Sunday, 20th November 2016

A GRAND DAY OUT AT BROCKHOLES NATURE RESERVE

A distance of 3.5 miles with little ascent taking 2.5 hours on a cold day with light winds

 

This year our Annual Members Meeting was held at the Brockholes Nature Reserve. The day started at 10:30am with a short, interesting walk around the site led by John Leyland our treasurer. We were fortunate that John is a long term conservation volunteer at Brockholes and could tell us about the past, present and future plans for the site. Many people had never visited the nature reserve and were surprised at how extensive and varied it is.

We set off past Meadow Lake, along a walkway through the reed beds and down to the River Ribble where English Longhorn cattle were grazing. Continuing through the semi-ancient woodland of Boilton Wood, we passed the bird watchers hide by No1 Pit lake and headed down to the river again to the hide overlooking Meadow Lake. Returning to the car park via woodland trails we checked out the stone circle (a new henge built from stone from various parts of Lancashire).
The weather was kind to us and we were on good paths for most of the time.
It was an extremely pleasant and interesting day.

After returning to the floating Visitor Village for lunch, some of the group enjoyed the excellent food on offer in the reserve restaurant while others consumed their packed lunch in the conference centre where we planned to hold our AMM later in the day. Commencing at 2:00 pm, our Chairman led the meeting through the agenda and concluded the formal requirement of approval of the annual accounts and election of the committee.

David Kelly, the Area Secretary, had joined the group for the morning walk and gave a brief presentation on some of the footpath issues in the county. We had short break for tea, coffee and home made biscuits an unexpected treat before returning to the conference room to receive a most interesting presentation from David Beattie a wildlife volunteer.
David, a volunteer of 25 years standing, explained the history of the reserve and the measures being taken to create habitat for the many various species of birds and animals who reside and visit the reserve. Our day concluded after the presentation, however as we made our way to the car park we we treated to a murmuration of starlings in the sky above the reserve.............

The group gathers in the car park

A couple of swans . . .

are one of our first sights

The hide contains useful information

A new development is a dipping pool with access for all

The group gathers to listen to John . . .

with good views of the floating Visitor Village

Wooden walkways give closer access to the water . . .

but their access to the Village can be easily closed off

Meadow Lake and the Visitor Village

British Longhorn cattle . . .

have some fearsome looking horns . . .

and were introduced to keep the grass short . . .

but this one looks more interested in us

Another pause as John provides more information . . .

but those without a guide . . .

are able to use the boards . . .

to find out how things have developed

On the island . . .

the sheep brought in to keep the grass short . . .

seem to think that it is feeding time

A swan and cygnet make good use of of the indented edges of the island . . .

while two others parade for us

Ready and waiting . . .

but not quite the time to see ospreys

Judas Ear fungi adorns the tree trunk

Gathering at the stone circle . . .

Robb, our chairman, explores a limestone 'stone'

Part of the site is bordered by . . .

the River Ribble . . .

and in the distance . . .

a good covering of snow can be seen on Pendle Hill

Time to return to the Visitor Village for lunch

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