Home » Walks » Arrow Valley Country Park » Dougal’s got new shoes

Dougal’s got new shoes

That’s Dougal disco, in case anyone is puzzled.

Looking at my old tyres, although still legal, I thought they were looking a tad short of some good traction, so yesterday, after ordering 4 new ones on Tuesday, I popped along to get them fitted.

The tyre company had mentioned they were quite busy, so I might have a while to wait, soย I’d decided to take litle Sal along with me and we could go for a walk, as just over the road is the Arrow Valley Country Park.

The park which was created in the 70’s is around 900 acres in size, and stretches two and a half miles from north to south. In the middle of the park is a 29 acre man made lake.

There are many tarmac footpaths criss-crossing the park, but the main footpath follows theย lake edge all the way round, which is about a mile in total.

It was a regular walk with Ben my old dog as he loved swimming in the lake. Harry liked it, but for the wrong reason as several cyclists found out the first time I took him there, when he joined them on their ride snapping at their tyres.

Further walks there (now on a lead) found me in a heap on the floor on a couple of occasions, when he still thought the wheels were fair game to chase. So needless to say, it became somewhere I steered clear of.

Out of habit I guess, it has never been high on my agenda for dog walking, so poor old Jasp and Sal had never been there. In fact, Jasp still hasn’t, as yesterday he’d been a bit under the weather, so stayed behind with T.


A view across the lake, which has a wide variety of wildlife living on it.

The land behind the trees on the left is an island. My daughters used to call it rabbit island. I didn’t see any this time, but years ago, it was full of rabbits. I used to wonder how they got there, until recently when I found that rabbits are quite proficient swimmers.

The peace garden.

I had only taken my little compact camera with me, so my attempt to capture a swan flying across the lake, could have been any flying bird ๐Ÿ˜ณ ……can you spot him? ๐Ÿ˜‰


Two more views.

Sal and I walked around the lake twice, she met many dogs to play with and I bumped into an old friend I haven’t seen for years.

Somewhere else on my doorstep where I haven’t been for years, and thoroughly enjoyed. It calls for more walks, perhaps with Jasp and his chariot next time.

Finally, here’s one of Dougal’s four new shoes.

My purse is now considerably lighter, but I’m ready for what the winter can throw at me ๐Ÿ™‚


27 thoughts on “Dougal’s got new shoes

  1. 900 acres is a hell of a park… and yet another magnificent place you have shared. I’m so glad Sal got to go along with you, and you both had a great time. I hope Jasp gets his chance soon. (I also didn’t know rabbits could swim).

    • It is a big park, looking at it on Googlemap it appears to cut the town in half.
      In the late 60’s the town was designated a ‘New Town’. Prior to this the River Arrow was the eastern boundary.
      I did try to find some information on the origin of the park, but without luck, so I’m guessing as the new town was built to the east of the river, the land the park is on was deemed unsuitable for building and the reason why a leisure park was created.
      I only found out rabbits could swim recently too, when I googled something else.
      More knowledge eh?, like I mentioned on your recent post ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Glad you enjoyed the walk around ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’d love to see a rabbit swimming, I guess the back feet would be excellent paddles, but the front ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  2. Lovely pictures, looks like a nice place for a walk. +2 on the news that rabbits can swim! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Looks like a lot of blue on that tyre, I’ve not seen so much on a new tyre before. Did it wash off easily or will you have to drive around for a few months with blue tyre walls? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I assume it is to stop the white painted letters from fading in storage? I noticed the same stuff had been out on a set of BFG tyres I got last year, it was only on the side of the tyre that has the raised white letters. Curious.

    • LOL, there is a lot of blue on them ๐Ÿ˜ฎ and I don’t know why, but I was told not to wash it off as it will gradually wear off. The previous tyres I had, I just washed it off, with no detriment to the tyres, so if it doesn’t wear off soon, I’ll be doing the same.
      BFG eh? nice tyre, but out of my price range I’m afraid ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  3. Apart from being yet another rabbit commenter ….. I’m always surprised by the beauty of the area you live in. For which I blame the local government reorganisation of (1974 I think?) creating the new city counties such as West Midlands – thereby making everyone, or at least me, think that everywhere around there is endless urban conurbations. And yet, if you think about the counties south of Brum, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire etc – they are particularly beautiful and luscious areas.

    So what sort of tyres did you buy? Or have I missed it somewhere?

    • I have really come to the conclusion, that I don’t see the beauty of where I live, it’s only when comments like yours are made, that I sit back and take another look, and realise, yes I am lucky.
      I’m guess I’m guilty of ‘the other mans grass is always greener” having a yearning to live by the sea.

      I bought Avon Rangers, they’re a 90% road tyre. The previous ones were A/T but Dougal has never been playing in the mud.

      • I’m sure those tyres will be fine. You’ll probably find a slight improvement in mpg too, I certainly find a drop in mpg when I swap from my tarmac tyres to the BFG AT’s through winter on my Mazda pickup. Those Avon Rangers look like they’ve got lots of sipes so should be OK in the wet and better on ice than many other tyres although for me I don’t mind paying the extra for the BFG’s as I do very high annual mileage and we tend to get quite severe weather here being on the north east coast. The BFG’s are winter compound and do work well on ice. I paid ยฃ800 for a set of 5 about 8 years ago, they are used approx 3mths each winter and have now done 60K miles in total and still have 3/4 of their tread depth remaining so will be good for another 8 years – they’ll probably need replacing due to age long before they actually wear out. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Funny that we all become complacent with the area we live in and tend to think we live in a less beautiful area than others. I work down in Meriden, near Coventry a couple of times each week and I always think it is a lovely place with some distinctive homes, lots of rivers and trees (and not forgetting the many golf courses) and yet my work colleagues envy where I live which is mostly open agricultural land ๐Ÿ™‚

        • I’ve had Avon Rangers before, fitted to Poppy my red Discovery, and was happy with them, so hopefully will be again, they are certainly quieter than the A/T that I have changed from.
          I used to have BFG muds on Poppy, which came on the alloys I bought, great for playing in the mud, but not on the road, they scared the s*** out of me in the wet ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
          North East coast, mmm, lovely part of the UK.
          Golf courses down this way, T’s favourite is the one on Cleeve Hill.

  4. LOL, not many golf courses around here, we have Forest Pines over by Scunthorpe but I don’t know of any others locally. We do however have one of the best pay and play sites in the UK, Kirton Off Road Centre, only 10 minutes down the road from us ๐Ÿ™‚

    The BFG AT is really noisy, I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice. Oddly enough I bought a set of BFG KM2 mud tyres for my wifes Land Rover last year and they are actually quieter than the AT’s!!! For a mud tyres they are also extremely good on the road in the wet unlike the old MT’s.

    If you don’t mind me asking, how much did you pay for the Avon Rangers? I’m thinking they may be a great summer tyre for my Series 2 for when I have to do some motorway trips in her.

    • They were ยฃ93.95 each all in.
      I was toying between those and Continentals, but as the Continentals were ยฃ100 each, my Yorkshire brain wouldn’t let me buy them. Reading reports on them both, there didn’t seem much difference in the quality.
      The muds I had was quite a while ago, I heard they’d improved them for road use.
      The Kinton centre sounds good. I did quite a bit of green laning with Poppy and a few play days too, but Dougal hasn’t been to play out at all, apart from through snow on country lanes to get to work.

  5. Thanks for that, I’ll have to consider those next year when I buy some new tyres for Ciggy. That is not a bad price although I managed to get a great deal last year with my local ATS on the BGF KM2’s which are huge (255/85R16 or 33″ in old money), I ‘only’ paid ยฃ780 for a set of five including fitting, so approx ยฃ160 each. Sounds alot but then you get alot of rubber for your money ๐Ÿ™‚

    Our 109″ isn’t used for off roading either, simply bought as a 2nd vehicle that was cheap to insure and fix. Also easily fixable by myself and we both love their character.

  6. Hey Vicky,
    What a lovely park! I don’t know how large our Rockwood Park is, but it’s very big too … with lakes and paths, like yours. And yes, I spotted the swan ๐Ÿ™‚ Speaking of swimming rabbits and stuff like that — a birder friend of mine, shot a blue heron, swimming … it looked like a gray swan ๐Ÿ™‚ Neither he, nor I, had seen a heron swimming like that.

    I’m so behind in reading blogs and commenting … like I said in RoughSea’s blog; the WP reader doesn’t seem to work for beans!

  7. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I hope that is shot with a camera ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    I’ve only ever seen herons standing or flying too.
    We have one fly over our house regularly…….landing at the edge of our next door neighbours pond.
    He stands there next to the plastic one (that is supposed to scare him off) watching the fish ๐Ÿ˜€

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