17th Feb 2018 Carving for Towneley Park nature Trail by Richard Colbran (Member)

The notes below have been taken from the Towneley News 2018

Smallholdings Trail

This nature trail was instigated by a Park Ranger about seven years ago, in collaboration with the Friends of Towneley Park. It provides an easy walk of about 3⁄4 mile, on good paths, starting opposite Riverside Car Park entrance.

There are ten marker posts around the trail, each capped with a carving representing a natural creature which might be seen nearby, namely speckled wood butterfly, heron, fox, frog, swallow, toadstool, rabbit, wren, dragonfly and hedgehog. The carvings were done by members of Lancashire and Cheshire Wood Carvers, but inevitably the weather has taken its toll, and some rot has set in.

During last summer, remedial work was started, involving three members from both groups.     Two carvings which were beyond repair (one having been vandalised by a woodpecker!) have been replaced and re-sited away from overhanging trees, to help the wood to dry out more quickly. The other carvings have been patched up, with some re-carving and use of filler. More new carvings are under way to replace any further write-offs.

One outstanding feature on this trail is the flowering of the Southern Marsh Orchids in late May or early June, and this is said to be the most northerly habitat for this plant. Riverside Car Park has picnic areas, toilets and a refreshment kiosk, as well as a children’s play area to enjoy on your return.