Jagger Green near Huddersfield.
Photographic wanderings amongst the trees and valleys.
By Ian Walker. U.K.
In June this year I presented a photographic sequel to my Old Lindley tour but mentioned on my travels a place called Jagger Green, so this month I thought I would write a few lines about this interesting area not far from Old Lindley. In terms of buildings Jagger Green is not dissimilar in its make up since it consists of old cottages with a few farms dotted around. However it differs considerably in landscape, rather than the wide open spaces there are steep valleys with streams and wooded areas. My pictures here are a collection from various times of the year and have been taken from my archive from several years of taking photographs in this area. A copy of an old 1840 map shows Jagger Green and Old Lindley marked so many of the cottages probably date back to around this time. Jagger Green is crossed with tracks, paths and adjoining roads so a good detailed large scale map will help a great deal as several variations of circular walks bringing in different aspects of the area can easily be achieved in less than half a day.
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
The map of the Jagger Green area shows that in the UK, despite close proximity to major urban areas, in this case Halifax, Huddersfield and a major motorway, attractive paths and countryside can be enjoyed close to home by studying a local Ordnance Survey map.
Turley Cote Lane or as I call it the 'top path'.
I start on the 'top path' mentioned in my last article the location of which has been described previously [see the link at the end] since this is one way to walk down to Jagger Green. Along our route we may see deer, butterflies, quiet wooded valleys and much more. So as we approach the farm buildings at the end of the top path above we will turn right onto New Road but within about 70 yards we will turn left and walk down a track shown below, this used to have a wooden bridleway sign but this has disappeared over time.
This grassy track leads down to a pot holed road to Jagger Green.
There are usually cows munching away in the field on our left but they are kept well away by fence and dry stone wall. As we start our descent after leaving the road we see on our right empty buildings of an old mink farm which have been in decay for a number of years. It really blows round here sometimes and in gales eery sounds come from the loosened metal roofing plates which together with the whistling of the telephone wires seems like a back drop to an old Western. Now surely Clint Eastwood must be around in there some where...
Overview of Jagger Green valley, the deer are absent but they can be seen in the field below the farm on some years.
Aaah where was I... hmm, oh yes. We do have sunny weather sometimes when the picture above was taken a few summers ago, after walking down the grassy track for a while it can become rather boggy as a stream is created in winter and heavy rain. It is worth stopping at the wooded area along the way and listening for any birds and watching for rabbits under the trees and insects which frequent the brambles and long grasses.
After the wooded area panoramic views start to open up on our left as we pass a cottage on our right and as we continue further the track widens to a pot holed gravel track [unmade road] as we come to a further large cottage, here we have an option. We have a choice as the track veers left going down further into Jagger Green valley marked clearly 'public bridleway' where further marked paths can either be taken along the stream by following the footpath sign on the left through the metal style or continuing along a winding path the latter of which soon passes a fairly large ornamental pond belonging to a private residence. If following this route we would come to go two very large styles big enough for horses and here a good view of the deer is possible but you must be quiet as they may be close by. Rutting season in autumn brings the stags to defend their females from other males and make those strange but powerful calls. It's 'all ears' to the front with the deer even if they are many yards away as they have keen eyesight and hearing.
A photograph taken in mid July 2008 and the deer are back.
A close up of the church.
Behind the farm in the previous pictures Holywell Green church can be seen, the general area being known as Stainland, from the mist and overcast skies you can tell it was taken in 2008! Small villages and new estates surround the valley and slowly but surely they are filling in the green areas and nibbling away at the countryside. Many of the old farm buildings and barns have been converted to residences. This was taken a bit further along the unmade road but I shall return to the walk down to the valley and woods below.
A walk along the valley.
Jagger Green valley has pleasant walks following either the stream with steep grassy slopes and trees or alternately along a winding path that will eventually bring you to Holywell Green. Both have their charm but my favourite route is along the valley bottom. This valley in itself has further footpaths connecting to it giving good views across the top of the trees but note you should stick to the marked routes and not wander around too much as it is private land with public access. If you look carefully in the more open areas which catch the sun several types of tiny flowers can be seen amongst the grass whilst at most times of the year different fungi pop up on the felled trees and branches and amongst mosses and decaying vegetation. At one point there is a bench next to the stream a fine place to take a sandwich and flask of coffee and listen to the sound of the flowing water loosing yourself to the moment.
A quiet spot to unwind and listen to the reflective and enchanting sounds of the stream, I have spent many a happy hour around here and it brings back good memories. Butterflies are common on warmer summers including the small copper, speckled wood, small tortoiseshell, peacock, meadow brown and red admiral. Rabbits can be seen in the mornings the babies are always fun to watch as they bounce along.
A montage of the different tree canopies within Jagger Green valleys.
As I mentioned earlier we had a choice of continuing along the unmade road or walking down left as we pass the cottage so here are some of the things you can see at different times of year if you follow the valley bottom and various paths before I return to walking along the road.
One of my favourite photographs of the article, woods overlooking the stream.
Spring and blue bells abound in some parts of the woods in May...
A mystical picture with a nice balance of colour and light, if there be fairies about surely a welcoming place for them to be.
The comma butterfly shown left is not common here but red admirals are usually seen throughout the late spring and summer months.
As you can see butterflies like the bramble bush, may be the adults like feeding on ripened damaged fruit sucking up the sweet juice from the berries with their long proboscis. Brambles together with other low vegetation can be seen along some parts of the stream whilst wooded areas are all around.
The small copper butterfly can be seen flying over hedgerows and grasses or basking on more open paths, 2008 has been a poor year for them so far probably due to the wet conditions.. I hadn't seen any up too finishing this article in early August, they enjoy sitting on thistle heads and one year not so long ago there were many to be seen around the valley.
A montage of various paths that can be walked in Jagger Green, all taken in July 2008.
Left, is walking past the 'Sunday School' cottage shown a bit later. Middle, is walking further down the valley with the high fence to prevent escape by deer and on the right a continuation of the path in the middle shot where the fence is no longer needed.
Dense growth of Himalayan Balsam is taking over in some areas creating havoc with native plants.
A drop of water reflects the surroundings whilst a honey suckle flower supports a small fly.
Sawn logs provide good habitat for many insects and small mammals.
Fungi clinging to felled tree near the stream.
Fungi amongst moss.
This one prefers the association with birch tree roots.
A study on leaves and stone provide an interesting picture.
Many droplets from rain caught in a web catch the light.
Ornamental pond from a private residence.
The Old Sunday School is now a private residence.
This is another path leading down to the valley this is further along the unmade road where the majority of the cottages are that make up Jagger Green and is situated before we join New Road which is at a much lower elevation to where we started. Circular walks can easily be achieved. Just behind us there is a bench.. a welcome point to look across through trees into the distance and have a quiet few minutes contemplating. As we look down here the path continues past the cottage on the grass.
Here is where I took the earlier picture 'study on leaves and stone' shooting down on the blocks of stone before the bench.
The majority of cottages are clustered together, ahead we join New Road and if turning right and walking up the hill we will meet Old Lindley.
A typical day in July 2008 as heavy rain create large pools in the poorly made up road. Although this is fairly wide here this narrows behind us and is a no through road, access is provided only for the various cottages dotted along its length, the termination being the grassy track we have walked down shown in the second photograph at the beginning of the article.
On clear days a good view across the trees to Halifax on the right and in the distance a wind farm on the hill top.
If we continue walking straight on after leaving the unmade road behind us rather than turning right and climbing up to Old Lindley in less than 50 yards there is a modern footpath sign nearly hidden by trees on our right pointing between the cottages which leads to yet another descent into Jagger Green valley this time down many steps into the valley bottom from here you can get to the park mentioned later by turning right or turn left climbing over a high metal style where a little later good views of deer can sometimes be seen through the trees. This is a splendid walk following the edge of woods on our right and bathed in dappled shade when it is sunny, from here if we walk far enough we will meet the both tracks leading out of the valley passing the Old Sunday School cottage or further on joining the grassy track in the second photograph. Before that though it is worth a minute or two standing at the wall where the steps start and see a grand view across to Halifax and beyond.
Most years deer can be seen through the trees, they can jump pretty high so our walk is spoilt just a little by a high fence keeping them contained within their boundaries but with a zoom lens you can still get a good photo balancing the lens on the horizontal wires.
A small park with duck pond and play area is situated in the valley bottom it is quite easy to overlook it, with its surrounding trees, benches and nice views to the distance it is a good place to sit down and enjoy some tranquility. Of note here is on still days the whole area becomes a venue for song birds which at certain times of day sit in the trees and sing the most beautiful melodies one of the best of which are the thrushes with a wide and varied sounds. It has a natural ambience and the calls reverberate around.. excellent!
A few years ago conditions where just right for duck weed to cover the whole pond.
Many trees are in the park surrounding the pond.
A crisp clear morning in the park.
As autumn approaches the lower light and cooler mornings provide a tranquil scene.
Black and white photography can create a different perspective on simple scenes.
The play ground.
The playground to one side of the park area has various climbing frames giving the opportunity to try out black and white photography with studies on shape and form. I like the simplicity of the shapes and the way the sun reflects off the frames creating light and shadow.
Climbing frame taken on an old Contax film camera.
Part of a climbing frame taken on Contax film camera, the Contax with Zeiss lenses excel at this type of photography giving excellent contrast and detail, the simplicity of their fixed focal length lenses using only a handful of elements is part of its success.
Climbing frame shot in sepia on a Canon Ixus camera.
The end of the day.
The end of the day can be a great time to get those warm tones so hard to find during any other part of the day as the blue sky fades out and the sun begins to set a calmness comes over the area, birds are starting to find places to roost and all is well...
Swallows resting on electrical cables on a balmy summer evening.
A beautiful sunset, below is Jagger Green valley but here looking towards the distant hills beyond.
Just to remind us that the weather is not always so kind there are many occasions when bad weather hits the area hard the picture below was taken as I was on my way to take some of the photographs shown earlier. 2008 has been rather wet and windy, indeed as I write this paragraph in my back room at nine in the evening it has gone very dark and we have just had yet another deluge and it has been windy all day too!
On my way down Old Lindley road to visit Jagger Green in summer 2008.
Felled tree by wind and rain.
In September 2004 we had several days rain, mostly continuous and by the 13th my house was nearly flooded fortunately the rain stopped just in time, the following day I went out to see how Jagger Green had fared, trees were down, the road to Old Lindley partly blocked by gravel and stones and the stream in the Jagger Green valley was very swollen. No doubt at its worst the stream would have been worse than shown here.
The stream swollen by flood water, I have seen it worse than this where the water has been rushing over the top of the stone slab bridge, normally there is a gentle sound of bubbling water but it was much more vocal on this day.
To end the article a winter scene taken on the slopes high above the stream.
Link: Previous article.. 'Old Lindley Moor Revisited'.
Published in the August 2008 edition of Micscape.
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