Saturday, 1 August 2015

Old bridge, Wrest Park

Over the past few years I have crossed this little bridge at Buckle Grove near Wrest Park several times but have never actually seen it. Until earlier this year it was completely obscured by undergrowth such as brambles and blackthorn. Now the stream has been dredged and all the trees and shrubs cut back along the field margin where the stream runs. The bridleway it carries has been built up with chalk hardcore and road planings - in preparation by the farmer for using the nearby woodland for pheasant rearing. It was quite a surprise to come across such a beautiful old stone structure that has remained hidden for many years. The banks of the stream were too steep for me to descend to have a closer look but it did look a little fragile and I am not sure quite how long it will stand up to modern farm traffic. It must be very old. It reminded me of an old stone bridge I knew as a child in Herefordshire which was a much larger structure and had dippers nesting underneath it. From what I can remember that has now been replaced by a modern structure. 

I had been planning to visit this spot today in particular and it was a pleasure to meet a local man walking his dog whilst I was here. We chatted for quite a while about the countryside around here and shared similar observations.

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