There is so much for you to enjoy on this working farm and you are welcome to make the most of your stay; feeding the ducks, playing with the goats and generally watching our farm in operation.
Below are details for a short walk around the farm with a number of points of interest – ideal for an evening stroll.
1) Enter the ‘Roadside Field either by the stile in the garden or through the gate by the three doored hen shed.
Turn left passing the Old Vicarage on the right. Looking back you get a good view of the parish church. It is quite unusual as it has a square tower alongside a round one. Although it is built in the Early Norman style, it is of comparatively modern origin having been built in 1846 by the Daintry family.
The hill you see off to the right is Bosley Cloud. The summit of the cloud was used in the construction of the North Rode (‘Twenty Arches’) railway viaduct. This was constructed in 1849 when the Macclesfield to Congleton section of the North Staffordshire Railway was completed. A contemporary account gives the figure of one million bricks and 400,000 cubic feet of stone and a cost of £54,000 pounds.
2) Over the hill is field number 2 and you reach our pretty stream – feel free to try your hand at fishing for perch, pike and roach.
3) Cross field number 3 (‘The Kitchen Field) into ‘The Park – number 4.
4) Follow the fence on the right to the cattle grid. Dam Head Wood has a carpet of bluebells in May and there are many beautiful old trees if you would like to explore. The large trees provide homes for a colony of grey squirrels which may be seen bobbing in and out of the holes in the trunks. If you follow the drive past the woods and then the pond , keep straight on when you reach the road and you will find the canal. This stretch of the canal descends 30 metres through an impressive flight of locks at the bottom of which it is carried over the River Dane by an iron aqueduct designed by Thomas Telford. The locals celebrated the event by arranging a gigantic ox roast. The best view of the lake can be enjoyed if you go over the field to the left of Dam Head Wood. Look out for kingfishers , mallard, coots, moorhens and canada geese. The lake belongs to the Manor House and used to have magnificent fountains.
The original underground pump house is situated at point P on the map and is surrounded by a small fence with a hawthorn growing by its side. It is an interesting piece of history and engineering. There are beautiful old trees in the park field – the horse chestnuts being particularly popular in the Autumn when they are laden with conkers. If you leave the park by the cattle grid at Yew Tree you can walk past Lodge Cottage and turn right into a stoned drive.
5) Enter field number 5 by the gate facing. The beacon on the left was lit in June 2002 to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The engraved wood sign hanging from it was made by one of our neighbours and can be viewed more closely by entering through the nursery car park. ITV News at Ten featured the North Rode Jubilee Party – quite an event! Intac Wood on the left is a real picture when the rhododendrons are in full flower. The wood is a particular favourite with rabbits and you will notice the shorter grass around the edge of the wood. There is also evidence of badgers and foxes who have their homes here.
6) Moss Wood on the left of field 6 is mainly firs and has a carpet of spagnum. Buzzards have been seen around here and seem to be making a welcome comeback in Britain.
7) Field 7 is overlooked by Keepers Cottage -look out for hares – larger than rabbits and with bigger ears. Fields 5, 6 and 7 are meadows and are usually mown for hay or silage in the summer. Look out for meadow grass, ryegrass, cocksfoot, clover, meadow fescue and timothy.