Early morning September sun waking up the Derbyshire countryside at Mapperley. But it was the Shipley Woods that we came to explore. Whilst they are not far away from home it was back in February when we were last here. Then it was Snowdrop time and the woods white carpet. Circumstance around CV19 have rather restricted us.
But now it is September and feeling Brave (yes, Brave!) we headed to the woods in anticipation of some early autumn colour…
There was some autumn colour but not as much as we expected. Strange as these woods are both further north and more exposed than those close to home, which show some marked autumn colours. None the less walking through these majestic trees, with some remaining mist below, is rather magical and special…..
Autumn proper is yet to arrive but at least we found our first Conkers of the season…the Horse Chestnut, more advanced than its neighbour the Sweet Chestnut…. despite its spines still playing host to a Ladybird..
The view surrounding the high ground on what is Shipley Woods, does provide some great views over Derbyshire and neighbouring Nottinghamshire..
Looks calm and mellow, but don’t be fooled. It is not that long ago that this was a very different landscape. Mining and related chemical industries was king. Deep mining first, then to add insult to injury Open Cast mining.
The mining did leave another legacy. Here in the middle of Shipley Woods was Shipley Hall. Built with coal money of the mine owners, the Hall and its Lodges was once a rather grand affair. Gardens to match of course. Economic change found the Hall in new ownership and then (some say appropriately) mining subsidence resulted in the Hall being demolished. You can though still see the outline of the foundations…. a reminder of a past long gone.
As for the rest of the estate and mining wasteland it has been restored and a Country Park established. In parts it is still rather bland, but nature does take its time to reclaim its own naturally.
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2020