Gill Beck above Otley Road

On Friday afternoon (7 Feb 2020) I finally made the time to go and have a look at the stone bridge over Gill Beck next to the Otley Road bridge. It had looked as though work was going on there even after the wall next to the road had been repaired, so I was curious to see whether anything had been done with the stone bridge. Having seen it now I think the time was being spent building-up the slope to the wall to give it decent support. There is a photo of the slope up to the wall somewhere below.

The photos above show what the bridge was like on this February visit. It looks more or less the same as it did on previous visits except that the branch that is more or less horizontal in the middle (2nd) photo was more upright on previous visits.

These 2 photos were taken in April 2012 which show the bridge covered in a bit more green – as you would expect in April. The branch in the 2nd photo is close to 45 degrees.

The 3 photos above were taken in February 2013 and the branch is still around 45 degrees.

The photos above show some of the things in the immediate area of the stone bridge. I believe there used to be cottages in this area along with substantial stonework guiding the water flow. There is still evidence of a hearth, surrounding walls and also several bricks from local companies. The new wall on Otley Road now has a substantial grassed slope supporting it. At the top of a slope towards Tong Park one of the trees has impressive visible roots.

I then walked along the beck, going up stream to the bridge at Tong Park Dam on the South side of the beck and back down-stream on the North side of the beck.

A lot of Wild Garlic was just starting to come through, promising impressive cover later in the Spring. There were also several small clumps of Snowdrops catching the sun.

Not far upstream the beck emerges from having been under Tong Park Industrial Estate. The 3rd photo above is taken from where it reappears.

The photos above are taken in Tong Park Industrial Estate as I walked up-stream to find where the beck disappeared under the Ind Estate. Keeping to the South side of the beck meant it was tricky to get a shot of where the beck went under the Ind Estate.

The beck goes along by the top of Tong Park Dam. I walked as far as the footbridge near the top corner of the dam and then walked back along the other side of the beck.

While walking along I had seen and heard Dippers but they tended to be better at seeing me than I was at seeing them. I also had only a 17-55mm lens, great for general views but not very good a getting close shots of wildlife. The photo above is a crop of one shot at 55mm. And as you can see, the Dipper is keeping an eye on me.

The photos above show some of the things that can be seen after leaving the Industrial Estate.

These photos show where the beck flows under the Industrial Estate, a view of part of the estate and then the last is a view of the beck as it goes under Otley Road. As you can see, this bridge is a lot more substantial than the small stone bridge.

The beck marks the Baildon boundary and this stone on the bridge at Otley Road shows the boundary between what was Baildon Urban District Council and Wharfedale Rural District Council. The photo was taken in 2009 soon after the painting, funded by Baildon Parish Council, of the stone mile and boundary markers along Otley Road had been done.

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