bird watching birds nature reserves

Potteric Carr – a wildlife haven just off the M1

With a name like Potteric Carr this place just had to be good and it called out to us to drop in for a wander as we drove north on the dreaded dull M1. We succumbed and diverted through the biggest weirdest road work empire ever created. There were no signs telling you where to go just no entry signs telling you where not to go. Thank you dear Galaxy smart phone for rescuing us and sending us to the right place.

It was tempting to turn back when we saw where the reserve was situated, as all that noise, traffic, road works, building work and concrete was off-putting. The first photo shows the expanse of water and reed beds with a line of giant pylons striding across in the distance.


We were so please we ignored these scourges of modern man and after passing through the reserve’s entrance building we had several hours discovering natural wonders. There were way marked trails everywhere and lots of choice. We chose our route and set off via the sensory garden designed for children –  we always go to the children’s features first! This little area was based on the phases of the life of butterflies. We gleaned several ideas for our own allotment site trail. Lovely natural woven archways welcomed walkers from whatever direction they arrived.

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Lovely quirky features such as seats shaped like butterflies and matching recently sown wildflower meadows provided plenty of interest.

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The skills of local craftsmen are displayed in the woodcarvings of the various stages in the life of a butterfly and a particular favourite a ladybird.

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Following the track around the reserve afforded us views over areas of water, woodland and streamsides.

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The bird life was stunning and we spotted our first sightings of several  summer migrants for this year – Redstart, Whitethroat and Blackcaps and also our first Mediterranean and Icelandic Gulls of the year. To top it off we spotted our first ever Blacknecked Grebe and close up views of several Garganey, a rather scarce duck.

Extra entertainment was provided by rather more common species. A Mute Swan with young in nearby reeds was not happy when a Canada Goose moved in a little too closely.

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The poor goose was so embarrassed at being chased off by the swan that he decided to go off and pick on someone his own size, another goose.

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By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

2 replies on “Potteric Carr – a wildlife haven just off the M1”

What a fantastic place. I love it when you come across places like that during motorway travel. It’s actually not that far from me so am tempted to check it out. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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