Rufford Park, Nottinghamshire

Today’s ride out in the Landy was a trip down into Nottinghamshire to a place called RUFFORD PARK, its on the A614 going south, its 9 miles after CLUMBER PARK, just a few miles beyond Ollerton. The weather was mixed again with  portions of sunshine.. warmth..greyness..furious snow flurries..cold winds…then back to sunshine. Its still not motorbike weather and its March 12th, nearly English summer time for gods sake!

We took the pretty way along the back roads cutting a curling route across South Yorkshire then into Lincolnshire and into Nottinghamshire, we drove through the little villages of Hatfield,  Sandtoft, Belton, Epworth. Misterton, Gringley-on-the-Hill, Welham and through the Nottingam town of Retford, then onto the A614 for the final leg to Ollerton.

To walk around the lake and smaller ponds at RUFFORD PARK takes about twenty-five minutes. Its set at one end of the 140 acre estate. The grounds have more appeal that the remains of the house, half has been destroyed over time and the remaining half is crumbling away.

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 This Black-headed Gull  found this post at just the right height to have the water lap across his toes.

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Standing a bit higher on a fence post as the sun twinkle on the waters behind.

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IMG_3239  I think we have all took this position when the snow begins to fall and the temperature plummets in double-quick time!

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This female Mallard duck wasnt impressed with the snow either and thought the weather was all a bit qwakkers!!

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               The Moorhen looks distinctly out-of-place on the white ground.

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I on the other hand appear to be blending in with my surroundings!

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There is not much left of the house at all, It was known as RUFFORD ABBEY. It began like in 1148 as an offshoot of Rievaulx Abbey, Eventually it passed into various family ownerships over the centuries. It all ended in 1938 when the present Lord Saville (not THAT one) parted with the estates after being in the family for almost exactly four hundred years. An industrialist bought and sold the estate pretty quickly to Mr Henry de Vere Clifton who wanted to build a large housing development in its place but was thankfully prevented. Nottinghamshire County Council now manage it for us,  the general public. It was free entry today, maybe they charge from  Spring-Time onwards (the real Spring) I’m not too sure, either way its a brilliant place to bring the kids. With its huge lake, and woodland walks, around the house are ornamental gardens with some fun stuff for the kids to investigate.

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 Here is one of the entrances to the children’s gardens and activity area. The dragon necks are made up of dozens of polo mint shaped pieces of crafted wood!

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                                The Nottinghamshire girl guides centenary seats made out of brick…none of yer IKEA flatpack rubbish here!

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There are some interesting sculptures and made out of different materials such as tin..stone.. ceramic..wood..and pottery not one of them is fenced of allowing one to get a really close look and interact with them. For example see how easy it is to push this stone efegy over…or not!

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Just an hour earlier we were walking in blizzard conditions, and now the sun came out, the grey cloud blew away to leave a nice mix of blue and white above us. The woodland paths were numerous and not all as wide as this one. Signs were at every junction with directions and an approx time it took to walk.

It was time to make our way home via the pet food warehouse for more peanuts for “Daves Cafe” and our resident grey squirrels in particular. We picked up four pallets from a kindly unit manager, I chainsawed them in half and stacked them in the truck these will be broken up on the morrow for the wood fire for the continuing war against the cold, but don’t worry Spring is just around the corner….allegedly!

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