In readiness for my new monthly visit blog postings for 2017 we have visited Attingham Park our subject for next year a few times during the late autumn and early winter to walk the paths and introduce them to you.
Today it is the turn of the World War II Walk, a walk we had never tried before, so we set off not knowing what to expect.
During World War Two Attingham Park was the site of an RAF airfield, which was built over existing smallholdings. It began life as an RAF fighter station but during 1942 it was handed over to the USAAF when it was used as a training station for American fighter pilots. It closed in the Autumn of 1946. We were not really sure what to expect so set off full of anticipation.
We set off on an overcast chilly day for our walk and the weather was to remain dull for the whole walk.
We first crossed the corner of the Deer Park and made our way alongside ancient dying or dead trees. We were pleased to see that plenty of new young trees have been planted to replace them. The old trees were left after they had died to become valuable wildlife haunts from woodpeckers to beetles to myriads of micro-organisms. This is a healthy way to manage woodland and parkland. Fallen wood has been left where it dropped or piled up to create wildlife shelter and food. A local beekeeper has established a good colony of bees with several sorts of colourful hives set alongside the woodland fenceline.
Jude the Undergardener and I are both very imaginative and love looking for shapes in clouds, flames and here within the shapes of fallen rotting wood. The tree trunk in the photo below reminded us of a Komodo Dragon!
We love the textures in rotting tree wood – the patterns, lines and colours creating works of art.
We wandered along a woodland path beneath dark tall conifers, the path soft beneath our feet made from chipped bark and topped with a layer of pine needles.
Site Number 10 is where we found the evidence of the Atcham Airfield, ruins of barrack huts, officers’ quarters and latrines. To begin with an odd brick or two then signs of an old wall and then even the ruins of a building.
After experiencing the discovery of the ruins of the airfield complex, we left the artifacts behind us and made our way back through the deer park towards the hall.
We will no doubt re-visit this walk and its WW2 ruins during our monthly visits in 2017.