Wednesday, 1 May 2002

Take yourself for a Royd

Before coming to Worsbrough I hadn’t come across the word ‘royd’ before, but in this area you could say it’s hard to escape.  From Rob Royd to Clayroyd; Gilroyd to High Royd Farm; Hudroyd to Royd Close; and more remote – Stoney Royd Spring to Hall Royd Wood.  The word isn’t in my dictionary, so for some time I was rather puzzled and my interest aroused.  Eventually I read (somewhere I can’t remember now) that it means ‘a clearing in a wood’ which would make sense if you think back to when the whole area was forested and clearings were gradually named from features they contained or the person who made them.  If anyone knows more, please let me know.
Anyway, one of my favourite short walks from home is to go from Ward Green Community Centre, down the steps and along the stream flowing through the narrow belt of trees which, according to my AtoZ, is called Jarret Royd Wood.  The stream doesn’t flow much, except in winter after heavy rain, but such water as there is goes on through Wigfield Farm and finally into the reservoir.  We stop before the farm however, and retrace our steps.  (We being usually Imogen and I or Jemima and I – I once took both but on the way back up I. decided if J. was being carried she was too!)
Sadly, there are some signs of vandalism to the young trees, and occasional fly-tipping of old tyres and other ugly rubbish (like the old motor scooter that is gradually decomposing near the steps).  But at this time of year, all that begins to fade into the background as the bluebells appear and seem to float just above the ground in the patches of sunlight.
Last time, Imogen and I found a ‘secret’ little path off the main one which took us under drooping bows and round a corner to a miniature clearing by the stream – only a few yards but a world apart – a place to daydream waste a few minutes and be restored.  Sometimes ‘you can’t see the wood for the trees’ but a clearing in the forest brings out the beauty of everything that surrounds it.

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