‘There’s No Place Like Home’, says Private Tutor
I am a private tutor that has ventured outside of my home village.
Born in England, I have had a look at places as far a field as China and Antarctica and a few places in between. As number 3 in my mini-series of posts about my local area, I will look at my favourite place in the whole wide world.
Parkhall Countryside Park is less than ten minutes walk from my front door. Isn’t it strange that you can wander thousands of miles, meet many wonderful people, have more incredible experiences than you can shake a stick out but there’s no place like home? Why is that?
Taken on a frosty February dawn, with the moon gradually disappearing, the image above shows a group of rocks at Parkhall that have no significance to followers of stone circles throughout Britain. Well, I’ve never seen naked druids dancing around them on a frost February dawn anyway. The wreath (bottom left) has been put there in memory of someone. I have had many quiet, atmospheric dawns at Parkhall. The tranquility is such that, although I know all the right words I cannot put them in the correct order to describe the place at that time of the day. The experience transcends my writing ability.
I do not always have the place to myself; the sun is rising as the rider crosses my path.
History of Parkhall - Skip to photographs below if you find history boring.
1449 – Earliest mention as a deer park, owned by the Cuney family
17th century – used for agricultural use and tree planting by the Parker family
19th century – drift coal mining and sandstone quarry
1939-70 – quarrying of sand then used as a rubbish tip
1971 -1977 Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council made it into the area it is today.
1981 – 333 acres of trees, shrubs, grass, wild flowers and water made available to the public.
Exposed by quarrying, it is possible to view river-lain deposits of sequences of sandstones and pebble beds put down over millions of years. So important is the site it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). In 2002 this part (Hulme canyon) received National Nature Reserve (NNR) Status, one of the very few NNR’s in Britain designated for their geology.
Parkhall contains an abundance of the beauty of nature: Little Owl, Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, heather, gorse, Silver Birch, Scots Pine, dragonflies, rabbits, foxes, etc.
My favourite place in my favourite place is the small pond below. Unfortunately the little wooden bridge has now gone.
My favourite place, at my favourite time of the year doing my favourite type of photography produced these three images.
I don’t know what type of bird it was but I was sure I heard it chuntering, ‘Shouldn’t private tutors be in bed this time of the morning?’