Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Parrot's Drumble

This post should really be entitled 'A Very Wet Walk at Parrot's Drumble' for that's what it was!  We'd been meaning to find this place for ages so on Saturday we decided to drive out towards Talke Pits, just north of Newcastle-under-Lyme,  thinking that if it did start to rain again we could divert to the Freeport Shopping outlet which isn't very far away - just the other side of the industrial estate close by.

It was quite easy to find following the instructions on the Wildlife Trust's website.  You have to park on the road opposite the industrial estate and walk down a lane for about a quarter of a mile before you actually reach the site.  This lane, which lies between the back of the factories and farmland was very wet and very muddy so if you go you do need wellies or strong, waterproof boots. I was quite bothered by the litter lying along the factory side of the path - it looks as though people working there have their lunch and then throw the wrappings and bottles over the fence!  Grr - I hate litter and it doesn't hurt anyone to pack it up and take it home or to the nearest litter bin!  Apologies for the small rant.

Parrot's Drumble is classed as one of the Wildlife Trust's finest ancient woodland nature reserves.  Although none of the trees in here are that old there have been trees on this area of land for over 400 years.

The water in the Valley Brook  is the strangest colour!  It is, apparently, discoloured by the iron-oxide which leeches out from nearby ancient mine workings.

This is quite a small reserve with a circular route which brings you back onto the lane you started from. There is no way you can lose your bearings which I sometimes do in woods!  By the time we reached the cover of the trees it had begun to rain again - very heavily indeed.  You may see some rain spots on some of my photos.  Trees within the reserve are oak, ash, hazel, birch, rowan, willow and alder.  It is said that  in early spring the sound of the dawn chorus here is amazing

I love the name Parrot's Drumble and it has always intrigued me when I've read about the place in local newspapers and magazines.  The name comes from the land's previous owners the Parrot family and the local term for a stream running through a wooded valley - a drumble.

I think that we should have perhaps waited a while longer to visit this place as it is at its best in late spring as the ground under the trees is covered by dog's mercury, wood anemone, yellow archangel and something known locally as 'town hall clock'. 

It is also known for its carpet of blue bells and you can already see evidence of this all over the woodland floor.  I think we will have to return in a couple of months to see them.

Edit Sat 5th March - I've added a link on the words 'town hall clock' for those people who asked what kind of plant it is.  


  1. Lovely, look forward to you returning and showing more photos.

  2. Litter hater here too - and there seems to be more and more of it. We have lots of orange coloured strams around here - mainly pumped from old mines. It does look a lovely walk - glad the rain didnt put you off. xxxx

  3. Wonderful...and wet..I would love to be there to hear the sound of the dawn chorus or at dusk!
    I always LOVE the names of places you write about! I learned a new word today..Drumble...marvelous!
    You inspired me..I write (I try) in english ....little stories about woodland creatures..and now I think I am going to create a little stream called something with drumble...Thank you for your lovely posts..always a joy!

    Hug from all of us
    T.D and company.

  4. I wonder what "town hall clock"?!!

  5. You'll definitely have to go back and see all those bluebells once they are out.
    A lot of the books I've read have been chosen for me by the book club I go to each month. Great way of reading stuff you wouldn't normally pick.
    Lisa x

  6. This sounds lovely! Not being at all familiar with that area, I had no idea it was there.

    I'd love to see the carpet of flowers in late spring and the bluebells too! Do show us your photos if you back and I must make a mental note of this place!

  7. 'Parrot's Drumble' I love the sound of that name too! I am sure you will find it much more enjoyable on a dry day in late spring.x

  8. Your photos are making me feel very envious. We haven't been out for a good long walk for weeks now ...I really feel the need to see some woodland and streams. I hope the weekend stays fine!

  9. Lovely photos - amazing water colour! The blubells will look great there - remember to show us! Unusual name, Drumble, haven't heard that before. Abby x

  10. Love the name too and another wonderful walk x

  11. Lovely to learn of this place, especially so as my Mum's maiden name was Parrott (!), as is my 97 year old Grandpas! Yes, you must most definitely re-visit to see the bluebells. Won't be long. I hate litter. Why on earth do people have to drop it? It's just so un-necessary. Rant over! x

  12. Wow I love your walks and so near to me too!

  13. What a wonderful name Parrot's Drumble is - drumble sounds like a real piece of local dialect. It looks as though it would definitely be worth going back to see the bluebells and the wood anenomes too.

  14. I hate litter too! We are not a clean nation!

    The Bridgewater Canal in Worsley (West Manchester) can often be that shade of orange. The first time I saw it, I thought it was heavily polluted, but a local explained about the iron ore.

  15. Just found your blog today through Diane at Heart shaped, wanted to say hi :)

    Love your photos.

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  16. Town hall Clock" Rosie ? tell us more!