Autumn in the woods

I visit Storeton Woods regulary with my dog Toby and I have taken a few photographs which I have posted on this site over the past year.

A good time of year to visit is the autumn as the leaves start to change colour.  This year it has been as wet an autumn as it has been a wet summer and not that good for photography.

However on a rare sunny and dry autumn day I ventured into the woods and I’ve taken a few photographs.

Its getting late into the autumn and the deciduous trees leaves are changing from green to shades of yellow and brown.  With the heavy rains and winds that we have been experiencing over the last few weeks many trees have already shed their leaves onto the ground.

In some places there is a thick carpet of brown leaves.  On this dry and bright day the watery autumn sun was shining through the trees and lighting up corners of the woods.

But as usual despite a bright start to the day the rains came as the sun was setting rapidly in the west.

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4 thoughts on “Autumn in the woods

  1. These photos are fabulous and I am thrilled to see that Storeton Woods still exists as my Aunt used to live on Mount Road and would take us for walks there when we visited her. I had really thought that this had been concreted over, like other lovely places of my childhood (eg most of Thermopolae Paths). I know that the Wirral Council always has its eyes on Bidston Hill but so far it still exists. However is Storeton Woods the same place as what we called the “Bluebell Woods” – the entire woods in spring were covered in these lovely blue flowers, as children we were enchanted. I have lived in Australia for 30 years but visit the Wirral every 5 years or so, if the Bluebell Woods still exist, I will definitely time my next visit for spring. Otherwise, there is still lots to love about the Wirral, but the urban decay is really awful, the centre of Birkenhead is now just about the most depressing place I have ever seen (last there August 2012).

    • Hi Jeanne

      I am glad that you liked my photographs of Storeton Woods. I visit the Woods to walk my dog Toby on a regular basis and I’ve taken a few sets of photographs over the last year – ‘Morning in Storeton Woods’ on 1/4/12; ‘Hogweed, foxglove, ferns and common butterbur’ on 8/7/12; ‘Walking with dinosaurs’ on 5/8/12 and ‘Autumn in the Woods’ on 25/11/12. I also did an article on Storeton itself on ‘Brightening our Day’ on 5/6/12.

      The woods are still there and look to be safeguarded for the future. During the early 1980s the woods were being used for motor bike scrambling and war gaming and they were falling into neglect. Local residents and councillors got together and formed a charity the ‘Friends of Storeton Woods’ to try and save the woodland. After much fundraising and with financial assistance from the Woodland Trust (a national charity whose aim is to preserve our national woodland) the Woods were purchased in 1989 by the Friends of Storeton Woods and the Woodland Trust together. The woods are now managed on a day to day basis by the Friends of Storeton Woods as a community wood with free access of the public.

      At the end of 1993 the Friends of Storeton Woods nearly obtained a long lease on the adjacent 25 acres of woodland on the other side of Rest Hill Road known as Hancock’s Wood which is owned by the Leverhulme Estates. At the last moment this arrangement fell through however the Friends of Storeton Woods continue to make enquiries as to the sale or lease of these woods.

      The Friends of Storeton Woods have a website at http://www.friendsofstoretonwoods.org.uk/ which contains a lot of information and features their regular newsletters to members. You may find this site informative.

      In relation to the ‘Bluebell Woods’ there is a section of the woods that does have a large amount of bluebells in the early Spring so it may be well worth you visiting then to relive your memories.

      The Friends of Storeton Woods purchased this wood to conserve and protect the area for future generations to enjoy and they look to have achieved their aims so far but other parts of Wirral have not fared so well. Birkenhead has suffered great economic decline over the last few decades and you have seen its decline for yourself judging by your comments. On 5/8/12 I posted ‘There’s no place like home’ which featured a number of my photographs of homes in the North End of Birkenhead awaiting demolition as part of the last round of slum clearance but due the the current financial crisis the funds to rebuild the area are now not there. The area will remain a cleared site for some years ahead.

      Once again many thanks for taking an interest in my blog site. I will no doubt take more photos of Storeton Woods next year through the changing seasons.

      Best wishes

      Brian

      • Hi Brian,

        Many thanks for reply. I am so glad that “The Friends of Storeton Woods” are taking care of the place as without such people, these places are lost forever. You don’t mention Bidston Hill on your website but this is also another beautiful wild place that I believe was left to the people of Birkenhead by Lord Vyner with the lien that it was never to be built on. Also Themopylae Pass just beyond Bidston Hill and before the Fender. However the Noctorum Estate encroached on this lovely piece of Wirral by degrees and I am sure there is not much left of it now. However this was another place where we spent hours upon hours as children in the summer, it was a great place to play hide and seek!

        I’ve had a look at lots of the other photos on your website including “there’s no place like home.” I used to be quite familiar with this area as I grew up opposite the Park on Park Road North and went to Laird St Primary school until 1961 where lots of children from the “River Streets” attended, some also from Ilchester Square, a place of great renown! There were some lovely families from this area, but also some really awful families with dozens of children. The poverty of some of them was really awful, even as a child I couldn’t comprehend it, eg children turning up to school in winter with no proper coats, and no socks, wearing only cheap sandals in the middle of winter!! I used to feel really sorry for them; meanwhile we used to knit squares to make into blankets to send to children who were freezing in Africa! One wonders where all those people have gone if their houses have been demolished. Considering that the population of Birkenhead seems to have diminished, perhaps they should turn the cleared area into parkland, or woodland, after all this is what is was originally there on the banks of the Mersey, perhaps with birch trees that it seems once grew in profusion along the headlands of the Mersey.

        Anyway I will keep looking at your website now that I’ve found it and look forward to seeing more photos of the Wirral.

        Regards,

        Jeanne

      • Hi Jeanne

        Thanks for the reply. Bidston Hill is still in public ownership after the land was purchased by Birkenhead Corporation in 1894 for use by the public. Wirral Council’s Countryside Rangers service still looks after the area. You have reminded me that since I’ve set up this blog I’ve not been to Bidston Hill or to Bidston Windmill, so I’ll rectify this in 2013 and when it finally stops raining I will get up there and take some photos.

        The ‘Thermopylae Pass’ is still there but as you say the Noctorum estate has encroached upon it. There is a public footpath which is accessed off Upton Road at the entrance to Windermere Road it then goes under Vyner Road and then re-emerges at the top end of Upton Road. I will do a round walk from Bidston Hill taking in the ‘Thermopylae Pass’ in the new year!!

        Much of the Rivers’ Estate has been demolished and was left to grow wild. There have been various plans for the area much of it linked to Peel Holdings £4bn ‘Wirral Waters’ re-development scheme for the docks. Since taking my photographs in the summer a ‘park and ride’ scheme is being built at the top end of the site for Birkenhead North railway station. And across the road on the docks site a new international trade centre is being built. I need to get some shots of this scheme as it develops as well.

        Best wishes

        Brian

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