Friday, 20 July 2012

A part ride, part hike starting at Fox and Parrot Wood

Set off for a little bit of a ride with my son Kyle today, me on my Sandman and Kyle on my Ibis. Decided to set off along to Craghead then cut through Fox Parrot Wood and up towards West Pelton.

Kyle and Me @ Fox Parrot Wood

Fox Parrot Wood

• Ancient and new woodland • Excellent for dog walking • Wide open spaces
Fox and Parrot Wood, named in memory of a local doctor and his beloved bird, forms part of County Durham's Great North Forest. The gently undulating grass rides make this site ideal for strolling in the fresh air and admiring the beautiful broadleaved woodland that has been taking shape here since 1998.
As well as being popular with dog walkers, this site offers a sense of boundless space where walkers can roam freely and even explore the ancient semi-natural woodland in adjoining Twizell Wood. The establishment of Fox and Parrot Wood has been important to the area's biodiversity, having been planted on improved grassland after the decline of opencast coal mining in the 1980s. This 21-acre wood was planted in two phases in 1998 and 2004 under the Trust's Woods on Your Doorstep Project and the Forestry Commission's New Native Woodland Scheme. The site will continue to be maintained as native broadleaf high forest woodland until it begins to regenerate naturally over the next hundred years and beyond.

I spotted some rather nice poppies in a field, so clambered over a fence to get a few shots.

Continued up and around the back of what I think is called Eden Hill Farm and then a quick cross over the road and round the back of Twizell lane I knew there was a trail somewhere to the back of the lane. I got my eye on a sign which showed it could be used for walkers as well as cyclists, so said to Kyle "hey why don't we try this way I've never been up here before". Typical I would end up getting us stuck in a huge field.It wasn't too bad to ride up the hill in the field at first because a farmer had been up with his tractor, however when we got to the top and the tractor trail branched off it was real tough going as the grass was just so dense and very high. I spotted a bit woodland of to the side of the field so we headed over towards that. .....No trail I could see so it was a case of making our own. Finally got out of the woods and onto a short section of what looked like where a tractor had been and yeah you guessed it right back into another field. So again set off pushing our bikes till we spotted a gate into yet another field. Opened the gate,went through...yes we closed the gate responsible bikers us lol. Then more pushing till we saw a break in the fence which led into some woods.

 These woods were over by what we call the new road (the road from Stanley down to Chester -Le -Street) I knew where we  were then. If I had taken the original trail I was going to at the back of Twizell lane it would have led directly into these woods. Once through the woods it was just a case of crossing over the main road and on to the C2C, then a small ride home. So just a small loop of roughly 10 miles, but it was quite funny, nettled yet again, didn't fall off today so that's a bonus....

Kyle riding on the edge of one of the many fields we visited

Haven't a clue what this pointy object made of stone is in the woods.....

Ooh scary Kyle

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