During recent weeks we've been to one of our local medical centres several times for various reasons as our dental practice is there and I attend a special clinic. Yesterday I left Mr. P. at the medical centre and took a walk along the path to the entrance to Beeley Wood as I had done the week before. It's also possible to get down to the river by crossing the park, but I decided to go along by the road before taking the path that runs along by the park fencing.
There's a row of pretty stone built cottages along this stretch of the road.
Beeley Wood was developed in the 18th and 9th century from a rural to an industrial area. A series of weirs and dams were built in the valley to provide water power for the forges and rolling mills. The first weir diverted river flows to a pond which served a forge which made scythes until the 1950s. The building housing the forge was demolished and the pond filled in. The site is now part of the Claywheels Lane Industrial Estate.
Some steps lead down to the river.
The bridge over the River Don takes the walker to the Claywheels Industrial Estate. There's another path along the far bank.
The area in the river where the old weir was located.
The Environment Agency together with the Don River Trust, the Canals and River Trust and Yorkshire Water are working to make weirs on the river passable for fish. In 2016 the Environment Agency removed a section of Beeley Wood lower weir, which was already damaged, to allow the river to return to its natural depth. The natural pattern of fast-flowing shallows (riffles) and deeper, slower pool and an improved habitat not only allows fish to spawn, but aquatic invertebrates such as mayflies can breed and attract birds such as dippers and wagtails. Of course, these agencies have to carefully manage such waters that are flowing through suburban and urban areas and in addition incidents such as serious flooding can create major problems. Heavy rainfall in 2007 and flooding caused a landslip on a section of the bank as water ran down from the hills above. The road had to be closed for several months and traffic was diverted along narrow lanes on higher ground so that the bank could be made safe by reinforcing it and the surrounding damaged area. I didn't see any dippers or wagtails, but one lone duck was valiantly trying to swim against the fast flowing water.
I returned to the main road by climbing up these steps. It has been school half term week and there were families out and about also taking a walk in the wooded area by the river and children playing in the recreation area in the park.
Today our two local grandchildren came over for lunch and afterwards we went to a gelateria in town as a late birthday outing and also to celebrate the end of our granddaughter's two years of college studies. Once more thank you for coming by and for the comments left on my last blog post. As always, wishing you a good day.