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Aerial view of Chester Road looking East"


June 2005



Christmas Walk, Buckley, Sunday 28th December 2008

by Jon Payne


On a cold sunny morning 25 members gathered in Higher Common Close Buckley and started over the frozen ground to walk off the Christmas and Boxing Day feasting.


We went round the pool on Buckley Higher Common watching a variety of water birds, mallard, moorhen, coot, common and black headed gulls, Canada geese, two white domestic geese and a heron as we circled away towards Etna Road and St Matthew's Church. Down past Mount Pool and into Mount Pleasant we followed the Buckley Heritage Trail past the completed Standard Landfill site, fields white with hoar frost on our right from which a grazing pony watched us troop by.


We turned off left along the board walk past the Standard settling lagoons created to take the run off water from the reworked landfill site used for coal and clay extraction in the 1980's. The silt settled and water was pumped off into a nearby ditch. The lagoons became populated by Great Crested Newts and there is an interpretation board explaining this, which was contributed to by NEWWildlife. From here we carried on along the track bordering fields now restored from what was, well over twenty years ago, the Cross Tree open cast mining site. Turning right down towards the A55, we went single file along a brook at the edge of fields full of sheep, horses, and flocks of feeding Fieldfares, past gorse in frost covered bloom. ("When gorse is not in bloom, kissing is out of fashion"!)


Up Liverpool Road past the Village Vets we turned down Smithy Lane and at the right hand bend at the bottom struck off left across the frozen rutted fields, noting a lone figure with a metal detector looking for treasure trove, and panted our way up towards the Brookhill Landfill site. From here we could look down onto Deeside and the suspension bridge glistening in the frosty air under a blue sky.


We turned right along the disused Buckley railway line past the Brookhill mitigation site with its twenty or so ponds created for the Great Crested Newts displaced when the Brookhill Landfill site was begun in the Brick and Tile Claypit in the late 1980's and has been managed by NEWWildlife since then. Past Pickow Farm and through the new St Matthews Housing estate we emerged up onto the Etna Park with views over the Dee towards Liverpool and Hilbre Island. This is yet another landfill site that has been returned to recreational use.


Through the woods that fringe the lower slopes of Etna Park we walked past St Matthews Church and back across the common to Higher Common Close where we all had a welcome glass of hot mulled wine and mince pies; a fitting end to a bracing winter walk.







Author: North East Wales Wildlife 1


Year = 2005

Month = June

Landscape = Urban

Extra = 2000s

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