So as a contrast to the Rabbit Shaw walk in the last post I decided to walk around behind a less salubrious estate, the phrase ‘council estate’ gives a mental picture of what might be ahead. As we walk through the estate to reach the fields behind I am only aware of bricks. That is really the only architectural detail I can describe, everything is brick. Cosmo is not interested in architecture and trots quickly out to the fields behind and I follow him through….. litter….junk I don’t have time to look at what kind of junk as I am in a hurry to keep up with Cosmo, he is keen to move on and we pass out through a missing fence panel . The fields behind have a large fenced off central enclosure with a few mobile homes in there and one or two cars, but how they got in there is a mystery as we find no access routes.
We walk around the perimeter of a couple of fields and past a burned out, rusty charred carcass of a moped, then onto a footpath which runs very close alongside a busy dual carriageway for may be longer than half a mile.
The traffic smashes past us and it is very loud with the roar of motorway traffic. We are separated from this traffic by only a few feet and a hedgerow. There is a wire fence often broken down and wooden fence panels at some points with several missing panels. At these points the car wheels are at eye level passing us at 70mph as the path seems below the road level…a strange sensation…further along the path our feet are level with the car windows, and then we are above the traffic looking down on it. The left hand side has a very good fence of barbed wire stopping us getting into the enclosure with the mobile home in, but the right hand fence, the motorway side is often in tatters. There was never any point anywhere in my vision that was clear of litter. The hedgerow peppered with it.
Then the path opens out, I see a broken fire place laying on the ground opposite two large locked galvanised gates with a sign saying Abbotswood Private. So this is where the cars entered the central bit. There is a padlock on the gates, it has an unusual piece of metal welded on the side of it for the chain to pass through.
The path is a road now and we walk around anther field and start heading back to the car. We walk past the edge of another housing estate. This one is semi detatched houses with many having a glass conservatory added on the back, taking up about a quarter or a third of the back garden space.
Its nearly dark now and we walk through the muddiest section of footpath I have ever walked along…wanted to suck my wellies off…worse than anything I have encountered in the woods. I see another entrance to the central bit with the mobile home in and the same odd welded metal on the padlock, the gate is not wide enough to drive a car through. I know I must be getting closer to my car as I can see rubbish glowing white in the dark at me. That’s a white front door with no windows laying on the ground, I think that’s a 1 ton bag of sand with unknown stuff in it. Sheets or blankets seem to have been thrown over the back fence into trees and bushes. I can see bottles and cans on the floor and I take a closer look, special brew, vodka, WKD and a can of iron brew. Mattresses, an mdf bedside cabinet, a wire thing that might have been inside a kitchen cupboard, sheets of torn hardboard, a baby’s car seat, broken fence panels, plastic garden chairs, broken paving slabs and more litter than I can shake a stick at. Back through the missing fence panel and into the roads and houses.
Everything is brick, even the communal spaces are brick. I have parked the car right next to a football and basket ball court. The road surface is not tarmac, but concrete slabs with a mastic/tarry joint between each section. The basketball rings are supported on 4 inch box section steel supports, the fencing is not chain link it is a metal grid made of 2 inch squares from powder coated metal an inch thick. When you kick this fence it does not rattle and vibrate or give under pressure slightly. Nothing happens when you kick it.
I don’t know what Cosmo saw on this walk but he seemed happy and as interested as I was.