Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Deep in Newton Wood—in search of Cold Well

On a rather damp morning, likely the dampest of this winter, I seized the opportunity to explore something that has lingered in my thoughts for quite some time. Attempting to do so last summer proved futile due to the impenetrable undergrowth.

Within Newton Wood lies a feature labelled as “Cold Well” on the 1st edition of the OS Six-inch map from 1856. Remarkably, it still appears on modern maps, accompanied by the abbreviation “Spr” in brackets, indicating it as a spring.

So, what did I discover? Not a pristine spring of crystalline water, but rather a sodden hollow, a bog, a somewhat underwhelming sight. My exploration halted at the fallen ash tree, leaving me to ponder why this spot warranted such a name. Perhaps the Victorian surveyors bestowed it after talking to the local farmer.

Looking at the moss-covered, fallen ash tree, I noted signs of life as embryonic buds emerged, indicating the tree’s resilience. Additionally, the hazel catkins further hinted at the impending arrival of spring.






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