Baggeridge Country Park 21/01/2018
Lists, lists and lists. And a spreadsheet thrown in for good measure. All ways in which I track the day to day hustle and bustle of family life. A spreadsheet for budgets, a list for holidays, a list for camping, a list for which order I bath the kids in first. A little OCD perhaps? Maybe. Whether I always remember to check the list is a different story. But I’m getting better.
Another Sunday walk planned and so the lists begin. Orders of what to cook and for whom, when to pack and fill up the car. Have we got the obvious; food, drinks, spare clothes. And the non obvious; plasters, carrier bags for poos on the beach (that’s another story) and torches in case we get lost in the dark. Not that it’s anywhere near night time but you never know.
This week is Baggeridge Country Park. A fairly local one, only about 30 minutes away. We all trundle into the car, pulled into our waterproofs and windbreakers as the weather is showing signs of snow. We pull up to the park, the car park quiet save for a few dog walkers. This one was a paying one so there was a scramble around the car to find hidden pound coins amongst the crumbs and mud. Paid and accounted for, we set off to see what waited for us among the trees. Typically we don’t follow a trail as such, we just walk until our legs stop. Or we hit a wall, which ever comes first.
The kids choose the paths, finding a large basin covered in snow. Off the boys run, sliding down on their bottoms, squealing as the cold hits their skin. And so they do it again, and again. When they finished making their own tracks in the snow we set off to see what we could find in the woods, actually catching sight of a very large bird flying between the trees. Dad thinks it may be a falcon of some sort, it had a very large wingspan, unlike anything you typically see flying around the Black Country. We try and quiet the shrieking children who just want to run and jump in the puddles to see if we can get a picture of the bird but alas, it is too stealthy for us and manages to avoid our looming cameras.
Excitement over, we amble through the woods, marvelling at the shapes of the trees and the ice puddles on the edges of the path. We make our way to the trig point and obviously find which way is home. As there is no shelter higher up , the chill factor increased and the children started to make moaning noises which is usually our cue to find some food. We hadn’t planned on a full day so no picnic was to be had, cue more groans, but we had packed an emergency supply of figgy rolls to tide them over.
Off we trotted to the family changing room with 4 of us stuck in a corner each and Molly hanging precariously onto the edge of the changing table where we tried to change trousers and socks and go to the toilet with comments such as ‘my bum is cold’, wondering whether the wet on the floor is wee or puddles from our soggy clothes.
Eventually we emerge from the small holding and get into the car energised and fresh and only slightly wetter than when we’d started. A lovely winters walk in peaceful surroundings, enough to shake away the week ready for the new one.
Important stuff: We used postcode DY3 4HB to get straight to the car park with a £3.00 charge for all day parking. The route is fairly flat and I would say very accessible for pushchairs. It is woodland though so expect a bumpy ride!