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A waterfall, a watermill and a brand new wood


Around my house there are about a dozen woods that I have explored already, and this year I want to find new woods to explore. Last Saturday night Dad looked on a map and found a new wood that he thought would be good to explore. We had a good time exploring it last Sunday and found three new skulls and then on Sunday night Dad heard out about something amazing that would be worth exploring, so we went back again today. This post is about those two walks and what we found.

The first thing that came as a shock was that there was a lot of forestry work going on. and the first part of the wood had been chopped down. 

When there is forestry work it makes it much much harder to walk through the wood, and the first bit was tricky. Last weekend was easier because the mud was frozen, but today it was very muddy indeed. What was worse was a lot of trees had blown down in the recent storms which made it very difficult to go into the woods from the south. 

Today, we went down the first valley, and along the east edge of a loch. Last week we saw a cormorant and two herons there, and this week as we walked down we saw the cormorant flying in. We crept along the east bank and watched it swimming. It kept going under the water. I counted it and it stayed under the water for about 25 seconds each time

We went along the north bank of the loch and then north along a valley, up to a spot where last week I found the skeleton of a young red deer stag, including this skull.

It was a spiker red deer stag, about two years old. I brought back the skull last week but couldn't find the jaws.

We went north, and then down a very very steep bank to a river. I had come to see a waterfall which was about 30 or 40 feet high, which we had just seen from a distance on the last walk. We crossed the first of the river to an island. The waterfall was amazing, but we had come to find something else and we couldn't find it.

Dad had read about a ruined watermill on the south bank of the river. We searched but couldn't find it, and the last record of it was 16 years ago, so it might have been demolished. We stopped for a break, then dad thought he spotted something on the bank next to the waterfall:

Can you see it ? I couldn't at first until I looked through my binoculars and saw part of a rough wall:

We couldn't see much but it was definitely some sort of building, but it was on top of a sheer rock cliff half way up the bank, and to get to it we had to climb a very steep bank again. We put our binoculars in our rucksacks, and dad put his camera away too and got out his rope instead.

The bank was steep and it was the most difficult climbing I had done. It was very muddy, and at the end if I had slipped I would have fallen straight into the river 20 feet below. Then at last we turned a corner and saw it:

It was pretty amazing to see, because it must be at least 150 years old. It is a rough stone built building, about 25 feet by 30 feet. and two stories high. The floor and roof have come off completely, but there were some clues as to what the building was.

I found this piece of a metal cog, which would have been about a fifth of a toothed circle. This would have been attached to a huge wooden circle, and another cog would have sat in the teeth and driven it round.

This was a water mill, so at one time it would have had a huge wheel on the outside of it which would have sat in a channel of water. When the water went by, it would have pushed the wheel round , which would have turned machinery inside. The side the wheel would have been on was on the cliff above the river, so I had to use a rope to get down.

This is difficult to see, but the things to the right of my feet were the metal centres of the waterwheel. The wood must have rotted away. The metal centres were covered in moss, and were around a big metal axle. There was a channel about a metre deep below which ran parallel to the river.


This was the best view of the waterfall. I worked out it was about 30-40ft high and incredibly dangerous. We weren't right next to it but you could still feel the water spray from the water crashing down below.

The watermill was an incredible find and quite difficult to find and get to but really worth it. We almost missed it completely because we forgot to bring the map reference. I think this wood is going to be brilliant to explore. When we we were there last week, we saw two roe deer who were very tame, and a few buzzards too. I even found a squirrel skull and another one I haven't identified yet which I think might be a mole. It was great to find another fantastic wood just ten minutes from my house.

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Anonymous said...

amaing! i wish i lived near alot of old woods.


Unknown said...

The wall was ancient. And you're luck, you can go those strange place when you're so young. Take care. Best wishes to you.

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