Friday, 26 October 2018

Nellie's Tree

The Aberford Railway was a privately owned light railway, it was built in the 19th century by the Gascoigne family of Yorkshire to transport coal from their collieries. It closed down in March 1924 and these days, is known locally as The Flyline. It's a popular three and a half mile route from Garforth to Aberford, through Parlington Woods, for dog walkers and cyclists. The weather last weekend was lovely so we decided to take Archie for a walk.


There's a lovely outlook along the walk, farmland with cows grazing in the fields.


These pears were outside a cottage inviting passers by to Take One.


Archie loves walks like these where he can come off his lead and he's free to wander and sniff.


Autumn is now in full swing, the track was littered with fallen leaves.


It was a gorgeous day,  the sun was trying to break through the tree canopy.


We didn't cross the stile but Archie managed to squeeze himself underneath the fence before being told to come back, we weren't going that way.


We came to a small tunnel known as Light Arch.


Eventually, the reason for our walk that day, we came to Nellie's Tree.


Nellie's Tree, so called as nearly 100 years ago Vic Stead would walk from his home in Garforth near Leeds, along the old colliery railway, to visit Nellie, the young lady he was courting who lived in the nearby village of Aberford. One day, he came across three beech saplings on his route and grafted one sapling between the other two to form the letter N, for Nellie. Vic and Nellie would go on to marry and have a family, and though they are both gone now, Nellie's Tree, also called The Love Tree by locals, still remains. The tree has recently been voted Woodland Trust's 2018 Tree of the Year for England and is in the running to become the UK Tree of the Year.


Isn't that a lovely story? It looks as though other sweethearts have carved their initials into the tree, or perhaps just vandals. Nellie's Tree has gone on to be a symbol by the Save Parlington Action Group for the protection of the woods against development. There's proposals to build a new town, incorporating 5000 houses, in the historic green belt of Parlington which campaigners are fighting to prevent.


This is the point where we turned and went back the way we came. Back through Light Arch.


We noticed that the cows had wandered further down the field.


We hadn't seen this pear tree in the cottage garden when we passed it the first time, it was dripping with pears, no wonder there was a box of them left out for passers by.


This huge insect was crawling about on the floor. I think it may be a European hornet. It really was huge.


We stood for a while watching a red kite circling in the sky. I could watch them for hours.

We're lucky to have such beautiful walks so close to where we live, we really are spoilt for choice when we leave the house.

46 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed 'walking' with you Jo. What a beautiful walk, and one with a lovely story behind it.
    Did you help yourself to a pear? X

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    1. It's a lovely peaceful place to walk. I was tempted to help myself to a pear but I resisted as it was nearly tea time.

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  2. What a wonderful walk! And a beautiful story too. Ooh I feel all happy for Nellie and Vic :) So cheerful to read a love story on a cold, wet and windy morning. Here we have also had the housing builders in. The old Pontins is becoming a huge housing estate ( not a problem as it was already developed land ) but so much of our green land is being turned over for housing. The Moss, marshy fields near us, was a haven for wildlife, but it's all being built on now. Some of these fields were built on some years ago and the houses started to sink ( an estate called Cypress Point is now known locally as Sinking Point! ) but yet again they are building on The Moss; why? Anyway, enough of that! I hope your lovely tree wins the Tree of the Year award :) Best, Jane :)

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    1. It's been in the news about Nellie's Tree with it winning the award and there's been photos shown of Nellie and Vic. It was their grandson who nominated the tree. Development is such a big problem, we're losing so many beautiful places and so much history to new homes, it's very sad. I didn't know that Pontins was being turned into a housing estate. It's worrying that new houses are being built on land which already has problems with subsidence and very sad about the wildlife. Unfortunately, developers with only profit on their minds don't seem to worry about things like that.

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  3. Wonderful walk in a lovely spot, I love the story of the tree, I hope they are able to save the woodland, we are losing too much of our countryside to housing, but then I don't have an answer to where more homes can be built.

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    1. It's a lovely walk at any time of year but especially so on a sunny autumn day. Archie loves to come off his lead and run through the leaves. I don't have an answer either but it just doesn't make sense to spoil the beautiful places we have. What's the point of designating land as green belt and then just go ahead and build on it.

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  4. What a lovely story about the tree, and I love the light through the tunnel too. You are very lucky to have such beautiful places to walk.

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    1. We're spoilt for choice around where we live, there's so many lovely walks. Archie's very lucky as he gets a change of scenery each time he goes out. I love the story behind the tree, I think it's the anecdote which has won it the award.

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  5. Thank you for sharing such a peaceful walk and beautiful tree story.

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    1. It was such an enjoyable walk in the autumn sunshine.

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  6. Ah Nellie and Vic :) that's lovely.
    x

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  7. What a lovely walk, with the bonus of that fascinating story of Nellie's Tree. Do you like kicking the leaves about? I know it's childlike, but I still love doing it. Oh, the kite is beautiful & like you I adore watching them. Thanks for taking us along in photos & take care.

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    1. Archie loves the leaves so I kick them about for him. Actually, he kicks them himself, he's so funny. We get a lot of red kites around here, they're fascinating to watch.

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  8. Nellie's tree is fascinating. It's so sad that green belt is under threat when we need to conserve our green spaces more than ever. It seems pointless having put such a conservation rule in place if it can be overturned when it no longer suits.

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    1. I agree. It shouldn't be down to the public to have to campaign to save areas which already have a conservation rule in place. What's the point of them if they can just be overturned at will.

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  9. A most enjoyable post and good pictures.
    The story about Nellie's Tree was fascinating. Red kites are wonderful birds. xx

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    1. The story of Nellie's Tree is lovely, it's been in the news a lot this past week or two with it winning the award. We get a lot of red kites round and about now, it's amazing to think they were almost extinct in Britain not so long ago. A real success story.

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  10. What a great story in a beautiful place. x

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    1. The setting is lovely, though you could easily miss Nellie's Tree if you didn't know what you were looking for.

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  11. Thank you for your story of Nellie´s tree, so lovely and for the wonderful walk. We don´t get the autumn colours here really, looking at those leaves makes you want to kick them about like being a kid again. That pear tree is absolutely laden, you could do some serious baking with those xcx

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    1. It's the perfect time to go for a walk, all the gorgeous colours. I must admit that I was picturing a pear sponge cake when I saw those pears, I couldn't believe how many there were still on the tree.

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  12. What a lovely trail - and Nellie's tree...such a sweet story. I wonder if their ancestors visit the tree now. Are any of the old rails still in place?

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    1. I know it was Nellie and Vic's grandson who nominated the tree for the award but I don't know if they visit the tree or not now. I should think they will do if they still live in the area as it's a popular walk amongst locals. None of the old rails are still in place any more.

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  13. What a completely lovey walk!!!

    Love Nellie's Tree! May it be inspiration, to all those, fighting the building of houses, on this beautiful natural area!

    ✨🎃👻🎃👻🎃✨

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    1. It's so sad that Parlington, and other such beautiful places, aren't considered worthy enough to be preserved. I do hope that the decision to build can be overturned.

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  14. What a wonderful walk! Have you been watching that programme on channel 5 where the guy walks old railways?

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    1. I haven't been watching the programme, I bet it's interesting though, there's so much history to be found when you look back at these places.

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    2. It's definitely worth catching up on. I was away last night so I missed last night's episode, but I'll be watching it on catch-up.

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    3. I'll have to see if I can catch it. It does sound interesting.

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  15. Such a lovely story, I really enjoyed the stroll with you to see it. Such a good idea to get rid of unwanted fruit, I hope passersby do indeed take a pear.

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    1. I thought it was such a lovely story when I heard it. I think leaving the pears out for passers by is such a good idea, it saves letting the fruit go to waste.

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  16. Awesome place to walk. LOVE the story and picture of Nellie's Tree.
    Traveling Suitcase

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    1. We have lots of lovely walks around here, it's such a shame that so much wide scale development is planned. I do hope they change their minds otherwise such beautiful places will be lost for ever.

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  17. A lovely story about the beautiful tree.
    The tunnel pic is superb.
    Archie looks like he enjoyed some autumnal sunshine with you.

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    1. Archie's starting to slow down a bit now so we couldn't do the whole three and a half mile walk as it would mean another three and a half miles to get back again so we went about half way before turning back the way we came. That's about far enough for Archie these days.

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  18. Oh Jo, what a wonderful post.
    I enjoyed my walk with you …
    Such a wonderful area and the story about Nellie's Tree is so lovely.

    I just love this time of year, although I did notice the wind is definitely getting a cooler bite in it.

    All the best Jan

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    1. The temperature has really dropped here, I was cold in bed last night. So different to last weekend when these photos were taken.

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  19. Lovely walk, I have a friend who lives in Garforth, I might pay her a visit and suggest the walk. The hornet looked lethal.

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    1. There are lots of lovely walks in Garforth, it's only a small town and on the border of so much countryside so you'll be spoilt for choice if you do decide to take a walk. The hornet was huge.

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  20. I hope you got one of the pears!!! They look delicious!

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    1. They do look delicious. I was very tempted but it was near tea time so I was good and resisted.

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  21. You do live in a beautiful area. Oh, I do hope that development doesn't go ahead, that would be tragic. I absolutely loved Nellie's tree, it certainly has the wow factor and such a sweet story to go with it. Goodness, that pear tree is laden. Good to see Archie enjoying being off-lead, and great seeing that red kite, such stunning birds.xxx

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    1. We've got so many beautiful places around where we live, we're very lucky. I love seeing dogs off their leads and enjoying some freedom, Archie's really good and stays close by but he does enjoy being free to sniff here and there.

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  22. A bright crisp day in autumn with beautiful surrounding to walk in, it doesn't get better than that. But yours did with the visit to Nellie's tree! A real life love story.
    Lisa x

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    1. I hate letting go of summer but days like this don't make autumn so bad. It was a lovely walk with a love story thrown in.

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