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A Lane Called Lafford-a Country Stroll.

Updated on August 6, 2015

New build

newly constructed stone houses lie in the dell which once held the old Grove laundry; D.A.L.
newly constructed stone houses lie in the dell which once held the old Grove laundry; D.A.L.

Notes from a Lancashire Country Man.

Lafford Lane is a local country lane that I have walked along countless number of times. Under normal circumstances country lanes are a pleasant way to get from A to B. From the windows of the metal boxes we drive only a fleeting glimpse of this linear habitat is afforded to us. However, a stroll down a country lane can be rewarding nature lovers.

The lane is accessed from the busy A577. Immediately you turn into the lane there is a small group of newly constructed houses that lie below in a dell , where the old Grove Laundry used to stand.walking past the "grove" there are a couple of more dwellings on either side of the lane before a small pasture is encountered on the right hand side. There is a linear line of trees on each side of the lane which include oak, elder, hawthorn, ash and willow. On the left hand side of the lane a ditch divides the lane from arable land. This ditch is tenanted by plants such as stitchwort, comfrey, lesser celandine and coltsfoot. While on the opposite side of the lane a stretch of scrub land is particularly popular with small birds that in turn attract predators such as the sparrowhawk. I have heard tiny feathered mites shrieking their direst threats at them as soon as they appear in the locality. This land also plays host to the rosebay willow herb, which spreads like a pink fire during the summer months. At the end of the ditch the footpath also concludes. At this point as the lane bends to the left , the driveway that allows access to Holland Hall is on the right. The Country Hotel is famous for its food and for functions of all types. In a matter of yards a lovely old farm house attracts the attention Set back of the lane fronted by a lawned garden.

Handsome farm house

This handsome farmhouse attracts the eye. D.A.L.
This handsome farmhouse attracts the eye. D.A.L.

A few more yards along, the driveway to Dean Wood golf course is encountered on the left, Just beyond the golf course Dean Wood lies in a valley. It is a semi ancient woodland a rare habitat in its own right. The lane now slightly descends between arable land. There are many mature beech trees on either side of the lane. Many of these trees are clad with ivy which has lofty ambitions. It is not long before Another farmhouse is encountered on the right hand side. The "paddocks" stands back away from the lane . On the corner of the drive way stands one of the finest of beech trees with a wide girth and spreading canopy. Just after this location the lane bends to the left a descends quite steeply. On the left is a small woodland with a stream that tumbles down from the high banking that divides the woodland from the arable fields beyond., before babbling along the woodland floor. During April and May the pungent smell of wild garlic fills the air, as the foliage carpets the woodland. At this time lesser celandine and coltsfoot compete for space. The woodland runs parallel with the lane until it reaches the bottom of the hill. Here the birds are fed at strategically placed feeding stations which attract birds such as the chaffinch, Greenfinch, gold finch and nut hatch. To the right a track that leads through pastures ( and gives access to Dean Wood) that are grazed by horses.

Gallery of sights

Many of the trees are clad with ivy. Ivy gives a safe haven to many creatures. D.A.L.
Many of the trees are clad with ivy. Ivy gives a safe haven to many creatures. D.A.L.
The lane descends quite steeply with a wooded dell on the left. D.A.L.
The lane descends quite steeply with a wooded dell on the left. D.A.L.
The sign helps to keep the traffic moving at a more sedate pace. D.A.L.
The sign helps to keep the traffic moving at a more sedate pace. D.A.L.
The flowers of colts foot compete for space. D.A.L.
The flowers of colts foot compete for space. D.A.L.
A recently renovated farm house is located at the side of the lane. D.A.L.
A recently renovated farm house is located at the side of the lane. D.A.L.

Lafford Lane continues

Lafford Lane now continues turning left to climb up a steep hill for a short distance. Walking up this steep incline there is on the left hand side a piece of scrub land, that is, at the time of writing, being cleared. This land is in a dell below the level of the lane. On the right hand side are tall holly trees that have been maintained as a hedgerow, making an impenetrable barrier. Being evergreen the holly is another species that gives protection to birds and small animals throughout the year. {see my hub A PRICKLY SUBJECT.} The lane at the top of the hill bends round to the right where a recently renovated farm house can be observed { see photograph above}. On the right hand side of the lane after the bend there is a tall red bricked wall , presumably the side of a farm building in the past. At the foot of this wall hedge garlic grows throughout the summer. This is the only plant outside the onion family that tastes and smells of garlic. I have utilised the foliage of this plant many times to make a sauce in the same manner as you would make a home made mint sauce. It is excellent with fish dishes. Forget me nots, colts foot and stitchwort are also found in this locality. The left hand side of the lane is given over to fertile arable land. Walking along this straight stretch of the lane a ditch may be encountered dividing the lane from the arable land. There is a line of trees and shrubs over looking the ditch. This ditch is a nesting place for the summer visiting white throat. This species has raised many families here over the years. Half way down this flat stretch of the lane there is a group of affluent cottages whose gardens are immaculately maintained.

On the left hand side some distance along there is a cottage whose stone work has been painted white making it attractive to the eye from all around this region. Both sides of the lane after this point is dominated by arable land. This land is visited by a diversity of wild life throughout the year, but even more so during the breeding season.

Pockets of woodland.Bottom Maple buds breaking

Little pockets of woodland dotted around the arable fields support wildlife. D.A.L.
Little pockets of woodland dotted around the arable fields support wildlife. D.A.L.
Maple just breaking into leaf. D.A.L.
Maple just breaking into leaf. D.A.L.

The bird life

The bird life that inhabit the fields are rook, carrion crow, wood pigeon and one of my most favourite birds of all the sky lark. The notes that cascade down from this feathered jewel is worthy of the walk alone. The guttural call of the pheasant as he struts around the edge of the woodland is also common place.

The lane eventually meets with another. At this point I turned left. At the top of this road where it meets the main road in the village of Roby Mill there stands an the Fox Inn. Another fine establishment that serves excellent food. After a summer evening s stroll it is nice to sit in the beer garden and enjoy a long , cool pint of beer, before I retrace my steps along Lafford lane, on my journey home, having encountered farm vehicles but not a single car during this walk.

Farm traffic. Bottom Fox Inn

I encountered farm vehicles but not a single car.D.A.L.
I encountered farm vehicles but not a single car.D.A.L.
The fox inn where a cool drink on a summer's evening is the order of the day. D.A.L.
The fox inn where a cool drink on a summer's evening is the order of the day. D.A.L.

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    • D.A.L. profile image
      Author

      Dave 8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      jayjay thank you , glad you enjoyed it.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 8 years ago from Bristol England

      What a lovely walk, beautiful photographs.

    • D.A.L. profile image
      Author

      Dave 8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      GeneralHowlitzer, Thank you for reading and for the advise given via your email, much appreciated.

      Darlene, always a pleasure to have you accompany me on my walks. Thank you my friend.

      Paul, thank you for reading. Your complimentary comments are appreciated and I admire your writings also.

      the Voice, nice to meet you thank you for the visit. I will be over to your hubs soon!

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 8 years ago from carthage ill

      first class hub pictures great thanks

    • paul_gibsons profile image

      paul_gibsons 8 years ago from Gibsons, BC, Canada

      another great hub on a very local subject, an area I know nothing about, but I would love to go and visit following reading it. Your eye for detail and the way you describe even the minutest ones, is something I am jealous of.... I'll have to keep trying.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Hello my dear friend, it is really raining today, so please wait for me to put on my boots and coat for our wonderful walk today. I love the first community of homes. I want to move their...Okay now I am ready and this will be a great stroll with a wonderful friend. Darski

    • GeneralHowitzer profile image

      Gener Geminiano 8 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Great Hub DAL and great pictures too btw just posted something on your email feel free to read it though.

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