Gordon G Hall
Writer and Neo-Philhellene

The Silverdale Wanders

All walks start and finish at Silverdale Green by the parish notice board.

Walk Seven

Map A gentle wander through Eaves Wood.

This is one of the shorter walks, concenrating mainly on Eaves Wood but also looking out accross the marshes. On return we pass (pass?) the pub.. .

Distant Wood We make our way past Clarence House again and head accross the field towards the village

Ahead and to the right we can see Eaves Wood, which is where we will be walking. It is in the Arnisde and Silveradale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and largely owned by the National Trust.

Monkey Puzzle You will find yourself having to negotiate another Squeeze Stile

Whilst my, admittedly somewhat corpulant, self can fit through the top part of this ancient stone contraption I really have no idea how to negotiate it with my feet! I think the only way is to sort of swing yourself through with hands on the stoops. You see if you put one foot through then there is not room for the other leg to follow!

Oh the intricacies of country walking!

Monkey Puzzle Through the village and turn left at the war memorial and we are back in that rather modern part of the village.

We need to turn right just after the Monkey Puzzle tree.

Now I can just about accept these somewaht unsatifactory trees in Victorian town parks, or in Arboreta, however to nurture such a monstrosity in a subrban garden is beyond my capacity for aesthetic comprehension!

Pass on, and quickly, up the lane and into the woodland.

Twisted Beech Folow such path as you can best find, keeping slightly to the right until you find the main path that runs nearthe top of the wood

I love ancient woodlands, and Eaves Wood is such a pperfect example. There are oak, and Juniper, and wonderful old Beech, like this twisted example.

The understory is rich in interest with wood ants, ferns, and of course Lilly of the Valley.

You might just come accross a small flat platform without any obvious road leading to it. Most likely this is a pitstead, where the charcoal burners would burn their tmber. If you just scratch down beneath the turf surface you will find tiny bits of charcoal, and you will know that you did indeed find a pitstead.

Farm If you emerge from the wood at the right place you will see a farmstead below you to the left.

This is not a pleasing steading although I suppose there is some mild interest in sorting out its develpment over the past 100 years. I mean that some farmsteads have charm, some do not. Guess which this one is!

The farmhouse is, I would guess, about 250 years old. The attached barn is a little later, but in natural stone, as is the small building to the left. Along come the 1950's and a pretty grim wooden structure, I imagine it was a cow byre. Then the dark gabled sheds and finally the metal construction. I suppose it all works for the farmer - but it does not work in any aesthetic sense

Marshes If we turn to our right there is a very different vista. The Marshes.They are now a haven for birds. for much of this flatland and water is owned by the RSPB.

Originally this land was esturial, however in the C18th there was an ambitios reclamation scheme that drained the area, stopped the sea from encroaching, and after a while removed the saline element. The area became noted for its cereal production

Difficult Style A little further on and we see the estuary as it is today

Within a hundred years of the original reclamation the rot set in. The sea wall was breached and the area reverted to saltmarsh. Things were improved a little in C20th and the sea was kept at bay. First wildfowling, then birdwatching ensured that the area remained wild enough for these activities and so the excellent farming land was never recovered.

Difficult Style We need to retrace our steps slightly to pick up the path at the bottom of Eaves wood and to make our way back to the village

This time we will amble down the main street with the pub, the Royal Silverdale, on our right. I hope it is open for you, this photo was taken during lockdown.

And that concludes WALK SEVEN

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Distant Fells
Inspiration from this glorious world.