You’re sure to get a buzz by walk­ing new her­itage trail

Macclesfield Express - - THE LAUGHING BADGER - SEAN WOOD

IN 2012 I was asked by Ir­well Val­ley Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion to sur­vey the Nat­u­ral History of Haughton Green in Tame­side, and to share my find­ings with res­i­dents.

But it soon be­came ob­vi­ous that the ‘Green’ had so much more to of­fer res­i­dents and visi­tors alike, that I pro­posed a Liv­ing Her­itage Trail for the area, which would link the present with the past, the in­dus­trial, so­cial and eco­nomic, with the birds, mam­mals and flow­ers, and in­deed the rel­a­tively mod­ern hous­ing es­tate with the his­toric old Haughton Vil­lage.

Af­ter three years of hard work, I’m de­lighted to say that the trail opens on Fri­day, Septem­ber 18.

On my first visit to the es­tate I spot­ted a buz­zard cir­cling on the ther­mals above the three high-rise blocks, and as the bird of prey moved off to­wards St Mary’s Church he fol­lowed on past clumps of wild blue­bells, down Meadow Lane to­wards the ‘Long Row’ of ter­raced houses, built for the work­ers at the Haughton Dale Wire­works, and I could still hear the bird ‘mew­ing’ by the time I reached Haughton Dale House built in 1793, with the Side­botham Coat of Arms, in re­lief, on the house’s south­ern el­e­va­tion.

The buz­zard, also fac­ing south, soon van­ished over a fine stand of ma­ture trees and I found my­self at the en­trance of Haughton Dale Re­serve, my ar­rival her­alded by the laugh­ing call of a green wood­pecker, a dash­ing spar­rowhawk and the won­der­ful smell of wild gar­lic, and all within 10 min­utes.

Ven­tur­ing a few hun­dred yards along the path, there are in­trigu­ing re­mains of old build­ings and lodges by the fast-flow­ing River Tame, and in turn I was greeted by the loud call of a grey heron and the quite mag­nif­i­cent flash of elec­tric blue, bet­ter known as the king­fisher.

The Trail was inspired by the short walk de­scribed here, a reaf­fir­ma­tion that here in Eng­land, in both town and coun­try, we have a trea­sure trove on our doorstep, and to be hon­est I was ashamed that I had not vis­ited the place be­fore.

Not only did I con­ceive, re­search and write the in­for­ma­tion for the Trail In­ter­pre­ta­tive Boards, web­site and other publi­ca­tions but, I in­vented ‘Buzz’ seen here, who guides visi­tors, and of­fers his own slant on history.

The Laugh­ing Badger Gallery, 99 Platt Street, Pad­field, Glos­sop

●● Buzz will guide visi­tors to the Liv­ing Her­itage Trail

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.