A wander down the burn path

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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
The side of my garden runs along the edge of the strip of land that used to be an old mineral railway line.
The railway line was laid on the bank of the burn that rises as a fresh water spring not half a mile away.
The railway line is long gone and the route is now a nature walk. Lined with trees and undergrowth it is wild and allowed to grow in peace.

Normally the burn is a shallow two or three foot wide trickle but when it rains heavily it becomes a thirty foot wide flood.
Thankfully our house sits about 5 metres above the burn.
I wander along the path most days, usually the cat comes along too :)

The gateway through my fence is hidden under the Hawthorn tree :)
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Through the gate and out past the undergrowth and there's the path :)
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Across the path and down the bank and there's the burn :cool:
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My cat, wondering why I'm dawdling :)
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The fence line is my back garden. The beautiful coiling ivy stretches high into the canopy and this year has hidden not only a squirrel's drey but at least eight nests. The berries feed the woodpigeons and I get a beautiful green dye from them too :cool:
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It looks like this most of the way along. I keep the stretch outside my garden clear of litter but it's an issue on some of the other bits.
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The path is covered with the dropped seed heads from the Willows just now. The Sycamores are dropping flower bunches and the Birches are adding to the leaf litter with their long seed strands too.
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From the bank on the other side of the burn, the cat's in the middle of the shot :)
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This is the area that the burn floods. It's full of Meadowsweet and Elders :)
The area is rich in wildlife; plants, insects, amphibians, mammals and birds.
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This is just above the area that floods. It's much drier, another habitat zone entirely, but again rich in biodiversity and thriving.
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And this is why I took the photos today.
The land on the other side of the burn has been *zoned for industrial development* :( Apparantly the area is too residential and needs its quota of factories :rolleyes:
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Me and the cat will enjoy it while we can.
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cheers,
Toddy
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
36,709
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S. Lanarkshire
Apparantly there are grass snakes though I haven't ever seen them, but lots and lots of newts. :D
So many that I tripped across a neighbour last week swearing as he wrangled his way down to the burn behind his house (it's steeper at his bit) to pour a bucket load of them he'd just fished out of his koi carp pond :rolleyes:

I've got two ponds in the garden and I just leave the frogs, toads and newts to get on with it. It's a great excuse not to cut the grass when the tiny ones come out of the water :)

cheers,
Mary
 

Barn Owl

Old Age Punk
Apr 10, 2007
8,243
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Very nice Mary.

Shame about the zoning,I can just picture the litter it might cause.
Hopefully not though.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
The litter is a pita.
We have a free local pick up by the Council and yet folks from further round lug everything from old ironing boards to paint cans just to dump them here :(
I get furious at it sometimes. It's all to easy to overlook these little wild areas that should be a breath of fresh green air for all of us.

cheers,
Mary
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,646
1,206
Stourton,UK
And that is where the Goonie-bird can be sighted at night then eh? Who'da thought a creature that provokes such fear could lurk in an ideallic place like that.







300px-Littlebird1969.jpg
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
This is the Goonie bird tree :D
Well, a bit of it, it's right outside the lane gate and it's an enormous sycamore :)
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cheers,
Mary
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
36,709
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S. Lanarkshire
In this area ? dear me no, that'd never do ;)
They got thousands in funding for an organic garden, with raised beds so it's suitable for the elderly too (they hit every social target in their application) in the middle of the village :rolleyes:

We're just local and we live at the edge of the village :D
That said, the local civic pride :)rolleyes: dear gods and little fishes) tell me they've just 'adopted' the burn and it's nature walk. Proudly told me they'd gathered six bags of litter.......and I thought of the tons of it that I must have gathered over the years, week in week out, and wondered how long it'd continue.
Last time it was adopted they spent £30,000 scraping out the burns bed with a bulldozer and building some posh wooden bridge that just became a focus for a group of youths to use as a drinking howf and then a bonfire :sigh:
The folks who lived across from it were heart roasted and damned glad to see it gone tbh.
The best thing they could do is leave the area alone but organise a monthly litter clear up..........with some great big skips :D

I know what you mean though, I gather wild fruits and nuts, herbs and roots from it year in, year out.
It's a brilliant foraging area :cool: Everything from pignuts to acorns, just do it where the dog walkers don't go.
This area is home and I've wandered and gathered around here all my life.
I don't mind folks dumping the garden waste since it just breaks down and adds nutrient to the poor soil beside the path, the top couple of feet of it are just ash from the fireboxes of the wee steam engines that used the mineral line, but if I see the numpty who dumps half full paint cans........he's going to be wearing it :evilgrin:

cheers,
Mary
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
36,709
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S. Lanarkshire
There are thousands upon thousands of miles of these wee paths across the country. Even litter strewn and neglected they are incredible habitats and rich in wildlife.
I just wish folks would have a greater regard for them and stop treating them like huge rubbish tips.

I played here as a child, where the house we live in now is built used to be a swing park. My aunt and uncle stay around the corner and they remember when behind their house was all fields full of dairy cattle. It's just been a constant build up of houses and now factories. Less than half a mile down stream they piped the burn and filled in the wee glen that was every bit as rich in wildlife as this stretch. All to tarmac it over to make a base for container storage :mad:

I've done everything I can think of to see to the survival of this stretch. Sepa, Scottish Water, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Greenspace, Countryside Rangers, the local botanical societies.........they all agree it ought to be kept and nourished, but the council don't agree and won't commit to doing anything. Instead they ripped apart a native Scots pine woodland and ran a new road through it so that they could access new building plots. The bit across the burn is the last area that hasn't been developed. Yet.
Civic pride ? .......maybe, maybe.

cheers,
Mary
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
36,709
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S. Lanarkshire
Funny you should ask that 'cos I noticed it this morning and thought the same thing.
I meant to have a look at some books when I got in and forgot. I'll go and do it now :D

cheers,
M
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
Just been out and picked a couple of the leaves. I reckon that they're Hazel.
They're growing under where the dead Wych Elms are. The Hornbeams and almost all of the Wych Elms died off a few years ago after we had a really dry Summer. No idea why though.

cheers,
M
 

Nagual

Native
Jun 5, 2007
1,963
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Argyll
Oddly, Bivibabe said she thought they were Hazel, to which I replied.."Naa, Toddy is bound to know what hazel looks like, must be something else....." :lmao:
 

dave53

On a new journey
Jan 30, 2010
2,993
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wales
hi toddy dave from wales here fantastic area you live in, i still love my welsh mountains though i will put some pictures up when i can regards dave
 
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Toddy

Mod
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Jan 21, 2005
36,709
2,628
S. Lanarkshire
The British Isles are beautiful :D In all their stunning diversity. We're incredibly lucky and we'll look forward to your photos :D

cheers,
M
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
36,709
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S. Lanarkshire
It is :D
Foxes, badgers, deer, weasels :cool: bats, watervoles..........and it's just a tiny wee stretch of a burn, slap bang in the centre of industrial Lanarkshire. The mineral line was to take coal to and coke away from, the Victorian and then Edwardian gasworks.
All these little paths though, they create a maze of a network of greenery :approve:

cheers,
M
 

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