According to the Greek philosopher, “Nature abhors a vacuum”; in other words, an empty space will always be filled. I’m not so impressed with this in my garden when a recently cleared border is suddenly full of weeds, apparently overnight, but it does work very well in other situations. Situations such as the Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park in Haydock, for example, where the dog and I walk every now and again. It’s been created on an old landfill site and now, instead of lorries and rubbish, there are paths, woods and fishing ponds.
Part of it is still a landfill site, although apparently it will be brought into the country park in the future when the works have stopped. Those big hills in the background are topsoil, part of the current landfill, and presumably will disappear over time as the soil is removed by the big lorries that still come in and out of the site.
At the moment, the whole place has the look of a lunar landscape about it. Those pipes that you can see sticking up are collecting methane from the rubbish buried underground, a form of green energy that is being harnessed by the landfill company and fed into the National Grid.
It’s hard to imagine at the moment that this site will ever look like anything other than a building site.
The first phase of the Country Park opened in 2012 and in six years, nature has reclaimed the land as it’s own. There are reminders of the park’s history in these blue inspection caps which are dotted around, but for the most part, you would never know that this open space was ever anything other than trees and ponds.
It was frosty when the dog and I were there; so far nothing like yet another “Beast from the East” that had been forecast over the Easter holidays but colder than other mornings that week.
I like it at this time of year, we have the park pretty much to ourselves and the dog is free to explore. It won’t be long before the fishing season starts, and there’ll be fishermen at the ponds from early in the morning; that’s the point when the dog and I will have to stop walking there as the dog firmly believes that the only purpose of fishermen is to provide him with an interesting supply of snacks in the form of their bait. I don’t recommend having to apologise to irate bait-less fishermen as a fun dog-walking activity, because it’s not.
“When the gorse is in bloom, it’s kissing time”. This is one of those sayings that I’ve grown up with, but when I came to write it down I wasn’t sure if it really was a thing or whether it was one of those things that had been made up by my family which is not impossible by any means. According to Google, there really is a saying about gorse and kissing, although the version I found online is “when the gorse it out of season, kissing is out of season”. I’m not at all surprised that my family has a different version but it seems that gorse and kissing is a thing, so now that you’ve seen it in bloom, feel free to go ahead and kiss someone! 🙂
When you see the path stretching ahead like this, it’s quite a leap of imagination to think that it ever looked like the bleak landscape above, isn’t it?
It’s as if it never happened.
Frozen rabbit poop, anyone? (Sorry, couldn’t help it! 🙂 ) There are rabbits all over the park but fortunately, the dog isn’t too interested in chasing them. There’s also moss and lichen on this rock if you look – everywhere there are signs that nature does indeed abhor a vacuum and has filled the space with life. Nature’s pretty clever when you stop to think about it, wouldn’t you agree?