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).
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.
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