|Spotted orchids within earshot on the main road.|
One of the most obvious places is the Hempstead Meadows Nature Reserve. Sometimes, when returning to Manor Park from the town, I have cut through there and enjoyed walking through the lovely wild flowers, listening for birds that have come thousands of miles to visit us, and peering into the mysterious pools. On the way home, I walk through Hempstead Lane and Lime Tree Avenue. Old roads and paths like these are less obvious places for nature but they are full of craggy old trees that are both beautiful to look at and provide birds and other creatures with places to nest and live. At the feet of these giants there is a wonderful selection of wild flowers including primroses, bluebells, wild arum and many other favourites.
|Belmont Lane - just a minute's walk from the bypass|
We have some terrific woodlands, most of which can be found on the Visit Woodlands map. I haven’t visited many of these and must make a point of doing so. Some of the most intriguing are those that are not on map, like the “Riperian” (river bank) wood alongside the River Uck. I’ve been so close to this so many times, yet I’ve only seen glimpses of it.
|The river Uck, an important wildlife corridor, in the Bellbrook Estate.|
Of course people are important too. Here I’m going to take a moment to tip my hat to the marvellous people who have created Selby Meadow, a community garden near the hospital. Their Facebook feed tells how their garden, bug hotels etc. have attracted all sorts of creatures including butterflies and bats to their garden.
|Fallow deer bucks in a Manor Park garden.|
I've been amazed by the variety of habitats in and around our little town. Once again, thank you, everyone, for your help. There is clearly much to discover in our town and I'm sure I'll be picking your brains again soon.