Friday, 19 June 2015

30 Days Wild - Day 16 - An Evening Visit to Elmdon Nature Park

So my plan more-or-less came together. I left work promptly and scuttled off the station where I picked up the shuttle bus to my hotel, the Birmingham Airport Holiday Inn. Wanting to find somewhere to explore for 30 Days Wild, I had checked the map a few days previously and discovered Solihull Council's Elmdon Nature Park.

Tuesday Evening, June 16

The park is just across the dual carriage way from the hotel. I crossed the iron bridge, passed the wonderfully eccentric old lodge and followed a narrow path through a strip of woodland. I came out into glorious meadow land full of long grass and buttercups.

Buttercup meadow.
I followed the path and a small road past the Grange, swung left onto a little road and then walked through the church yard of St Nicholas.

St Nicholas.
On the other side of the church there is a car park, then an enormous sweep of classic park land full of winding paths and tall trees.  Before World War II, this was the grounds of Elmdon Hall. Now it's a public park.

Monkey puzzle tree.
It was great to see that, where a tree had fallen, that it had been left in place and a group of teenagers were enjoying climbing on it. I followed the paths to the lake and was amazed by its size. The first water bird I saw was a moorhen collecting twigs from a tree.

Moorhen collecting twigs.
Further down, there was a clamour from ducks, swans and geese as a youngster fed them scraps.

Mute swan on the lake.
Further still, a mum was telling her young son to walk quietly as they might see some baby ducks and geese. The fluffy goslings were tucked up on a far bank with the adults. Then I followed a boardwalk through wildflowers and admired the buttercups under the horse chestnut.

Red horse chestnut and buttercups.
Climbing the open grassland, I looked back and, for the first time, saw the huge Land Rover works, previously well hidden by the tall trees.

Land Rover works.
Coming nearly full circle, just below the church there is a huge chestnut tree that must already have been well grown when Elizabeth the First was queen.

500-year old Chestnut tree.
I noticed that time was running short, so I would have to leave the walled garden and nature reserve  for another day. On the way back, the buttercup fields were full of rabbits and the pale, wild roses seemed to sing out of the fading light.

Wild roses and buttercups.
Then back to Marcos in the hotel for my evening meal. I was certainly ready for it after all that walking!

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