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Monday, 13 January 2014

Boxing day walk, floods, reflections and tree planting

First my apologies for leaving it so long between my last blog and this one but like for most people Christmas holidays are a busy time of year. With one child back at school last week and another today, things are starting to settle back down again. Just my daughter home now but she has been home full-time for over a year now due to her health and suffering from CFS/ME. This Friday I have a home visit from the local Autism SEN team to see if we get the funding and help with some of her education. I have waited so long for this visit and have all my fingers and toes crossed. So far it has just been left to me with her education and it has been a long time since I was in year 11. It's like learning all over again for me. It was different when they were younger but as they get older, home educating gets harder. I need some good news as far as my daughter is concerned so wish us luck.

This Christmas holiday I was able to escape a little more than usual as my husband was home for an extended holiday. It really made a difference having him home for all this time. He is more of a homebody than myself but is happy for me to go out for a walk and  for him to stay at home with the children. When possible he does join me but my walks are often my own these days especially since our daughter became ill.

Boxing Day I woke up to a lovely sunny day and really wanted to get out for a walk. With everyone still in bed, I thought I could pop out before they woke and that I would probably be back before they even noticed I had gone. I don't know what has happened this Christmas but for the 1st time that I can remember, my husband and our children have all been sleeping to at least lunchtime. I am used to my daughter doing this but then she is in bed most of the time with her CFS/ME but as for the rest of them... I am not. I must say though, I did enjoy the quiet morning, a real luxury I enjoyed  :)

So there I was heading down the Fossway to Charlecote wondering what I might find. I had popped over for a walk a few days before Christmas and the river was already high. With the storm and the rain we had had over Christmas eve, part of me dreaded what I would see. It's strange but over the years I have grown to love Charlecote and must say it is my favourite escape. I could spend hours there either just walking or sat in a quiet spot watching the wildlife. I have grown to care what happens to the estate so I did worry it might be flooded after the storm. I actually walked through the gates to a lovely sight, a herd of bucks there right in front of the house waiting to greet me. I thought it made a lovely picture with the house in the background and a lovely start to my walk.

As I walked around the estate the view changed form a lovely greeting to floods. When you first enter the estate you are on higher ground and with the house standing in your direct view. You don't see the river or the lower part of the estates until you start to explore a little more. The first view you see as you walk around the house is the river creeping up the steps at the rear of the house.
Click on the pictures to see them bigger.

This might look bad already but within a few days after a lot more rain the water rose again and I noticed they were pumping out the cellar. I will show you the difference. 

This first photo was taken on Boxing Day. 

The next two were taken last Monday on the 6th January. 

The lovely Orchard all under water.

Two more pictures of the same place on the two different days. The meadow on Boxing Day which is normally where the sheep live but with the river already high before Christmas Eve, and more rain forecast, the staff had moved the sheep to the main Park area near Charlecote Church which was a really good idea seeing what had happened the following days.

This was the Meadow on Monday. I don't know how deep the actual Meadow was as the land is slightly higher by the gate.

The sheep safe and dry in the main park.

As you can see on Boxing Day the water was already really high and the wildlife were using it more like a lake than a Meadow. These next photos show the meadow on Boxing Day. I am sorry I have none to compare from the 6th as the water levels in this area were too high and Hill Park around the back of the lake was cut off from the rest of the Estate as both bridges were not passable by foot.

One of the bridges to Hill Park and the Meadow at the back on the right.

Just to give you an idea of where the water levels normally are here and that you really don't want to be crossing at this point, here is a picture showing you what it normally looks like here.

 I found it quite upsetting to see Charlecote like this but part of me also wanted to see it.

The meadow Boxing Day taken from the higher ground of Hill Park.

As you can see the wildlife are treating it as a lake.

Even the Swans were there.

The next two photos will give you a better idea of how bad the floods were if you haven't been to Charlecote before. The first photo was taken in November this year. The second on Monday and I have been told the floods can get a lot worse than this.

The disappearing waterfall, as it normally is and how it was Boxing day

But by last Monday the water was that much higher that you were getting reflections on the grass on the right.

You can't tell from the photo below where the waterfall or anything else was. Is is so sad to see it like this but it is happening more and more.

Even with the floods at Charlecote I enjoyed my walks and there was still plenty of dry land to walk on. The extra water around the estate made everything look different and I have to say was great for reflections.

Now for something a little more positive to tell you about. With the New Year comes the new planting of trees. Charlecote are planting 20 trees in total and looking for people who would like to join in the celebration. Maybe like for me Charlecote is a special place for you, or you have fond memories of growing up coming to the park or for any other reason you would like to join them and mark a special occasion. Here is more information about it all and how to get in touch. 

I was really lucky to be at the first tree planting of this year and it was even better as it was the elder gentleman who I often meet around the park and have mentioned before. A lovely man who comes for his exercise around the park and he is 91 years of age. I hope I am that fit at his age! 
Not even the floods stopped the tree planting on Monday. It was the other side of the flooded bridges so Charlecote staff ferried everyone who wanted to go across in their taxi for the day.

Crossing the Bridge into Hill Park which has a drop either side.

Back on dry land in Hill Park. You can see a little of the flooded Meadow in the background of this photo.

The tree planting.

Everyone seemed to join in on the day, it was lovely to see.

A very happy and proud Fred with his daughters and the new tree.

Thank you again for reading my blogs. Hope you enjoyed this one too.

With snow forecast in the near future, I thought I would re-share my snowy pictures of Charlecote Park

Also a link to Charlecote Park's national Trust page.

And a video they made about the Tree Planting

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