Bramcote - Bramcote Hills Park at Crocus Time
w/e 02 March 2014
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

With no particular destination in mind we set off vaguely in the direction of Nottingham armed with the camera with a view of seeing if the daffodils had started to bloom anywhere. None were apparent in the usual places as we passed through Trowell although crocuses were showing up at intervals by the roadside. On a whim I turned into Bramcote Hills Park even though it's a place we've visited several times previously. An information board near the entrance details several points of interest within the park.

On this extract from the board I've superimposed a pink line showing the approximate route we followed for a short walk during which I captured all of the following images. We left the car park (P) and walked through the Walled Garden (I), past the Ice House (J) into the wooded Nature Reserve (K) before descending to the Halls House (D) to cross the Parkland Area (A) before heading back to the car park. On the way there were also distant views of the Hemlock Stone (H) and Cookies Pond (G).

Walled Garden

This view taken as we left the Walled Garden also shows the Hemlock Stone on the far side of Coventry Lane and the Holocaust Memorial in the garden but still no daffodils nor any crocuses either.
Ice House

There were however a swathe of snowdrops on the bank leading up to the Ice House, the entrance to which can seen on the left.
Nature Reserve

We climbed up into the Nature Reserve and followed various paths up and down through the trees mostly devoid of leaves at this time of year.
Little Poser

As we dropped down towards the parkland we were watched by one of the residents who was quite content to pose for this image.
Hills House

We emerged from the trees near the footprint of the Hills House which stood here from 1805 to 1966 when it was demolished, the footprint being restored in 2002. A panel at the site records the history of the house including old photos of the Georgian building. A temporary visitor trotted into view just as I took this photo.

Making our way across the park towards Ilkeston Road we headed for a fenced area where a fallen beech tree has been carved to show various woodland creatures. The 200 year old tree still standing at the time was fenced in 2007 with sufficient space around it to protect park users should it fall which it did exactly where anticipated in 2012.
Fallen Beech

This view of the fallen tree taken from near the Ilkeston Road side of the park also shows the fenced area which has been planted with woodland bulbs, wild flowers and new tree seedlings. The old tree will be allowed to decay to provide a natural habitat for wildlife.
Cookies Pond

Across Ilkeston Road is Cookies Pond which it is believed to have once been a carp pond for the Hills House. Now it is an urban refuge for waterfowl and aquatic wildlife and is a picture in spring surrounded by daffodils .... but "Where are the flowers if this is the park at crocus time?" I hear you ask.
Crocus Bank

Well the crocuses are to be found on the bank that runs along the edge of the park.
Ilkeston Road

And situated as they are along the bank, the flowers offer a welcome splash of colour to drivers as they head along Ilkeston Road to and from the A52 between Nottingham and Derby. So that's Bramcote Hills Park at crocus time and even though these images were captured as we approach St David's Day, the Welsh national flower is still loathe to put in an appearance. Maybe by the time St Patrick's Day comes around on the 17th hopefully we'll be seeing daffodils in abundance too.

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