Recently we have been doing a lot more walking, not just round our own little village, but venturing further afield – but still within our own area. Today we went to Apex Park… this is what I wrote about it a couple of years go:
We quite often go adventuring on our own doorstep, following signposts to little local villages, going to different parts of towns we know. Some time ago I wrote a series of posts about Burnham-on-Sea, a small seaside town down the coast from us; the town has a town trail with a very helpful and interesting leaflet to follow, and we spent a couple of pleasant days, wandering round following the trail, looking at small things such as steps used to get on a horse, as well as things you might expect such as the church, the station, a tea-room, pubs and hotels.
However… we didn’t venture down the promenade, but yesterday we did. My husband had an exhibition of his paintings in the Princess Theatre, which is interesting in itself. It was built in 1869 by a private company, the Market House and Town Hall Company; in its time, this building has accommodated the Council Chamber, has been the home of a covered market, and at one time housed the town fire station on the ground floor beneath the auditorium. So after a coffee in the small but friendly theatre coffee bar, admiring the paintings, we set off on a little walk.
We followed the path along beside the River Brue, and we didn’t realise but we were walking past somewhere called Apex Park which was where clay was dug at first by hand and then as industrial techniques progressed, by machine. These pits are now lakes, home to wildlife, and interesting for explores! We haven’t explored them yet, that will be another day! There were brickworks making not just bricks but also tiles and pipes. There were four kilns and they could produce 20,000 bricks. We just followed the river path for a short way until ominous black clouds sent us back home.
here is a wonderful description of a much longer walk than our little amble, with some superb photographs:
…and more about the River Brue:
… and then another post:
Apex Park, in Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset, was for over a hundred and fifty years, a noisy, smokey, dirty, clay and brick works. Initially dug by hand before machines arrived, the muddy deposits from the banks of the River Brue on the south end of the town was perfect for bricks, for tiles, for pipes and for many other ceramic items. There were four brick kilns at one time, and as soon as the railways came to the west country a branch live brought modern transport to carry the bricks away.
The industry declined and the structures were pulled down, the clay pits allowed to flood… and a wonderful park and leisure are was opened. The broken bricks and rubble from the buildings was put down as hard-core for a car park, a caravan site and park home area was created, the clay pits became lakes and soon wild birds and wild life proliferated.
The area was not just left to go randomly back to nature, it is managed to ensure no plant dominates and there is variety to ensure birds, insect, butterflies… grasses can overwhelm a natural area, so other plants are specifically grown which take up a lot of moisture and nutrients, keeping the grass in check.