Moorgreen - Colliers Wood
w/e 10 November 2013
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

At one time of day the East Midlands landscape of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire coalfield was dotted with with numerous mines but following the acrimonious conflict between the mining Unions and the Thatcher government the industry was decimated with the loss of thousands of jobs and the landscape changed forever.

Mining Memorial

One such colliery among many others to disappear locally, although it did not close until 1985 when supplies were exhausted, was on the edge of Eastwood at Moorgreen. Since then, the site has undergone an amazing transformation to become the Colliers Wood Nature Reserve and Industrial Site. We entered the site at the north-eastern corner where there is a small car park and one of the first things we encountered was this memorial to the coal mining industry of the past.
Winding Path
Pedestrian EntranceInformation BoardThe roughly rectangular site is on a gentle generally north-west facing slope and we followed the winding path along the eastern perimeter which led to a pedestrian entrance (left) to the site. There is also an information board (right) near this entrance which includes a map showing the main features of the nature reserve and details of two waymarked trails around the site.
Southern Perimeter

Both trails initially follow the same route from the car park and continue along the southern perimeter between the open fields to the south and a copse of trees that have been planted following the closure of the colliery to the north.
The Walker Trail

Approximately halfway along the southern boundary another surfaced path cuts across the centre of the site and this is the route of Walker Trail which is about 1km in length and takes only 20 to 30 minutes to walk at a leisurely pace.
The Barber Trail

We opted to continue along the perimeter path which is the Barber Trail. At 1.7km you are advised to allow between 35 and 50 minutes to complete this circuit which here continues between the fields to the left and the trees to the right. In between the copses that have been created on the site there are spaces of open grass and meadowland and at this particular location a bed of wild flowers.

Industrial SiteAt BeauvaleThe trails are named after Messrs. Barber and Walker who opened Moorgreen Colliery in 1865 by sinking shafts on the site with output starting in 1871. At its height the colliery employed over 1300 men and reached its peak in 1963 when it produced one million tonnes of coal. The Barber Trail passes behind the industrial site towards Beauvale (left) and emerges onto Engine Lane (right).


Homage is paid to the mining industry with a mural on one of the buildings on Engine Lane showing the transformation of the site from mining to nature. Two quotations below the pictures are both by D H Lawrence. On the left it reads ".... there was a sort of inner darkness like the gloss of coal in which we moved and had our real being" and on the right ".... the east was tender with a magenta flush under which the land lay still and rich". There used to be a plaque beneath the mural which has now disappeared but from a previous visit I know that it read as follows: "The mural artwork was produced by students of the New College Nottingham Basford Hall in co-operation with Maplebeck Holdings Limited, who have dedicated it to the people of Eastwood. The ceremony was performed by Cllr. Jack Wormall on the 24 September 1999".
Engine Lane

ShrubFallen LeavesThe Barber Trail continues along Engine Lane through the industrial estate but nature is never very far away. There are berries (left) on the shrubs, fallen leaves (right) on the ground at this time of year and trees line both sides of the road. New buildings have sprung up among old colliery ones revamped to house individual businesses but the level crossing and all the old railway lines have been removed.
Dipping Platform

At the end of the industrial site, another pedestrian entrance leads back into the nature reserve and directly to one of two ponds. It is also at this point near the pond dipping platform that the Barber Trail rejoins the path through the centre of the site and the Walker Trail.
The Main Pond

Together the Walker and Barber Trails pass the pond and head back to the car park but there are several other paths, both surfaced and mown through the meadows to be enjoyed. The pond attracts a variety of wildlife and it is reported that moorhens, mallards, mute swans, tufted ducks, grey herons have been seen here as well as frogs, toads, damsel and dragonflies. The second pond in the middle distance is more marshy and bog-like and, like the main pond, has a drainage ditch leading to it where water voles have also been spotted. On the far left of this image the outdoor auditorium is visible.
Auditorium View

A ramp allows disabled access to the auditorium at which vantage point a good view of both facets of Colliers Wood, industrial and natural, is available. An active community group, the Friends of Colliers Wood, organises a selection of activities throughout the year including live performances. dog shows and conservation days. The Colliers Wood site is also used by schools and other groups for educational and social activities not least among them being dog walkers of whom we saw several during our walk around the Barber Trail.

Site Navigation

"Pick A Picture"
Weekly Favourites
Latest Images
Holidays &
Days Out
Special Features
The Guest Page
Site search Web search

powered by FreeFind
Jigsaw Puzzles
Recommended Links

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.