Our local RSPB reserve at Fowlmere, has been created on a site containing natural chalk springs, pools and streams. For many years (from 1890s) the area was used to grow watercress.
This is one of the old watercress beds. If you look closely at the patterns on the water surface you can see where the natural springs flow into the pool (most obviously near the short stick breaking the surface on the left of the photo).
Reed Hide is the largest of the three hides at Fowlmere. It’s height allows good views over the reed beds to open water and a selection of water fowl.
There’s a fair amount of maintenance required to keep the diverse habitats and open water stretches. Here you can see a section of reed clearance and, in the distance, smoke from scrub clearance.
A 3km circular path around the reserve takes you alongside crystal-clear chalk streams. I spotted a trout swim by this spot (too quick for a photo), also caught the blue flash of a kingfisher flying along it’s length (also too quick for me – you’ll have to take my word for it!!).
The path continues through dense reed beds and along a lovely, meandering boardwalk. Didn’t spot any dinosaurs though, sadly!
The boardwalk section weaves right through the reed beds. All in all, a lovely walk!