New Places: A Look Back At 2015, Part 2

In 2014 the Prince’s Countryside Fund had run big social media campaign around National Countryside Week, their annual awareness week. The challenge had been to walk a “country mile” and post up a “walkie” photo of you out on your walk. This had proved to be hugely popular!

In 2015, however, there was no campaign and no events in my local area. So I decided to spend the week discovering more new places in our local countryside.

National Countryside Week 2015

On day 1 I headed off to Wildlife Trust BCN Brampton Wood, a lovely quiet place with lots of different paths through woods and and area of heath land. I saw Silver-washed Fritillary butterflies for the first time and at one point I could hear a deer barking, although I never managed to see it.

Day 2 took me to RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes. Almost as soon as I arrived here I saw Green woodpeckers, but they were far too quick to get any photos. I saw plenty of great minibeasts though, including Brimstone butterflies and Ruddy Darter dragonflies. I also saw a tern catch a fish right infront of me, but no photo of that either – sometimes it’s better to just watch something happen than miss it while trying to get a photo!

On day 3 the weather forecast was for rain arriving in the afternoon, so I spent the morning at RSPB Fowlmere. It’s a nice small reserve centred around chalk streams and a disused watercress bed. There were trout and crayfish in the streams, and kingfishers fishing outside one of the hides which resulted in one of my favourite photos from 2015.

On day 4 I fancied something different, so I headed off to the National Trust Chilterns Gateway Centre for a walk around the Dunstable Downs and the Whipsnade Estate, also taking in a wander round Whipsnade Tree Cathedral.

As day 5 arrived so did a patch of bad weather. The forecast was for rain around mid morning so I took an early trip to Wildlife Trust BCN Felmersham Gravel Pits. Quite a small place, which turned out to be a good thing since it started raining before I made it back to the car!

The weather cleared up again for day 6 so I decided to revisit Twywell Hills and Dales – the previous time I’d been here had been in the rain. From my GPS track I think I managed to explore the whole place this time!

An early start again on day 7, a return to Summer Leys for a short walk on familiar ground before the rain came back again. I didn’t expect the Sand Martins to still be there, so it was quite a nice surprise to see them bringing food back to their nests like the ones in Norfolk had been doing at the start of the month.

The Start of Autumn

At the start of September I took another week off work with the intention of visiting a few more local places looking for early signs of autumn, however it didn’t really pan out like that due to not-so-great weather.

On the Tuesday I went to National Trust Lyveden New Bield for the first time, and also went for a bit of a damp walk along a route following some of the Lyveden Way. There were plenty of blackberries and Sloe berries around, definite signs of the approach of autumn.

Later in the week we had a day of nice weather so I went for a morning walk round Summer Leys. Some days I like to just go for a walk without the weight of carrying camera equipment, so this time I just took my compact camera with me.

In the afternoon I went for a walk along the Grand Union canal at Stoke Bruerne, again only taking my compact camera. I’d been here once before, but it was quite ago!

Still more to come…

I know at the end of part 1 I said I’d finish the story in part 2, but it ended up being so long with all the photos that I’ve had to break it up into 3 parts.

If you haven’t read part 1 yet, please do. Part 3 will be available shortly!

Links to stuff mentioned here:

The Prince’s Countryside Fund

Local Flickr albums:

Local places visited:

One Comment Add yours

  1. louise says:

    Some brilliant photos here – and two places I’ve actually visited (Lyveden New Bield & Twywell Hills and Dales). This is often what happens on my main blog – I end up posting so many photos from walks/visits that I have to write two or three posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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