a station there years ago), over the bridge and round through Netherfield, very close to my first house on Godfrey Street – it originally would’ve headed off to London to the South, through the tunnel and onward in the other direction would’ve taken you to Daybrook.
The new Victoria Station in Nottingham (which is obviously now a big ugly shopping centre) rendered the route superseded, of course, the tunnel succumbing to subsidence didn’t help either – although the suburban network of tunnels that are now inaccessible replaced the route for a while. I wish they’d open up all the tunnels for would-be explorers – the magnitude and ambition of their creation is phenomenal even by today’s standards, when you consider when they were built it becomes even more amazing.
Anyway, enough of my statto-like nonsense – it all started by going out for a walk, and I’ve taken in a degree of bird-watching, industrial reminisces and old railway routes. I might as well get the anorak and leather-bound notebook right now, hadn’t I? Having wandered more around the site of the colliery in the route to get up the hill, it’s amazing how little remains of what obviously was at one point a very heavily developed site with lots of infrastructure. It is kinda nice to see nature gradually taking over, though!
I’ve uploaded more pictures to Facebook, and a funky panoramic thingamajig from the top of the hill which I really like 🙂