Wonderful Woodland Walk No. 2


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Turn left out of the car park and follow the road downhill and over the bridge over Pendle Water to the road junction. Follow the road to the right, crossing over to take the track in between Stang Top Road and Blacko Bar Road, passing Roughlee Old Hall on your left, which is a Grade II Listed Building (since 1953) built of stone in the late 16th Century and having a stone slate roof. It has a H-shaped plan with hall and cross wings. A stone inscription attached to the gable is partly illegible but said to read, ‘This house was built by M.N. in the year of Our Lord, 1536’. The 1st floor has two, four, six and eight-light windows, all original windows having round headed lights and stone mullions. There is a projecting chimney on the right side. The Hall was the home of Miles Nutter at the time of the Pendle Witches. The Hall is now divided into three private dwellings.

At the junction with the Pendle Way, continue straight on (right leads back down to the road and left is the Pendle Way, and follow the footpath uphill in between Hollin Farm and its outbuildings, then bear right and pass Middlewood Farm (now Cottage) to follow an ancient sunken trackway lined with trees.

At the end of the track take the path on the left that head uphill through three fields towards Hollin Wood (part of a Local Wildlife Site – called Biological Heritage Sites in Lancashire: ref: 84SW12), 6.7ha of semi-natural woodland that is ancient, semi-natural in character, having an open canopy dominated by Beech and Oak with frequent Birch and Holly, occasional Rowan, Sycamore and Larch with Lime being rare.

The ground flora includes Bluebell, Creeping Soft-grass, Wavy Hair-grass, Wood-sorrel, Bramble, Honeysuckle, Yellow Pimpernel, Broad Buckler-fern, Hard Fern, Lemon-scented Fern and Lady-fern. On damper ground Alder occurs over Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage, Yellow Pimpernel and Marsh Violet.

At Bank Ends follow the footpath that heads North along a stone wall then a fence downhill towards a bridge over Blacko Water where you can see Bird Cherry, Hazel, Blackthorn, Alder, Hawthorn and Birch. However, don’t go over the bridge but take the path to the footbridge visible on the right-hand side.

Once over the bridge, follow the path through a field and then through some paddock, then the path heads downhill and the steeper lower slopes lead down towards Admergill Water.

Follow the path upstream to a gate with steps up to Wheathead Lane – turn right passing over the bridge then take the steps down on the other side and follow the Pendle Way through the woodland looking out for Pine, Larch, Wych Elm, Sycamore, Hawthorn and Ash with Wood-sorrel, Wood Avens, Lesser Celandine, Herb-Robert, Dog-violet and Germander Speedwell.

Cross a field to a stile in a wall, following the river downstream looking out for Pignut, Wood Speedwell and Greater Stitchwort. Ignore a path over the footbridge on the right and carry on underneath Hazel branches through a gate in a wall and continue into a field lined with trees on either side that leads to Blacko Bar Road.

Turn right on the road, were you re-enter Roughlee Booth and walk uphill towards Blacko Foot. The roadside verge has a woodland flora that includes Dog’s Mercury, Red Campion, Wood Dock, Greater Stitchwort, Bistort and Ramsons.

Leave the road at Blacko Foot and follow the Pendle Way through a field with a single avenue or row of Beech trees on the left, with a very large specimen at the end. Despite being one of Britain’s largest trees, Beech don’t live that long, with 250-300 years being a typical lifespan and this specimen is nearing its end. It may surprise you to learn that Hawthorn and even Ivy can live longer than our Beech trees!

Follow the Pendle Way down to Pendle Water and over the bridge towards Water Meetings House, turning right at the gateway to the house, squeezing between iron girders used to make up the stile, and follow the footpath through a field to the woodland beyond.

The wooded slope of Hudderston Wood has Alder, Rowan, Hazel, Sycamore, Bird Cherry and Birch but look out for Bluebell, Greater Stitchwort, Wood Speedwell, Wood Dock, Herb-Robert, Foxglove, Wood-sorrel, Honeysuckle, Yellow Pimpernel, Scaly Male-fern, Bilberry, Greater Wood-rush, Hard Fern, Lesser Celandine and Tormentil. Sandstone rocks are exposed at the surface as you ascend the path that leads out into a field with scattered Oak trees and shrubs, then into an open field (with Shepherd’s Hut).

Follow the path onto the other side of the dry stone wall and follow it for approx. 500m to re-join the Pendle Way and follow it downhill to the right past a solitary Ash tree, then descending a steeper and damp slope to Pendle Water and the line of sturdy circular stepping stones. Here the riverbanks are lined with Ash, Sycamore, Hawthorn, Dog-rose and Elder.

Ascend the slope to the Blacko Bar Road and turn left, walking on the grass verge looking out for Hedge Garlic, Wood Avens, Herb-Robert, Nipplewort, Wych Elm and Red Campion on your left. The road junction with the Bay Horse Inn lies ahead.