Wonderful Woodland Walk No. 1


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Turn left out of Roughlee Village car park and follow the road downhill and across the bridge over Pendle Water to the road junction. Follow the public footpath by the left-hand side of the Bay Horse Inn and follow the steps up the steep slope behind the pub passing Laurel, Sycamore and Ash above your head with Herb-Robert, Hedge Garlic, Great Willowherb, Ivy, Wood Avens, hybrid Bluebells, Meadow Buttercup, Nettle, Nipplewort, Pignut and Broad Buckler-fern at your feet.

Join Stang Top Road with care, turn left and follow the road until you come to a footpath on the left just past the end of the caravan park. Follow the footpath straight on through six long thin fields, the seventh having a new Hawthorn and Hazel hedgerow planted on the left-hand side.

Follow the path until you come to Hugh Wood (part of White Hough and Hugh Woods Local Wildlife Site – called Biological Heritage Sites in Lancashire: ref: BHS84SW08), with Common Lime, Beech and Horse-chestnut trees visible on the edge. Enter Hugh Wood and descend carefully looking out for Common Dog-violet, Ramsons, Enchanter’s-nightshade, Germander Speedwell, Herb-Robert, Water Avens, Bistort, Giant Horsetail, Barren Strawberry and ferns including Hart’s-tongue.

At the bottom of the slope there are Wych Elm, Lime and Horse-chestnut trees. Follow Blacko Water upstream, not down, until you reach White Hough Lane, which is lined with Pine, Birch, Horse-chestnut and Copper Beech trees with Slacks Wood on the far side of the river.

Turn right following the signs for White Hough Outdoor Education Centre. When you come to a small brick building on the right before the Centre, follow the footpath on the far side of the building and enter White Hough Plantation, looking out for Alder, Beech, Hawthorn, Hazel, Holly, Sycamore and Willow.

When you reach a wooden footbridge, the tree behind you is a Beech, but the tree on the far side of the bridge is a Hornbeam, which has a more twisted bark pattern and its leaf edges have teeth, unlike Beech.

The plantation behind the Hornbeam has Beech, Larch and Spruce in the canopy and Wood-sorrel, Hard Fern, Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage and Bluebell on the woodland floor.

Continue through the woodland, ignoring a footpath into a field on the right, passing Holly, Larch, Birch and Pine on the way, with Rowan towards the end, looking out for Foxglove (in flower June – August).

Leave the woodland though a gate and continue uphill (not right) up some steps and past a new plantation of Alder, Ash, Birch, Dogwood, Hawthorn and Hazel to your left. Follow the path with Spruce and Blackthorn on your right, but can you spot the Alder and Aspen in there too?

Continue downhill passing Horse-chestnut and Blackthorn until you come to the driveway to Intake Farm – turn left and follow the driveway to Stang Top Road Road.

At the road turn left heading uphill under a canopy of Oak, Hawthorn, Hazel, Sycamore, Ash and Holly looking out for Bluebell, Red Campion, ferns, Greater Stitchwort, Nipplewort, Herb-Robert, Germander Speedwell, Marsh Hawk’s-beard and Bush Vetch.

At a left-hand bend in the road, take the driveway on the right to Hollin Top (Private), passing, appropriately, a row of Hollies on the left-hand side of the drive. Hollin Top Farmhouse is a Grade II Listed Building (since 1988) built in the 17th Century with a stone slate roof supported by king posts and queen struts, having two storeys, two cells and gable entrances with a porch on the left-hand gable. The ground floor has two, three and four-light stone mullion windows with chamfered mullions and surrounds. The gable walls have chimney stacks.

Just before you reach Hollin Top take the footpath on your right that heads downhill through Banks Ends Wood (a Local Wildlife Site – called Biological Heritage Sites in Lancashire: ref: 84SW12), and then continues down through fields to an ancient sunken trackway.

Turn right and follow the track to Middlewood Farm (now Cottage). Follow the path down in between Hollin Farm and its outbuildings, then bear right instead of heading down to the road, and pass Roughlee Old Hall on your right, which is a Grade II Listed Building (since 1953) built of stone in the late 16th Century and having a stone slate roof [see page 13].

The track leads back to the road junction with the Bay Horse Inn beyond.