Modelling AND Photography Walk One Daisy Nook to Fairbottom Bobs 1St July 2012

A walk with lovely friends scouting for locations for modelling assignments.

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I combined two of my hobbies today – walking and model photography. I invited friends from a Facebook Time For Prints group to join me on a reconnaissance walk, looking at suitable spots and locations for modelling shoots.

Despite rain and high humidity, two photographers, Heather Lawrence and Gemma Lethal Leigh who also models) were able to join me. I met Gemma in Oldham, where we got a bus to Bardsley Bridge, situated between two country parks, Daisy Nook and Park Bridge (the latter of which we didn’t quite reach). Heather met us at Bardsley and after waiting for a few other walkers who were unable to join us in the end, and dodging a short burst of rain, we walked along the towpath of Hollinwood branch of the Ashton Canal, an unfinished canal cut now filled with reeds and home to many ducks, geese and a heron.

The path runs by a bridleway, steep riverbanks over the River Medlock, and many densely wooded forest areas, unchanged since the dawn of mankind. You could easily see this as suited to fairy tale and fantasy themed shoots.

A waterside platform had water flowing gently over it and could be good for photographing models willing and able to stand, kneel or lie down in the relaxed flow.

There are many water features in the Nook, rivers, millponds, an algae-covered model boat pond, etc. There are also several totally dry concrete locks, built before the canal project died due to the competition presented by the railways. No boat ever navigated the Collingswood branch.


The canal flows into the accidental lake known as Crime Lake – caused by a careless engineering incident that flooded the valley, submerging two cottages below the dark waters. The sinking of the cottages was gradual and the owners moved out in plenty of time over the months the waters took to rise over their homes.

A set of very steep steps led us to the riverside, where I have photographed models in the water on previous visits. A stone footbridge that made it easy to cross the shallow water has now gone.


Towards the Visitor’s Centre, teashop and the Park’s only toilets, there is a wooden ship, which as Gemma observed, is perfect for pirate themed shoots.


After a short rest and escape from another heavy shower, we retraced our steps to Bardsley Bridge, and cut under the main road there through a tunnel, which obliged us to crouch in order to avoid banging our heads. The tunnel itself would be good for photos.

We went through ever darkening thicker woodland paths, rendered muddy by the rain, and set off towards Park Bridge, but time was against us, and we reached Fairbottom Bobs, a former mining colliery area, with some machinery left out in the park as sculpture, and a bridge over the river that is definitely not for vertigo sufferers but affords another great photo opportunity.

Such parks can be used over and over – as the same scene will look very different in each of the four seasons.

Future walks of this kind are being considered already taking in everything from water-parks to Hilltop follies and deer parks. Watch this space and if interested in walking with me / us on future expeditions, let me know.

Thanks to Gemma, and Heather for coming along.

The photos taken by myself and included in this review and event diary are from earlier visits to Daisy Nook and include a photo of the main remaining bridge over the Medlock at the heart of the park, and images of models Blaize Fascination and Roxy Ryder, in the water in army fatigues, from a Help For Heroes themed photoshoot in the park.

Links for further information – Daisy Nook Country Park –

Fairbottom Bobs –

Arthur Chappell

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