Two red kites soar alongside the A1 in North Yorkshire. A buzzard circles over the Northumbrian Hills. When we first started making our way to Scotland along the A68 in the 1980s, as well as the wild scenery along the route we had the choice of two picnic sites, each with a woodland nature trail, to choose from to take a break from the driving.
At Toy Top near Tow Law, the theme of the trail was forestry (introduced on the interpretation panels by nursery rhyme characters) while at Collier Wood the trail touched on the history of the landscape, inviting you to pause at a view out over the hills, and pointed out a well worn badger trail.
By the time I started writing my online diaries in 1998, the picnic sites and trails were looking a bit the worse for wear as the toilets got vandalised and the edges of the car park started to get strewn with litter. Toy Top was the first to close but Collier Wood lingered on and when we took Barbara’s parents to the wedding of their eldest grandchild at North Berwick we were still able to take a break here.
It was the last time that we went on a country walk, a short country walk, with Bill, Barbara’s dad, who died the following month and it also turned out to be the last time we were able to walk around that familiar woodland trail. Happy memories.
Link: Collier Wood from my Wild West Yorkshire nature diary for 18 October 1998
Collier Wood in August 2000.