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The Sun is back at last.

Houghton Conquest, Marston, Millbrook, Stewartby and Wixams development

The Sun is back at last.

Postby Sagitar » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:22 pm

Given the cold wet weather that has persisted recently, when the sun shone yesterday, I just could not wait to get my boots on.

Another try at a walk round the CenterParcs perimeter seemed like a good idea, but I can't carry much yet, so just the Fuji X-1 and a single lens.

The first good find - snowdrops on the verge of the A507.

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Arriving at the entry to the footpath on the south west side of the Millbrook roundabout revealed notices warning that parts of the footpath were closed while work on the Center Parcs site were carried out. I found several such notices as I walked the path, but most of them seemed to be out-of-date and I found no actual closure or signed diversion.

The mountains of spoil by the roundabout are being levelled at a pace and it looks as though the material is being transported into the site for use there.

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I am full of admiration for the skill of the operators of the machines.

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At a few places on the perimeter there are visible signs of the work going on, but mostly the view is blocked by the banks that were created early in the project and by the density of the existing woodland. A lot of what can be seen seems to be concerned with services, water, drains and power supplies. Though little is visible, the sound of heavy machinery at work is everywhere. There is clearly a lot going on.

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The most easily seen structure on the north west section of the path is an emergency road.

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It leaves the site at this gate and appears as though it will cross the public footpath to join the A507

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Where the preparatory work outside the site has been done much of the surface has been disturbed and looks as though it will quickly get very muddy in the wet.

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Let us hope that the surface growth returns quickly, but in the meantime it is not difficult to find alternative ways around it.

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A good result of this work is that the enormously deep (and often water-filled) ruts, that ruined the path where it turns south-east round the flank of Moneypot Hill, have been back-filled and levelled, bringing a huge improvement.

The fields to the south-west of this path have recently been ploughed and they look in fine fettle. You only have to look at them to see why this part of Bedfordshire is so fruitful.

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Following the path south and west allows various glimpses of the work going on, but for the reasons given earlier, they are only glimpses.

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Finishing with a view that shows clearly the extensive services that are being put in place.

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Having turned east alongside Moor Plantation I discovered this magnificent machine parked at the foot of the field leading up towards Steppingly. I haven't a clue as to its use, unless it is involved in clearing the large ditch that it stands behind. I would be interested to know if there is an expert looking in.

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Picking up the perimeter path again it was interesting to see how placid were these ponies, in spite of being only about the length of a football pitch away from the boundary bank, from behind which there is the continuous noise of heavy construction machinery. Perhaps animals are more phlegmatic than humans?

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There is increasingly dense activity as the path moves back towards Fordfield Road and the main CenterParcs entrance, but there is little more visible than storage and extensive car parking for contractors.

The walk through and around Millbrook Warren was one of my favourite "walks from home". It is not nearly so satisfying now and I somehow doubt whether it ever will be again.
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Re: The Sun is back at last.

Postby SCRABBLER » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:06 pm

Thank you for the photographic tour. I could not possibly walk the distance and I was interested to see, through your excellent pictures, all the changes that are happening in the vicinity of Millbrook Warren. You certainly had a lovely sunny afternoon for your tour. I see from your narration that you are obviously getting
over some difficulty - whatever it is, I wish you well, and thanks for the pictures.
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Re: The Sun is back at last.

Postby CraftsbyCarolyn » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:43 pm

great tour - thank you. It is on my 'list' to go and have a nose again - but thought it maybe a bit of a mud bath, as many of the fields round here are so wet, so was waiting for the sun to dry it out.
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Re: The Sun is back at last.

Postby nannie mary » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:57 pm

Thank you so much for your 'tour' around the Centreparc site. We can really get a good picture of what is going on in the woods.
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Re: The Sun is back at last.

Postby masquerade » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:08 pm

I think the developers are missing a trick - they should set up a viewing grandstand near the Millbrook roundabout for fans of construction vehicles and diggers to watch them moving the spoil around!! It's real life Tonka Toy stuff!!

Thanks for the pics as ever!!
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