ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wirral Walks - Caldy Hill in Spring

Updated on July 24, 2012

Caldy Hill (260ft high) sits on the west coast of Britain, on the Wirral peninsula, between the villages of West Kirby and Caldy.

The following photographs were all taken on 17th March, 2010, during a walk around Stapledon Woods on Caldy Hill. Spring was only just beginning to re-awaken in the woods, which are home to a wide variety of wildlife, deciduous and evergreen trees, gorse and heather. This woodland was given to the people of West Kirby by science-fiction writer, William Olaf Stapledon, who lived in Caldy.

The whole area covers 250 acres, 13 of these being owned by the National Trust, and includes Newton Common and Stapledon Woods.

Winding Paths of Stapledon Woods

Walking around Caldy Hill can be tricky, and stout footwear is advisable. If you wander off the main tracks, be aware that there are hidden drops and fissures in the hillside, and also the undergrowth is dense and thorny. Stick to the paths, and visitors should be fine.

Winding paths go off in all directions. These vary from the hard, red sandstone paths which are often laced with thick tree roots, to soft and springy - sometimes marshy - soil tracks through the lower levels of the hillside.

There a numerous benches set at strategic points so visitors can enjoy panoramic views over the mouth of the River Dee, looking across to the Flintshire hills in Wales or out past the three little islands of Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre to the mouth of the River Mersey and the Irish Sea.

The Dee Estuary attracts thousands of migrating seabirds in spring and autumn, but the woods on Caldy Hill are home all year round to many birds and other wildlife.

Woodland paths snake over autumn leaves and rock.
Woodland paths snake over autumn leaves and rock.
Tree root thread round rock along steep and rugged paths.
Tree root thread round rock along steep and rugged paths.
WIrral greetings cards & a huge range of gifts at Spooky Cute Designs.
WIrral greetings cards & a huge range of gifts at Spooky Cute Designs.
A verdant gown of ivy.
A verdant gown of ivy.
Ruins Metropolis
Ruins Metropolis

A trip to her local New Age store brings Tracy into conflict with the notorious Caldy Hill fae. This story features in Ruins Metropolis, an anthology published by Hadley Rille Books in June 2008.

 

Faerie Folks in Old Oaks!

Caldy Hill boasts numerous species of tree, not least the mighty English oak.

Greeks, Romans, Celts, Slavs and Teutonic tribes venerated the oak tree above all others, being sacred to Zeus, Jupiter, Dagda, Perun and Thor.  Ancient Druids practised their rites in groves of oak trees (and some modern ones still do!)  Some people believe that carrying a piece of oak in your pocket will bring good luck.

One of the most enduring of beliefs is that the oak tree can be a magical gateway into other dimensions, such as Tir-na-nOg or the realm of the Lords and Ladies, or faerie folk.  If an oak tree grew beside a dark woodland pond then the likelihood of this being true was believed to increase.  And on Caldy Hill you will find a dark, very still pond (in wetter months, anyway - it tends to dry out in the height of summer) surrounded by a natural grove of oaks.

Could Caldy Hill be home to faerie folk?  Well, the realms of possibility are said to be endless...

 

Wildlife on Caldy Hill

Tangled undergrowth is home to birds, lizards, mice and toads.
Tangled undergrowth is home to birds, lizards, mice and toads.

Many birds make their home on Caldy Hill.  Jays, robins, wrens, thrush, mistlethrush, blackbirds, kestrals, bullfinch, goldfinch, bluetits, cuckoo, woodpecker and more.

Tree species include oak, ash, holly, birch, sycamore, elm and chestnut.

Foxes, lizards, adders and grass snakes, frogs, common and natterjack toads also live here. 

Queen bee emerging from her winter hibernation.
Queen bee emerging from her winter hibernation.
An old stone gatepost stands beside a woodland path.
An old stone gatepost stands beside a woodland path.
Gorse blooms yellow beside the red sandstone trail.
Gorse blooms yellow beside the red sandstone trail.
Waiting for spring to re-green the trees.
Waiting for spring to re-green the trees.
Narrow rocky trail leading to the summit of Caldy Hill.
Narrow rocky trail leading to the summit of Caldy Hill.

The Summit of Caldy Hill

The stone plinth displays a bronze map of Wirral.
The stone plinth displays a bronze map of Wirral.
View from Caldy Hill - overlooking West Kirby and the Dee Estuary where Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island are cut off from the Wirral mainland by swift tides.
View from Caldy Hill - overlooking West Kirby and the Dee Estuary where Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island are cut off from the Wirral mainland by swift tides.
Heather grows freely on Caldy Hill's summit, giving a home to lizards and snakes.
Heather grows freely on Caldy Hill's summit, giving a home to lizards and snakes.
A young oak clings to last year's leaves.
A young oak clings to last year's leaves.
Lichens cling to a stately silver birch.
Lichens cling to a stately silver birch.
A marriage of root and rock.
A marriage of root and rock.

© 2010 Adele Cosgrove-Bray

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile imageAUTHOR

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      9 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      Glad you enjoyed it; thanks for dropping by.

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      Great article very informative.

    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile imageAUTHOR

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      9 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      Thank you, Michael; I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      9 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      I felt like I was there for a momment! Lovely hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)