BSG PHOTO TOUR OF THORNE MOORS PART 1 COLLIERY AREA (including BELL'S) INKLE MOOR and PARAFFIN AREA
hold cursor over photo for info, try not to be put off by the first photo of the start of the Public Right of Way from Grange Road Recreation Ground through the colliery area.
This first set of photos covers a small area (less than 10%) of this massive reserve. Thorne Moors alone (without Hatfield Moors) is 1918ha or to put it in perspective about 2 miles by 3 miles!
Follow the Public Right of Way from Grange Road Recreation Ground along the colliery road. Where after a short way the road forks go left around the N side of the colliery compound (with the blue sheds on your right). Continue to the T junction and go straight across along the obvious limestone track curving right along the base of the colliery spoil mounds (if you go on the mounds here the photo below is what you can see). Continue several hundred metres towards the moor’s edge (the line of trees beyond Natural England’s set-aside field).
You will then reach the entrance bridge with information signs.
Heading straight on brings you to the Rhododendron Path, or you can turn immediately left at the entrance bridge to Green Belt.
If you went straight on, at the start of the Rhodo Path the track branches, straight on is the Rhodo Path to Canal Towpath and Observation Platform in the centre of the moors (well over a mile to platform) or right takes you along the south Western Edge to Woodpecker Corner.
On the way to Woodpecker Corner you will pass the path that joins to Jones’ Cable, which is accessed from Wilkinson’s Avenue and it is about a mile to there.
From the Public Right of Way you can get good views of Natural Englands’ set-aside field (good for counting finches to and from roosts).
At the base of the colliery spoil mounds, just before you reach the metal entrance bridge there is a small brick wall and a track through a gate, this leads around the colliery area known as Bell’s Pond/Wood. It is a great area of reedbeds, hawthorn scrub, grass and water.
The paths around Bell’s are not easy to follow, but it is possible to loop back onto the south Western Edge path (towards Woodpecker Corner). If you get lost go back towards the colliery spoil mounds!
Going to the left immediately after the metal entrance bridge instead of straight on takes you along the edge of the moor via Green Belt, to Paraffin area and if you want to Inkle Moor. Follow Green Belt path left to the Limestone road, and here go left along a partial limestone road/green lane not right onto the road. This is the Paraffin track.
Views of the open moor can be had from this track before you head into the tree line part. The following few photos are hence looking back the way you have come. At the road, Will Pits wood can be seen in the distance, it is 1 mile straight ahead, but even then the reserve continues E after Will Pits into Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts reserve of Crowle Moor.
The open areas N of Fisons’ Road are known as the flooded workings. Below shows some of the flooded workings and on the right/top the trees are the edge of Green Belt.
Can you spot the Roe Deer in the photo below?
From Fisons’ limestone road, you then reach the fork in the Paraffin track (the view is looking back) the left fork goes N towards Snaith & Cowick Moor, the right fork is the way you have come from Green Belt.
Continuing along the Paraffin track brings you to a series of deep ponds on your right, known as the Paraffin Ponds. They are so called because the deep, dense peat was used to make paraffin in the war to run tractors on.
After the meadows gate on your right (below) you will reach a huge steel gate (it is to stop vehicles not you), you can climb the gate, but it is easier by far to swing around the left side.
From here it is possible to get to Inkle Moor via Long Meadow, but the track is not easy to follow and it is better to return to the Limestone road and continue to a different area or return back the way you came.