In a long-running project with the Tauheedul Islamic Girls High School in Blackburn, we had one of our regular visits to Wycoller Country Park in Trawden (http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/environment/countryside/sites/wycoller.asp). These are always adventurous occasions, but after several previous visits, this time the girls decided we should go for a longer walk and out of that came the following….
the story of the eight bridges
TIGHS at Wycoller Country Park, 14, 15th June 2011
The first bridge is in the village, the only one we drive across,
But the post van drives through the river.
Packhorse bridge, our favourite bridge,
With ancient, mossy stones and wobbly lines
Which way to go?
Climb, climb, climbing too many steps,
Up the long hill to the Atom,
The famous Oval Shape?
We take the unknown road, the new path
Up the road, over the fields
A flat stone bridge,
The rain makes puddles on it
Two slabs of stone cross the river
A tall conker tree
Beside Wycoller Hall,
The fallen house with a giant fireplace for sitting in and
Secret steps to climb
A bridge to walk on, with stone walls
Over clear, clean, bubbling water
In the fields, sheep were talking
And the lambs are running around.
Rabbits scurry away when we walk past.
Horses on the road but no dogs on this hot summers day
Rest by this old tree
Too many flles are buzzing about.
The wind blows the leaves of the tree,
They sound like a monster breathing.
Birds are singing all around
Up the path through the field,
We’ve never been so near to sheep before.
Hoofprints in mud,
Horses, people, sheep, birds.
A squirrel dashes across the field,
Running back to the trees as fast as wind.
Up the path to the edge of the wood.
Along the path to the ruined houses.
Across the valley,
There is the Oval Shape!
We have been up there
Now we are here
This valley is hidden
(Keep walking, don’t stop)
Squeeze over a thin bridge.
One at a time.
A narrow bridge.
Cool and shady under the trees
We are back at the river.
A leaning bridge,
One stone leans across the river,
Ready to fall.
But the water is cool,
Smooth and lovely on our hands
Lunch is waiting!
The road runs over a bridge
You don’t even notice
Purple flowers, blue flowers, pink flowers and white,
Clover, forget-me-not, campion, stitchwort.
Giant butterbur grows like rhubarb
For wrapping butter
To keep it cool,
Huge green umbrellas
Ducks make us laugh,
Ducklings come to say “Hallo”
Past the ruins again
Past the Packhorse bridge,
The last hill
Brings us back,
We’re not tired,
We’re still talking,
We’re still laughing,
We’re still smiling,
We’re still enjoying Wycoller
And the eighth bridge?
That is a secret.