Date & Time: Saturday 1st December 2007. 10.45 am start.

Location of Start : Hatfield Moor Nature Reserve, Doncaster, Uk. ( SE 683 046 )

Places visited : The Humberhead Peat land reserve.

Walk details : 3 mls, zero ft of ascent, 1 hrs 30 mins.

Highest point : The Bog Island Memorial

Walked with : Paula, Thomas, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Sunny and dry.

 

 

We are in central England today visiting family prior to Christmas.

Our daughter Paula suggested we visit the local Hatfield Moors Nature Reserve close to the outskirts of Doncaster.

   
Thomas at the bird hide.
The view from the window . . . not a lot to see today !

The area was an old lowland raised peat bog and gravel pit where commercial activity first stripped the peat, for hauticultural use, and then dredged the gravel pits for building materials. Now closed, the area became derelict and in attempt at reclamation English Nature has established a nature reserve with the ponds and a bird hide, and is making serious efforts at re-flooding the remaining peat areas to encourage re-growth of the sphagnum moss and similar wetland plants.

Walking through the first part of the reserve

we pass this Swan on one of the new lakes.

 

This area has scrub growth of Birch and Hazel trees

The exciting part came as we left the wooded area and reached Hatfield Moors

This is a vast level area that has been flooded to re-generate the peat lands and provide wildlife habitat for marsh and wetland species.

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This area is close to the new Robin Hood International Airport, which has the longest runway of any of the UK commercial airports

longer in fact than those at Heathrow or Gatwick. It was constructed during World War II as a fighter / bomber base.

Bog Island in the centre of Hatfield Moor holds a memorial to one of those wartime planes that failed to return safely to base.

Less than a mile from the runway, the cross marks the crash site of that ill fated night.

A Remembrance wreath has been placed to honour those that died.

The island was accessed by walking the low peat bund walls that have been constructed out into the flooded moorland.

   
Harry leads the way.
Thomas looks at the memorial.

We continued our walk across several of these interconnected paths, after visiting the island.

The tree roots might be several thousands of years old as they may have been held within the deep peat layers.

Subsequent commercial extraction of up to 20 feet of peat has left them discarded.

   
The area is now being re-flooded in sections.
The bund walls retain the water and encourage reformation of the peat.

Paula and Ann

They are also recreating areas of heath land too, and have areas of restricted access where they graze Highland Sheep to control the plant growth.

We return to dry land and walk back through the gravel pit area before leaving for home.

Do visit if you are in the area.

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Back at Paula and Al's house . . .

   
Abigail now two years and three months old,
Thomas is now in Junior School locally

 

His weekend project ~ to make a mask for an Ugly Bug Ball ~ he chose a Ladybird.

Ann admires the final creation.

   
Young Abi - almost matching pink
An avid catalogue reader . . .

Jenna selects a more readable book, Abi is obviously not impressed !

She wants to wear Jenna's hat instead.

Mother and daughter number three - Jenna.

Thomas is off to Martial Arts class Sunday morning.

He has his exam for his Green Belt qualification today.

Thomas aiming for Green Belt status

Time for a little practice with his Grandpop

Hold your cursor over the picture to see the action !

 

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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a sunny day for a marsh walk

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