Autumn in the Plantations

November hasn’t been a great month for getting out an about. The weather has been utterly miserable. We’ve not had the deluge that they’ve been experiencing across the eastern side of the country, but we’ve had more than the normal amount of rain and its been generally grey and miserable. On top of that this time of year is always busy at work and the damp weather brings out the colds and sniffles. So all in all I’ve not been out walking as much as I’d like and when I have been out its mainly been in relatively close vicinity to home. However, I am lucky in that although I live close to the centre of town, just a short walk down to the bottom of our street and I’m down by the river and on my way to the Plantations.

So, during November, I have managed a few walks around the Plantations and have been able to see the leaves change colour and gradually fall to earth, covering the paths through the woods. So here’s a few shots taken during several ambles through the Woodland Park.

The path down towards the Dougie

It’s hard to believe that this was once an industrial wasteland, but the Plantations were laid out in the 1860s to hide the condition of the landscape after being damaged by the mining activity. This provided work for Wiganers made unemployed by the cotton famine caused by the American Civil War. Today they’re a great amenity, an area of woodland within walking distance of the town centre and accessed by a “green corridor” along the River Douglas.

A fine Autumn day in the Plantations

I woke up to a beautiful frosty morning and a blue sky with hardly a cloud. And it’s stayed nice here all day. So after dinner (midday meal round here!) I wrapped up and went out for a walk in the Plantations. I ended up doing one of my favourite routes which is a total of 5 or 6 miles, so I was out over two hours. It was quite wet and muddy underfoot, but I was wearing my boots so that wasn’t a problem. The air temperature wasn’t very high but it was sunny and the air was quite still, so combined with the metabolic heat from walking I soon got quite warm. It was really nice walking through the woods with the sun shining through the trees lighting up the red and gold autumn leaves.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just a few hundred yards from my house and I’m down by the River Douglas. On the north side of town it forms a green corridor leading to the Lower Plantations in Haigh Country Park. My route took me through the woods and up to Haigh Hall and then back down to Wigan Lane. I diverted over to the Orchid House cafe over the valley towards the end of my walk for a coffee and  a toasted teacake – yum! Afterwards, making my way home along the valley, the light was starting to fail and the sun, low on the horizon now, lit up the clouds.