Saturday, January 23, 2016

High Bradfield, Low Bradfield, and Malin Bridge

A return to the Bradfield area today, visiting three of the local reservoirs.

I was glad to get off the bus, the engine was making a high pitched screaming or squealing noise that seemed to bounce about inside my head and churn my bowels and stomach. I paused to take some photographs of the church at High Bradfield, and some nearby buildings before heading in a westerly direction towards Agden Reservoir.

A few yards beyond the churchyard and I got my first view of the first reservoir of the day.

There was a steep descent down to the reservoir and then a very pleasant walk right next to the water, initially a gravel path, but later on just a footpath through the woods. I lost the main route of the footpath and ended up having to actually walk in the water and then crawl through a gap that had been made in some railings.

After walking along the track for a few minutes, passing several joggers and dog walkers, I arrived at a bird village consisting of at least a dozens feeders and nesting boxes. There was a seat to enjoy the view. It was early, but I was hungry and so ate my sandwiches and then took photographs and a short video of the birds; they seemed to be the prettier species, robins, finches, and tits.

Here's a link to the video. You can see the different types of birds.

Not much further along there was an impressive group of waterfalls tumbling out of pipes passing under a bridge.

I took a couple of short videos at this spot.

I then had to walk along the road for a few hundred yards before taking a path that led me down a pretty and comfortable grassy bank. There was another short section of road, very short this time though, before I found the concessionary path goes along the northern bank of Dale Dyke Reservoir. Only a few dozen steps later I found the memorial plaque for the victims of the Great Sheffield Flood.

Although I've never lived in Sheffield, I've never lived that far away from the city, and I've always known about the 'Sheffield Flood.' When myself and my brother were children and either of us needed to go for a pee, a pee which took a long time, my mother would shout up the stairs, "It's like Sheffield Flood up there!" 

Just beyond the plaque I had to make a decision; to stay on the northern bank and walk all the way around the reservoir or take the path that goes at the bottom of the dam and work my way back towards Bradfield, Low Bradfield this time. I decided to take the shorter route, and was really glad I did because within minutes I stumbled upon a couple of mysteries - they are mysteries to me, but probably aren't mysteries at all to anyone who knows anything about reservoirs and water supply.

The first mystery was at the bottom of the spillway where I noticed some solar panels had been installed to power some orange-coloured underwater fluorescent lighting.

A few minutes later my next mystery appeared; parallel straight lines of bubbles in the water. To me it looked like some pipes might have been laid on the floor of the reservoir to let air oxygenate the water. They look like lanes at swimming baths.

I climbed up through woodland to reach the road that goes down to Low Bradfield, where I had a chocolate break sitting at one of the picnic tables next to the old bridge.

I passed even  more joggers and dog walkers as I walked along the southern shore of Damflask Reservoir, my third reservoir of the day. The walk was completed by me walking along the Loxley Valley back to Malin Bridge; there are several derelict mills and factories along the way...which I took the time to explore.

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