The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes. MARCEL PROUST

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. WILLIAM BLAKE

Wanderer, there is no way; the way is made by walking. ANTONIO MACHADO

Friday, 1 February 2013

Langford Lowfields

Wednesday was a fine but blustery day, and I set off on one of my local walks. Passing this oak tree, I followed an old stone wall... 

... until I came to a three-way junction of paths.

The familiar route took me under power lines...

...  to a small bridge crossing the river Fleet. The floods had largely receded, but a pool of water remained in this ploughed field. A flock of fieldfares rose from the field's edge...

... as I turned up this woodland path. The path is new...

... as is this other bridge over the Fleet. The area is now all part of the Langford Lowfields nature reserve owned by the RSPB.

Near the gravel pit lakes I met up by chance with Jenny Wallace, the warden of the reserve, and we had an interesting chat for twenty minutes. She told me they'd had big problems with the flooding, but the water levels were gradually dropping. She described the insect life, and the butterfly life in summer, and the birds: there are several types of owl here, also reclusive bitterns, and even, if you're lucky, marsh harriers. These summer visitors bred a couple of years ago, and she was hopeful they'd return this year. (You can read Jenny's blog here.)   

Bitterns like reed beds, and there are extensive reed beds on these old gravel workings. The reserve also attracts wildfowl and wading birds.

Before I made my way back along Westfield Lane, I paused on the bank of the river Trent which borders the western side of the reserve. As you can see, the water was still very high. 

7 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

I do love a good pylon photo!
x

George said...

Glad to see you're out on a winter walk, Robert. Nice to have that nature reserve as a resource. The photos remind me of the flat wetlands and birdlife that are characteristic of the Chesapeake Bay region in which I live.

Ruth said...

I am always so happy when I see a reserve, especially a walkable one. My lungs feel better just looking at your photos.

Dominic Rivron said...

The Trent. Always takes me back to afternoons spent canoeing with my dad.

Martin said...

Oh, the Trent, now there's a mighty river to follow from source to head...

The Solitary Walker said...

Anything to oblige, Rachel!

A Chesapeake Bay in the English Midlands, George. I'm speechless!

My lungs felt good too, during and after the walk, Ruth.

Dominic and Martin; yes, the mighty Trent, England's 3rd longest river. (I've followed it from Long Eaton to just south of Gainsborough along the Trent Valley Way.)

Goat said...

Good to see you out walking again. Hope the new lifestyle regimen is working well.