Bolton NEWT gave a warm welcome to volunteers Alexander, Jodie and Dave today. Were tidying and clearing the area on around the old bridge footings for the iron footbridge that used to go over the Bolton to Bury railway.
Alexander revelled in the bugs that he found and was thrilled to 'drive' the wheelbarrow, ably supported by mum (Jodie) and Adele. We cleared branches and brambles and slotted them all into a dead hedge along the cycle path. Dave worked tirelessly to dig up the brambles. This was all in preparation for the tree planting with a local school at the end of March.
There's nothing quite like a roaring fire and hot soup to warm the cockles on a damp day and we had a well earned dinner and also toasted the odd marshmallow.
Then we were regaled with the history of the place by Norman who lives near by. The coal from Croft Side Colliery (see map below) was used to fuel the local railway trains. Apparently the cricket pitch on the other side suddenly sank one day because of the cavities beneath. No more cricket! The bridge footings where we work are just near Davenport Farm on this map.
There was a sentry box (opposite the caravan storage space) that held detonators. When the weather was foggy, as the train passed, the detonators were set of to warn the train driver that they would be approaching Bradley Fold station. Imagine that - loud bangs on your journey!
We love wildlife, conservation and history at Bolton NEWT. Let us know if you have any stories of the area and feel free to come to our event, even if just for a chat, a coffee or to splash in puddles with your wellies!