This delightful autumnal walk was inspired by a scenic drive to Sawdon. Michael suggested we drive to Sawdon to enjoy the pageantry of colour presented by autumn tints. What a spectacle it proved to be in October! Forestry and farmland are the prominent features of this route, whether you decide to drive, cycle or walk. Being easy to follow, it’s ideal for stepping out on cold days. Then – in summertime it can prove fruitful in July when bilberries are plentiful!
Head for the lovely, remote village of Sawdon, which lies about 1.75 miles north of Brompton, off the A170 Scarborough to Pickering road. Opposite Hardwick Country Store you’ll see Sawdon Lane. Follow this lane past houses to your right, and rounding bends, swing right with the lane to pass Mount Pleasant Farm. The lane later angles left into the heart of the village.
You’ll see the converted Wesleyan Methodist Chapel dated 1823 to the right, opposite The Anvil Inn, which is your starting point for the 6.5 mile forestry route. It’s the perfect place to dine, having a restaurant, beer garden, free house, and an entrance to the rear.
Should you prefer to enjoy a shorter walk of approximately four miles, you can continue to Granary Farm and start from there.
Leaving the lovely, stone-built village, as you ascend Cockmoor Road, you’ll observe the little village hall to your right. Yederick Spinney is indicated beyond, opposite piles of felled tree trunks. It’s grand to discover this spinney now providing an adventure play area for children in a quiet, secluded site. A straight, hedged lane leads to Granary Farm, off right. This provides an optional starting point for the shorter, four mile route.
The narrow lane soon passes Sawdon Heights Farm, and later Basin Howe Farm features to the left, as you ascend to the brow of the hill. As the lane levels, forestry stretches to either side. (See appendix l)
Plantations of young trees dominate acres, along with prepared beds for nursery planting. Reaching a sign: Wykeham Nursery, keep to the right lane, ignoring any diversions. Brompton Moor House lies to the left. Enter a single track road and reach a car park along the Tabular Hills Walk at Highwood Brow.
Take time at the view point above Bakers Warren. Then with your back to the car park, cross the track to take up Moor Road (almost immediately opposite but slightly left). Follow this road and ascend to a road junction. Here, go right via Wykeham Forest along Moor Lane, with mixed forestry. Beyond a bridleway and public footpath off left, you reach Park Farm and pass Sawdon Park to Granary Farm ahead. Here, turn left to return along the Yederick Road to The Anvil. Seek Low Lane off left, if you wish to purchase honey! Then complete your day’s outing at the ever-popular Anvil Inn.
l Almost all the small trees used for planting by the Forestry Commission in north east Yorkshire are raised in nurseries within the Pickering district. The main nurseries are among the plantations of Wykeham Forest. Raising young trees for planting is a highly skilled job. Each year, millions of seedling trees and sturdy transplants are ready for the plantations of Yorkshire and beyond.
Foresters in charge of nurseries are very experienced and highly skilled. Some of the plants are raised from Yorkshire-grown seed. Others are from seed collected elsewhere in Britain, or imported from north-west America.
The seed comes from carefully-selected parent trees of high quality. Every consignment is labelled to record its specific origin. This follows the young tree during its nursery life, and into registers which record details of what is planted in every section of the plantations.
Sowing is done in early spring, and a year later the seedling trees just a few inches tall, are lifted to be transplanted or ‘lined out’ in fresh beds. When the transplants are from 18 months to three-years-old, they’re ready to go out for planting. The well-fertilised, sandy soils of the nurseries, and the transplanting process, produces young trees with a compact, fibrous root system. Sturdy plants will be able to withstand the tough conditions of the planting sites.
Distance: 6.5 miles or shorter route, 4 miles.
Allow: Three hours or so of easy walking.
Refreshment: The Anvil Inn, Sawdon. Plenty of inns, cafes, restaurants and fish and chip shops along the A170.
Take an identification book of trees if available, and binoculars for viewing wildlife etc.
NB. Astronomy Wise, second Friday of the month takes place in Sawdon Village Hall.