Disused rail lines as public rights of way (3).
The above portrait (taken from the Internet) is of George Hudson, 1800-1871, the famous Victorian railway promoter, financier and politician who, before he fled abroad to avoid imprisonment for debt, had considerable connections with East Yorkshire.
One very good example of a disused rail-line converted to a public right of way is the Hudson Way footpath which crosses the southern Yorkshire Wolds east to west between Beverley and Market Weighton. With crossing the Wolds its course includes cuttings and embankments as well as some terrace sections cut into the side of Wold slopes. Therefore, not only is it an ideal route along which to see chalk bedrock-loving plants but also plant communities vary according to how sheltered or how open a given section is.
Between Beverley and north of Cherry Burton the route follows the gently undulating land at the base of the dip slope of the Wolds, incidentally this stretch includes a fine example of a surviving station-masters house with platform alongside just east of the B1248 Beverley to Wetwang road, this the site of the once Cherry Burton station and goods yard.
South of Etton the route encounters more pronounced hills and west of the Gardham road panoramic views start to develop. At Kiplingcotes the station house (once a convenient cafe, but no longer), warehouse and signal box survive. At one point, 20 or so years ago, the signal box was upgraded to a pop-in un-manned museum and the first names in the visitor’s book were myself and a group of students on a day-out. Certainly up to a year or two past the furniture retailer whose business was based in the warehouse had a display unit in Hull’s indoor market alongside Holy Trinity (Minster) church.
The Kiplingcotes chalk quarry (alongside the route) is administered by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. I assume that rather than it being a field quarry this was where chalk was quarried by the railway company as hardcore for embankments.
(to be continued).