BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘farm’

#365daysofbiking Pumpkin it up

October 31st – Nice to see so many little groups of kids and adults out trick or treating this Halloween. I’m not entirely in love with the US import, but it does seem popular and anything that gets kids out and about is fine by me.

Sadly this year not so many houses seemed to be decorated for the newly-rejuvenated festival.

There were, however, some great examples like this decorated house at Cartersfield Lane near Stonnall.

It really was lovely in the dark…

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#365daysofbiking Telling porkies

August 11th – Still ill and resting, I just went for a short ride around Brownhills, and checked out the recently controversial clearance work on the former Swingbridge Farm site off Northfields Way, between Brownhills and Clayhanger.

The farm that stood here for pretty much 200 years in one form or another finally shut in the early 90s when the adjacent housing estate was built on it’s land. After a period of dereliction, the buildings were demolished, and it seems the rubble and hardstandings were just left where they lay.

It’s possible the land has now been sold, and the owner is in the process of clearing it, and I must say I was unaware of the sheer amount of masonry and rubble remaining. This was really just a drop and run.

There is no planning application currently relevant for the site despite the gossip circulating, but tales of new estates, big houses and other baseless flapdoodle have been circulating like wildfire.

The simple fact is that nobody’s applied for anything yet and an owner is entitled to clear their own land providing the operation is environmentally lawful, and we’ll just have to wait and see.

But that won’t moderate the gossips to any degree…

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#365daysofbiking Going for gold

July 20th – A day of maintenance, work interruptions and grim weather. I spun out mid afternoon into the wind for a run over to Burntwood on an errand.

As summer advances, the greens of the hedgerows and woodlands are darker and more weary, and the fields are now turning gold for harvest.

How quickly this year is passing. But the summer is still beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Glowing

February 2nd – A better, more springlike day was what I expected, and indeed, it was at least decidedly warmer. There was, however, a bitter wind that made progress slow and a the nagging cramps of bad IBS attack niggled at my energy.

Any remaining snow was confined to the shade of hedges and field margins, and the afternoon sun made the red soil of Home Farm at Sandhills glow beautifully.

I note the sheep, now reduced in number, are still working on clearing the field of what I think is kale; its been a real treat seeing them here. IU hope they become a more permanent fixture.

I note the hedges along here have been cut, and as ever, the auto-flail has ripped the hawthorn overgrowth into short, hazardous, thorn-armed fragments, lying on the towpath waiting for a vulnerable tyre.

If you haven’t tough tyres, probably best avoid the stretch between Anchor Bridge and the Ogley Junction Bridge for a couple of weeks or so until the fragments have been cleared or rotted by the weather.

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#365daysofbiking Oh flock

Boxing Day – Another day pressed for time, so another short but fast run up the canal. Intrigued to see that there is a flock of several hundred sheep grazing on what I think might be kale on Home Farm, Sandhills.

I don’t think I’ver ever seen livestock on this land before.

I wonder if the sheep are resident on the farm now, or if the crop has been sold for grazing?

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July 28th – There was not only a remarkable sunset, but a partial rainbow within it, so I shot out on the bike to catch it in what I thought would be the best place – from the canal overlooking Sandhilsl and Home Farm.

When I got there, I realised that I had a problem: The hedge was too high to get decent pictures. So I rode up the canal to the gap in the hedge, and crawled through. Walking the field of uncut wheat was wonderful, particularly so following the day’s showers, which made it a sensory delight.

How I adore that horse chestnut tree.

May 5th – A gorgeous day for riding, hindered by the need to do favours for mates and a bit of a bad tummy saw me leave for a fast, warm and beautiful sSaturday Evening ride that really did catch the best of Staffordshire and all that I had been missing with the dreary spring.

You can see a full set from this ride on my main blog by clicking here.

On my way out, I noticed that my favourite tree, the horse chestnut on Home Farm at Sandhills, visible from the canal at Catshill, is now in leaf.

I love that tree. I gauge the seasons by it. It looks beautiful and green.

Summer has begin!

March 7th – Returning via Shenstone, in the new-found evening commute dusk, I noticed that the tiny, log abandoned bungalow at Owletts Farm on Lynn Lane is now visible, before another summer’s leaf growth conceals it once more.

I don’t know why this tiny house, like several in the area is being allowed to decay, as I’m sure that before the rot set in it would have been a nice home for someone.

It has been empty as long as I’ve been cycling these lanes – nearly 40 years now.

A sad little tragedy.

March 4th – The thing about an inversion is it’s transient. This one came and went in about 15 minutes, and it’s ever changing. As it drifted away, it left clear skies, a very noisy gull roost and beautiful colour.

Even the coos looked impressive with their clouds of steam

That’s how you fix a bad mood, and that is exactly why I ride a bike.

March 3rd – One thing it has been nice to see of late is the new house at Highfield, south of Chasewater. Once an active farm, the site fell into decline and most of the original farm was demolished. Permission was applied for a replacement house several years ago and has now been build, and it’s a handsome, four-square place. I wish the new residents well.

In the field nest door, the coos remain as nosy and inscrutable as cows always are. I’m not sure if they’re connected with the house, or just there to manage the heath nearby, but they are lovely. They don’t seem to mind the cold.