According to the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, “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.

Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park

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.

Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park

It’s hard to imagine at the moment that this site will ever look like anything other than a building site.

Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park

Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park

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.

Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park

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.

Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park

Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park

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.

Lyme and Wood Pits Country Park

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?

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20 Responses

  1. Christina says:

    This looks like a great nature regeneration programme. I can't help to think about the rich treasure of a long past civilisation people might find there in the far future. Have a good Easter weekend. x

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Oh imagine that! I do wonder what people will think of our landfill sites in the future – will they get as excited over our bits of junk as we do about ancient pottery? It's hard to think that they will, but I guess that's because we're familiar with that stuff now and it may not exist in the future 🙂 xx

  2. Susan Rayner says:

    Lovely to see nature taking over at a former landfill! We used to have a black Labrador who was convinced that all fishermen were there to provide her with sandwiches and if not offered she would nick them!! Luckily she never went for their bait – the current Border Terrier sees them as intruders on her turf and so has to be kept well away as he barks and fishing are not compatible! Happy Easter!

  3. Sarah says:

    This looks lovely, and it's so nice to see Spring finally coming – it's been a long winter!

  4. Emptynester says:

    The meaning behind the saying is ‘ as there are always flowers on a Gorse through out the whole year – then kissing is never out of fashion’. I always knew it as you found on Google! Hope you all find someone to kiss this Easter.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I think that whichever way round you say it, the fact that kissing never goes out of fashion is a good thing 🙂 xx

  5. Gez Butterworth says:

    How fabulous to see the wildlife returning. Hope you have a lovely Easter. Gez

  6. happy hooker says:

    A lovely post. As I read it I was reminded of the poem "Hart Leap Well" by Wordsworth. I read it at school a few (well, many) years ago, and these lines have always stuck in my mind.
    "But Nature, in due course of time, once more
    Shall here put on her beauty and her bloom."
    I always think of it as I'm clearing the weeds and overgrown plants in my garden. I hope the threatened snow passes us by tomorrow, but Spring is definitely trying to spring!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Isn't it funny how odd things you learnt at school stick in your mind? I can remember lines of poems like that, but I can't remember other things that might have been more important (and more useful now that I'm helping out with homework!) 🙂 xx

  7. Julie says:

    So lovely to see something now not used pulled back into nature, what a great place to take the dog for a walk.
    I hope you are enjoying the Easter weekend and the foreast cold spell passes you by.
    p.s I was in John Lewis and DH spotted your pink rib sock pattern and said "Isn't that the lovely lady who helps you with sock knitting?" and then proceeded to purchase said pattern and a ball of wool for me.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Just heavy rain here today so plenty of excuses to stay home and knit! 🙂 Wow, you've made me my day telling me about John Lewis – thank you! I'd forgotten that they stock WYS yarns. And a bonus for you too if you got new yarn from your visit! xx

  8. Chloe says:

    Do you sell your own wool? If you do, I might be buying at some point! I aim to buy one of your books.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      No, there are so many fabulous wool suppliers around – I'm too busy trying the yarns out to sell my own at the moment! 🙂 xx

  9. Chloe says:

    If you are prepared to go further afield Boundary Mill in Colne do excellent wool for about a pound for some. I think they may also deliver.

  10. Chloe says:

    I got two balls of chunky wool, and I made a coaster with it. (Slightly wriggly on the edges, as I was a beginner, and could only crochet.) It is quite soft, and crochets up relatively quickly. By the way, thanks for being so helpful and accommodating. I think I just found a new BFF!;)

  11. selina says:

    it does not take nature very long at all to take back what is hers; just look at those reforestation taking place around the globe, it's amazing! we even have a few places down here that people have re-treed & planted out & it looks like it never was originally cleared; the rubbish tips are the worse though, putting parks on top of them is a brilliant idea, over here they tend to build on them which is not really a good idea as the land ends up sinking.
    great post
    thanx for sharing

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