The second part of my stroll around Weston-super-Mare leads us up into Weston Woods, and Worlebury Hill.
As you saw in the previous post, part of the hill has the remains of an Iron Age fort and settlement. The hill dominates the area, with steep sides and access only easy from one side. Which made it perfect for purpose. It was in the early Victorian era that the woods were planted and managed as a resource which later fell into decline. The woods today are being managed again and used for many purposes alongside the wood itself. Youth work, training courses being two of the most popular.
Since the wood has been thinned there a spaces now where the sun will catch nature and light it up.
These mixed woods are crisscrossed by tracks trails and it is easy to wander for hours through the mix of Oak, Ash, Yew and pine trees. With the reinstatement of active management the wildlife and flora has also enjoyed a resurgence. It is a semi-wild haven for Small Deer, mammals, and birds. Although they are good at staying hidden in such a small and well used piece of countryside. The tracks they leave are often obliterated by us clumpy humans but you can find them if you look carefully.
My choice of path this time led me virtually straight up one side and back down the other, using the quarry path to return to company of man and houses. I am a believer in making people use common sense. It seems we are breeding it out these days. In my opinion if a sign tells you there is a cliff, and it is dangerous you should exercise care. If not and you fall off, well you should have taken more care. I don’t think we should put up massive fences “Just in Case” I’ll probably get some flack, but there you go. I don’t like wind farms either and think we should use more nuclear plants. I can probably upset some more people so I’ll leave it there for the moment.
After the woods you come down to Grove Park, a fine park near the town centre. with lots of space for kids to run around, a bandstand for traditional summer concerts in the open air. Weston, has a number of open parks, many bequeathed to the town by philanthropists for the use and enjoyment of the population. This has meant they can’t be sold for building. A great move to keep some fresh spaces in the area. So many seaside towns have been buried under rafts of development that they lose any character they once had.
These spaces along with the architecture that defines the era keeps Weston in a bit of a time warp. Sometimes holding back the possibilities. It is a fine line to tread.
Sometimes we forget to look about as we walk along doing the things we need to do to live in the modern world, if you take the time for example to look up as you walk down any modern High Street you may be surprised by what you see.
I love the detail put into such simple things. Like this school. They have realised again how important environment is for learning, and have started creating new schools that engender a sense of pride in students, and so encourages learning.
The building pictured above is Daunceys Hotel, where my wife and I spent our first married night together, happy memories.
The nature of English towns changes all the time, not always for the better. I hope we can preserve some of the more interesting objects for the future. But not be held back by fear of change. In both our lives and our environment. One of the interesting things about how Victorian buildings were created is that many came from a set of ready-made plans, these then got adjusted to fit on site by the Master Builder. Many layouts are the same or similar, but the customer could order extras, like a loft room or extra detailing around windows.
I hope you have enjoyed a little trip around an old English seaside town. It’s always a pleasure to walk and try to find details I’ve missed before, to look with fresh eyes at what is around. However, no trip to an English town would be complete without a bag of Fish and Chips, especially in a seaside town. You can’t beat them as you walk along the Prom, eating with your fingers and fighting of the seagulls.