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!
Living in the damp middle of nowhere
What a lovely spot! It’s interesting that reed clearance and burns have been a part of certain of our refuges over the past months, with the same purpose: keeping open water for the thousands of waterfowl who arrive here for the winter.
🙂 Sadly the clearance included chainsaw work and so the chances of seeing very much from the closest hide was zero, but after that it was fine. Next time I’ll take binoculars and proper camera though.
A beautiful walk. Thank you for sharing it!
You are very welcome!
It’s wonderful to see how clear the stream is.
Yes, it was striking … and the only reason I spotted the trout of course! 🙂
Such beautifully clear water… perfect for cress-growing. I love the photo of the boardwalk through the reeds… soothing for body and soul!
The visit was much more interesting than last time I visited, but I honestly couldn’t say why. Maybe I just appreciated/needed it more! Next time I’ll take binoculars though, so that I can properly see all the chattering birds in the tree tops 😉
Beautiful and relaxing photos–thanks for taking us on that walk with you!
Glad to share! I have been enjoying going on slightly longer, planned walks recently and I am discovering a lot about my surrounding environment!
A very striking landscape. I really like the warm brown of the reeds. The boardwalk looks so inviting, it just draws you in. Thanks for sharing!
You are welcome! The reserves winter colours are lovely. I didn’t post any of the woody interludes round the trail, but the trees were suitably gnarly and heavily decorated with lush mosses and shiny ivies, so they were nice too!
Lovely scenery, looks rather cold though! I enjoyed walking round with you!
Thanks! Never fear, I was well wrapped up.
your blog is good. I have started following your posts