Doncaster Ramblers going on a bear hunt

24 Ramblers met at Pugneys, an area of ex gravel pits and quarry that now form an attractivecountry park on the outskirts of Wakefield.

Saturday, 4th December 2021, 10:00 am
This week's Ramblers led by Pauline

The weather was bright and sunny and so were our spirits.

After a briefing by Pauline we set off across the main A636 and turned left alongside a wetlands area beside the river Calder. Looping round and re-crossing the main

road we kept to the side of the Calder until heading off to our coffee stop at the magnificent Sandal Casltle. (Site of the Yorkist Lancastrian battle of Wakefield in 1460).

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Norman and Wendy with the large wooden sculpture of a bear that now commemorates the story of a bear that escaped from a travelling menagerie in 1867.

The views from the top were superb with Emley Moor, Wakefield Cathedral and the countyside towards Pontefract in the distance.

We then passed Kettlethorpe village and Kettlethorpe Hall, once owned by the Pilkington family who also owned Newmillerdam, and after another main road

was negotiated we entered the woods at Newmillerdam itself. There we met various gnomes and encountered the aforementioned bear. A large wooden sculpture now commemorates the story of a bear that escaped from a travelling menagerie in 1867 and enjoyed several hours of freedom before being recaptured.

We lunched at the picnic area before turning at the top of the lake to get back to the road at the dam. The lake, arboretum and old boathouse (now a

Tony in the the woods at Newmillerdam

cafe) all added to the natural beaty of the woodlands which were looking good in the November sunshine.

Partly retracing our earlier route we returned to Pugneys having thoroughly enjoyed a lovely and interesting walk in a part of West Yorkshire previously

unfamiliar to many of us.

Thanks to Pauline for leading, Angela for back marking and Diane, who having been pressed into service as photographer took to it ‘like a pro’

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Doncaster Ramblers Facebook page for details of past Rambler outings.

Remember while out observe the Countryside Code and give way to other walkers.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.