Friday 7th June 2024

Friday 7th June 2024

Come Walking Series of Walks: Smithills Woodland Trust Trail.

On the walk this evening we were fortunate to have a volunteer member of the Woodland Trust to lead us and to inform us of the work done by the Trust on Smithills Estate. In 2015 two thirds of the estate was bought by the Trust, from Bolton Council, for £3 million pounds, and since that time they have planted 30,00 broadleaf trees.


Entrance to the Estate

Our walk began with twenty walkers heading out of Walker Fold car park and joining the steep track along Burnt Edge, with misty views of Winter Hill to our right. Along the track we were informed of the work done by the volunteers. We were amazed at how much growth the trees had gained in five years. At the top of the slope, with Adham Hill to our left, we turned sharp right and started the descent into the valley below.


Burt Edge

Valley below

Information Board

On the way down we were shown an area of the woodland where trees had recently been felled. In 2021 the Woodland Trust received notification from Forestry England that all the larch trees in the wood had to be cut down due to Phytophthora Ramorum, the same bright that caused the potato famine in Ireland in the 1800s.


Bottom of valley

Further down the track we were shown evidence of coal mines that gave us some idea of the landscape in bygone times. Once at the bottom of the valley we crossed the stream and started the climb out of the valley. On reaching Sheep Cote Green Farm we turned right, through a gate with high wire fences on either side to keep out the deer. This was not one hundred percent successful as we soon saw a deer heading through the wood.


Muddy paths

Climb back to car park

After negotiating several muddy paths and steep steps we found ourselves back at the bottom of the valley, where we crossed a footbridge and started the climb back upto the car park having covered three woody miles.