Humberhead Peatlands…The Hatfield bit..

Afternoon all,
A brilliant sunny but chilly day today for us today made it a nice break from the dismal “Lots of rain, wind and low grey cloud” shit that has ruled January and is probably going to be the same for most of February! Yes today for the most part was lovely. We took a walk on Hatfield Moors, the edge of it is only about 3 miles away. It’s actually part of the Humberhead Peatlands, a huge reserve managed by Natural England. Its made up of the moors of Thorne, Goole, Crowle and Hatfield and is the remnants of wetlands that made up the floodplain of the HumberHead Levels thousands of years ago. It’s England’s rarest habitat and covers an area equal to about 3000 football pitches!


                                                   Julie enjoying the sun.



  We made our way along the BLUE route. The paths are made up of peat are can be quite wet and soggy…it is peat after all!




Hey hey Mr Blue Sky



The flooded areas are all around, seemingly just a couple of inches deep and looking prety harmless.



There is a raised footpath made of peat leading to a little island



  An RAF memorial on the moor

On the little island is a memorial to a number of RAF aircrew who crashed during WWII. Nearby Lindholme was a training base during the war, crew learned how to fly big 4 engined bombers. unfortunately some bombers crashed during the tough training. Here you can see aluminium remains of one such bomber, a cross and a wreath of poppies. the most recent of wreaths was laid by the Mayor of Hatfield.



The area is quite serene  and peaceful in spite of the tragic memorial



   Shallow waters

The sunlight altered now and again with the onset of the afternoon clouds, the wind began to pick up making rippled patterns on the shallows and blew from one edge right across to the far side. We found a path at the side and walked all the way to the next island. In winter its safe, but in the winter one needs to keep a lookout for Adders



I sat and looked back at the quiet scene, we were walking a lot today so didn’t spend much time sitting and watching however we did see a few duck and coot on the water, a few crows and seagulls played on the wind above us. At the feeding stations we saw Blue Tit and Long Tailed Tits.



               A good brisk wind is as good as a face massage eh Julie?



Only at the edge of the woods and the cover of the Silver Birch did the wind drop.



We followed a track that brought us out to a familiar site for both of us!!

We walked around the large ponds on very soggy ponds to eventually come out at a clearing and a site before us so very familiar to both of us…it was the prison HMP Lindholme……The Zoo!

Julie worked in the admin building from the early 1980’s as Governors secretary and I came here as an Prison Officer from HMP Wormwood Scrubs in 2000. It had been born an RAF base in the 1940’s before being turned over to the prison estates in the 1980’s when it became a working prison. The buildings in the distance are familiar to me. I couldn’t possibly tell you any more….Official Secrets Act and all that!… Well I suppose I could but then Id have to kill you!!

We walked along the edge, I could see the very first and the very last wing that I worked on, I remembered the antics by the wire and…..well, other stuff too. This was the first time Id come along this particular path and viewing the blocks from the outside…Oh heck I sound like a long-term prisoner whose been finally released don’t I? We made our way back to the car park about a mile away and I never looked back…




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