The Winter Trees

Winter trees - 22The day before this walk we’d all watched in horror as much of the north of England was flooded after days of the heavy rain we’re becoming used to as our climate changes. Thinking about this and after my standard but understandable rant about our useless govermnent, it’s failures on climate change and its fawning over backwards to moneyed interests, I remembered something George Monbiot has written about many times over the past few years, the importance of reforresting our uplands, the importance of trees and their contribution to slowing down the speed with which our denuded sheep farming hills flash off the rainwater which is then sent gushing down into the streets of Appleby, of Whalley, of York, of Hebden Bridge, of Mytholmroyd and then turn the Kirkstall Road in Leeds into a new river.

Anyway, and fortunately for us all up here, today dawned bright, dry and blue so Sarah and I went out for a walk around our relatively dry neighbourhood in Liverpool.

Along Penny Lane.

Along Penny Lane.

Currently in the middle of a new 'student village' development by Liverpool University.

Currently in the middle of a new ‘student village’ development by Liverpool University.

Along Ibbotson's Lane.

Along Ibbotson’s Lane.

Where Sarah helpfully points out the extent of the flooding round here.

Where Sarah helpfully points out the extent of the flooding round here.

It's a beautiful day and the light is glorious.

It’s a beautiful day and the light is glorious.

Hard to know that much of Lancashire and Yorkshire, so close to here, are in such deep trouble.

Into Sefton Park, walking through the winter trees.

Into Sefton Park, walking through the winter trees.

Sarah points out how swamp-like the vegetation is becoming, how sodden the land is.

Sarah points out how swamp-like the vegetation is becoming, how sodden the land is.

Though the trees help to stop flooding they can’t stop the climate change emergency on their own.

Nature is confused and is coming into flower in December.

Nature is confused and is coming into flower in December.

Sarah brings a sample home to identify.

Sarah brings a sample home to identify.

‘It’s creeping comfrey, usually flowering March to September’ Sarah tells me later.

We walk on.

We walk on.

Around the lake.

Around the lake.

In the winter sunshine.

In the winter sunshine.

This beautiful place.

This beautiful place.

Much of Liverpool is out today, after so many days cooped up inside watching the rain.

Much of Liverpool is out today, after so many days cooped up inside watching the rain.

Then among the diving, screeching, feeding frenzied gulls we see a surprising new arrival on the lake.

Born in December?

Born in December?

Chances of survival when the real winter arrives?

Chances of survival when the real winter arrives?

We cross Aigburth Road to the next park, Otterspool.

We cross Aigburth Road to the next park, Otterspool.

The mostly culverted Osklesbrook is running high here.

The mostly culverted Osklesbrook is running high here.

Last time I wrote about this walk there wasn't much of it to see.

Last time I wrote about this walk there wasn’t much of it to see.

And yes of course, I do write up these walks more than once. As seasons change and life in Liverpool moves on no walk is ever the same twice.

A perfect winter tree.

A perfect winter tree.

Would this path be a running river if not for the trees.

Would this path be a running river if not for the trees?

Underneath the Northern Line.

Underneath the Northern Line.

Something new, municipal and very good.

Something new, municipal and very good.

Full of new bikes, scooters and happiness.

On Otterspool Prom cars are even parked on the grass.

On Otterspool Prom cars are even parked on the grass.

Everyone so eager to get out while it’s not raining.

Down at the river the tide is going out.

Down at the river the tide is going out.

But it has been up over the wall.

But it has been up over the wall.

The short winter day begins to dwindle down.

The short winter day begins to dwindle down.

And rather than simply walk along the prom, which always gets boring after a while…

We take a detour into the parallel bit of edgeland.

We take a detour into the parallel bit of edgeland.

Yards away from the river is this.

Yards away from the river is this.

Much of Otterspool Prom was formed in the early 1930s with rocks excavated from under the Mersey while they were building the Mersey Tunnel.

This far along I think we're on World War 2 bomb clearances.

This far along I think we’re on World War 2 bomb clearances.

An eerie but very special landscape where I often walk.

An eerie but very special landscape where I often walk.

And which ends at the Garden Festival site, or Festival Gardens as its remnant is now called.

Across a classic piece of edgeland, a long abandoned car park.

Across a classic piece of edgeland, a long abandoned car park.

Being slowly reclaimed by the land underneath.

Being slowly reclaimed by the land underneath.

Round to the Festival Gardens.

Round to the Festival Gardens.

Lovely but fading at the moment.

Lovely but fading at the moment.

A few months ago Liverpool City Council announced their intention to take over and revamp the place. So it’s clearly in-between times at the moment.

Across in St Michael's, something lovely.

Across in St Michaels, something lovely.

Winter trees - 39

Sarah's slowly putting together a blog about bowling greens. Here's another one for it.

Sarah’s slowly putting together a blog about bowling greens. Here’s another one for it.

Just next to St Michaels Station.

Just next to St Michaels Station.

Though apparently its under threat.

Though apparently its under threat of eviction.

(If whoever’s running this campaign could tell me about it I’ll publish contact details here)

Along Belgrave Road.

Along Belgrave Road.

Back onto Aigburth Road.

Back onto Aigburth Road.

Past the Psychic Truth Society.

Past the Psychic Truth Society.

Just so's you know.

Just so’s you know.

Past the little ginnel of Linhope Way.

Past the little ginnel of Linhope Way.

Onto Lark Lane.

Onto Lark Lane.

Where beloved and historic Keith’s Wine Bar looks in need of some tender attention.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

It’s closed as we pass anyway.

So we stop for lunch here, the Milo Lounge.

So we stop for lunch here, the Milo Lounge.

It’s part of a national chain, which put me off trying it for a long time. But someone else arranged to meet me in there a while back and today was my third visit as I think it’s really good. A good range of food, friendly to all ages and a bustling, interesting place. So more fool me for thinking that only independents work.

Back across the park.

Back across the park.

Along the avenue of winter trees.

Along the avenue of winter trees.

Past Sarah's allotment.

Past Sarah’s allotment.

Just past here we notice a tree miracle.

It appears to be growing around these railings.

It appears to be growing around these railings.

What do you think?

What do you think?

Back past the side of Eleanor Rathbone's House. Or Gate 3 as it's currently known.

Back past the side of Eleanor Rathbone’s House. Or Gate 3 as it’s currently known.

Handy map for the builders.

Handy map for the builders.

Then into Greenbank Park where we lost this tree in recent storms.

Then into Greenbank Park where we lost this tree in recent storms.

Here's a photograph from a week or two back just after it blew over.

Here’s a photograph from a week or two back just after it blew over.

The tree certainly wasn't dead, but looks like it might have been in trouble.

The tree certainly wasn’t dead, but looks like it might have been in trouble.

Where it fell.

Where it fell.

And that’s about it. The walk that’s sometimes a 10k run ending as the daylight ends.

Across a quiet Smithdown.

Across a quiet Smithdown.

And home at five to four, just as the sun is due to set today. We turn to the west and see this magnificence…

The golden glow of a winter sunset?

The golden glow of a winter sunset?

And just because Liverpool hasn’t been badly flooded yet doesn’t mean we won’t be. Climate change and what we do about it is everyone’s responsibility.

 

One thought on “The Winter Trees

  1. Heyes Helen

    My father was a keen gardener so when my parents came for my graduation we also visited the Garden Festival. My boyfriend told them that St. Michaels station was named after Marks and Spencer!
    My father also called their house Greenbank after the park.
    Otterspool was one of my favourite places to visit.

    Reply

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