Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ouseburn 2013: Part the Second

Ouseburn July 2013 Part II

After a pause, I'll continue ...

Actually, my computer died and I had to bury it and get another. So I will hasten to conclude this two parter with as few words of delay as possible.

From this point of my walk I might as well been in a great forest. Huge trees above me on the bank to my right stretched branches out overhead, creating deep shade on what was the end of another brilliant day in this Summer of 2013. The second slide in the show is of a Trifid-like Giant Hogweed lingering menacingly in the shade, taken from a safe distance. One to keep an eye on ...

My walk took me along the road past the allotments ranged over a flat land adjacent to the burn; the road can be busy and sometimes very unsafe because of the lack of a proper footpath and some blind bends. It serves the emergency services well, apparently, and that has meant little can be done to divert or slow traffic down. Thankfully, the majority of vehicles using this route are driven with consideration for other road users, though, evenso, I would have liked to have seen some 'rumble strips' – raised speed bumps of a kind – just as a precautionary warning. Not that we are going to get them. Nor the other brilliant idea put forward at a public meeting by a woman who suggested decorative gates as a visual signal that this was a special road.

It is still special for all that.

My walk ended by going up onto the flyover that carries traffic through Cradlewell onwards to the junction with the Coast Road. When this flyover was built back in the last years of the past century people (young, fit people) climbed into trees to stop felling operations and to protest the intrusion of a new dual carriageway road through this idyllic dene. They were hauled out of their perches by bailiffs recruited from the climbing fraternity. But the point was made and more time and trouble spent on landscaping and some architectural details than might have once been the case. (I still feel the portico entrances to the short tunnel linking the flyover to the Cradlewell could have been more sensitively designed and built). A benefit of the flyover has been to make the dene below so much quieter and safer to walk. One local ecologist spoke of his delight in seeing fewer dead creatures, killed by traffic, that were a sad feature of the old road.

What we have now is a true 'green lung' and animals and birds can thrive here in peace as I hope these photographs show. But the price of this enjoyment is vigilance.