Trip to Manchester, Calf Hey Reservoir

I was away for 3 days last week to Manchester. I was staying with our good friends John and Stella whom we first met in 1974 when I was a young librarian and John an English lecturer at what was De La Salle College, situated at Hopwood Hall now the site of an FE college. Stella and John have redesigned their back garden since I was there last and have installed a slate path which takes the viewer’s eye up through the garden to the tall trees.

The Fitzpatrick's garden in Prestwich

The Fitzpatrick’s garden in Prestwich

Another feature of their garden was that many of the plants attracted bees, including cotoneaster and large headed aliums. I managed to get a close up of one of the bees on an alium and the yellow and black of the bee contrasts nicely with the purple flowers, which appear to be blue from a distance.

Bee feeding on an alium head

Bee feeding on an alium head

The front garden has some impressively large oriental poppies with their big, open, look-at-me red/orange flower heads with internal wheels. In the photo below, the centre of the flower head looks as if a small, round, highly decorated cake has been placed there, perhaps made of marzipan with purple icing.

Oriental poppy

Oriental poppy

John took me for a walk around Calf Hey Reservoir where you can see two reservoirs side by side, and on a sunny day, which we had, it’s an idyllic place. As you enter the reservoir area, there are the ruins of old houses which formed part of Haslingden Grane which was occupied in the late 18th and early 19th century by farmers and weavers. The photo below shows the ruins of Hartley House where there was a large farmhouse and cottages operated by weavers who had looms in their houses. John and I speculated that it would have been a huge shock for these weavers who may have had to leave the household looms to work in the large factories in the Manchester area in the 19th century.

Hartley House

Hartley House

There is a very pleasant walk through some woods and round to the reservoirs and you pass a little waterfall created on five levels. When you stop, all you can hear is the rushing water and some bird call from the trees. In the photo below, you can’t see the thousands of midges which were frantically dancing above the water – they may appear if you click on the photo and press the + icon.

Waterfall at Calf Hey Reservoir

Waterfall at Calf Hey Reservoir

When you come out of the woods, there are a number of shorter and longer walks around the reservoirs. Calf Hey sits in a wide valley and I found it a very peaceful place with good views and, on the day we were there, a family of mallards, two adults and 3 fairly grown up ducklings, swam gently across the reservoir.

View over the reservoir

View over the reservoir

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