A return visit to the Prees Branch Line – a canal nature reserve.

My brother Graham and his wife Vicky came to stay with us in early September and we went for some good days out, one of which was to the Prees Branch Line, a disused canal branch that never actually opened but now is a rich nature reserve, the longest wildlife pond in Shropshire. We have visited several times in the past at different seasons and enjoyed every walk along the old abandoned canal, as there is always so much wildlife to observe, encounter and surprise.

pbl-07

The site sign hints strongly at its main wildlife star, the Water Vole with a lovely illustration, but this is a star who is a real secretive creature and visitors have to be very lucky to spot one. It is more likely to find stems of reeds nibbled down in the vole’s distinctive style, or hear the plop as it enters the water again a very distinctive sound. We have heard them plop and seen signs of their nibblings at this reserve but never as yet spotted one.

pbl-01

We began our walk enjoying a coffee as we put on our walking boots and luckily spotted some fruit trees close by, the native Shropshire Damson otherwise known as the Shropshire Prune. This tree is a feature of Shropshire’s hedgerows and we have enjoyed many while on walks. These however were the sweetest we have ever tasted, the nectar of the gods.

pbl-02 pb-1

On this latest visit we were lucky to spot and watch for a long while a rare bee, the Moss Carder Bee which was a first for us. It appeared right in front of me as I was taking a photograph of a plant so I had the rare chance of taking photographs so effortlessly. The bee really just posed for me. Graham and I watched it for a while and got very close, close enough to appreciate the beauty of its delicate colouring and the subtlety of its markings.

pb-2 pb-3 pb-4

Not so long after this a similar thing happened. Again I was taking a close up photograph of a plant when a hoverfly firstly came into view above the flower, then landed on it closely followed by a second identical one allowing me to get these shots. Twins! Identical twins!

pbl-44 pbl-45pbl-22

Berries were at various stages of ripeness from hard green to the darkest of ruby red.

pbl-31 pbl-32

And wild flowers added spots of colour to the impressionist painting that is the bank of the canal.

pbl-23pbl-05 pbl-38

There was so much to see as we ambled along the narrow track along the towpath of the canal branch line that never opened to barges just to wildlife. Rather than narrow-boats plying the waters it is Swans, Mallards and Water Voles instead! We barely moved forward a few steps before something caught our eyes and stopped us in our tracks. I took so many photos that I thought I could invite you to join us as we followed our canal side path “there and back again”. Enjoy!

As usual just click on the first photo and then navigate with the arrows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published 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.

4 replies on “A return visit to the Prees Branch Line – a canal nature reserve.”

  1. —- and thank you for reminding us of a beautiful day. Vicky has talked about it so much since. Did we really spend over two hours walking a mile and back?

Comments are closed.

This Veggie Life

A Vegetarian | Nature Lifestyle Blog

Rambling in the Garden

.....and nurturing my soul

The Arch City Gardener

Journeys In St. Louis Gardening and Beyond

Garden Dreaming at Châtillon

Consult the genius of the place

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

gardeninacity

Notes from a wildlife-friendly cottage garden

PlayGroundology

...an emerging social science

The Official Blog of British Wildlife

'The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times' - The Independent. This blog is a member of The UK & Ireland Natural History Bloggers group: www.uknhb.blogspot.com

iGrowHort

Home School Gardening

Bishops Meadow Trust

To create and protect a semi-natural wild space for the people of Farnham to enjoy and experience an array of British wildlife in our town

Gardening with Children

The www.gardeningwithchildren.co.uk Blog

UKbirdingtimeline

birding through the seasons, why birds matter and how to conserve them

NATURE WALKER

with a camera in hand

Jardin

Transform your outdoor space

Eva's space

My allotment, cooking and other interests

Old School Garden

my gardening life through the year

LEANNE COLE

Trying to live a creative life

fromacountrycottage

trying to live as lightly as possible on our beautiful planet

Good Life Gardening

Nature lovers from Leicester living the good life.

mybeautfulthings

Finding the beautiful in the everyday

mawsonmichelle

Michelle's Allotment

In and Out of My Garden

thoughts from and about my garden

Greenhousing

Big plans for a small garden

The Fruity Chicken

Life at the fruity chicken

willowarchway

Off grid living. Self sufficient. "PERMAGANICS RULE".

St Anns Allotments

Nottingham's Grade 2* Listed Allotments and Community Orchard

Manifest Joy Harvests

a journey in suburban vegetable gardening

The Garden Smallholder

Small-Scale Smallholding, A Tiny Farm In A Big Garden

Allotmental

The madness of growing your own

Penny's Garden: a harvest beyond my front door

A novel approach to vegetable gardening

arignagardener

Sustainable living in the Irish countryside.

NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener, amateur photographer, intermediate quilter and lover of day trips around New England

dianajhale

Recent work and work in progress and anything else that interests me

planthoarder

a chaotic cottage gardener

Lens and Pens by Sally

a weekly blog that creates a personal philosophy through photographs and words

Dewdrops and Sunshine

Stories from a sassy and classy Southern farmbelle.

The Pyjama Gardener

Simple Organic Gardening & Seasonal Living

gettin' fresh!

turning dirt into dinner

JOY...

today the world is created anew

Garden Birds

Notes from a Devon garden

ShootAbout

Life Through The Lens

Adapting Pixels

A photography blog showcasing the best photography pictures and videos on the internet

Wildlifegardening's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

naturestimeline

personal observations from the natural world as the search continues for a new approach to conservation.

LATEBLOOMERBUDS

The Wonders of Life through my Eyes, my Heart, my Soul

%d bloggers like this: