Trip reports

Guided walk: Northcliffe Dike and Heaton Royds

Guided walk: Northcliffe Dike and Heaton Royds
Paul Barrett

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Ringing the changes, for the first time within anyone's memory the group organised a guided walk in the afternoon. In terms of attendees, it proved to be a great success - sadly, the birds had not read the posters and remained elusive throughout the walk!
The walk was partly taken from the recently published Friends of Bradford Beck booklet and was led by Friends member and local group treasurer, Wendy. We set off along Northcliffe Dike, through the woods that normally teem with a wide variety of woodland birds. Sadly, not many of them chose to put in an appearance. We then climbed up to the golf course.
The relative lack of birds meant that half way round the circuit the walk morphed into a local history walk - which enhanced the whole experience. A local resident, Jane, was able to give insights to the area.
Having crossed the golf course, we walked down Shay Lane to Heaton Royds (Six Days Only). The origins of the name are a little obscure but it is believed that many years ago, the local smallholder used to produce nettle wine but, due to the terms of his lease, was not allowed to sell it on a Sunday. Because of the sign he put up, the lane became known as 'Six Days Only'. A few years ago, the council put up a sign with the correct name but had to include the parenthesis as this was the only name that locals knew.
Royds Hall farm dates from the 17th century and one of the nearby buildings was constructed in 1632. We learned that the area had been very popular with the residents of Bradford, who would bring picnics with them and sit on the side of the hill. Much of the area is shaped by mining activity with many tunnels criss-crossing below the surface.
A mixed flock of thrushes, including redwings, were spotted going in to roost.
On the last leg of our walk, we came across an underweight hedgehog (318g). Fortunately the Hedgehoggery is just around the corner and Heather was soon on hand to take the little chap into her care.
Birds seen: Magpie, jay, jackdaw, wood pigeon, black headed gull, kestrel, goldfinch, crow, nuthatch, robin, coal tit, blackbird, blue tit, chaffinch, redwing, starling.