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A Walk in the Park – Attingham Park April – Part 1

We managed to find a day close to the end of April to make our monthly visit to Attingham Park. It was a bright warm day so we knew we would have much to look forward to. As we made our way beneath tall mature trees full of noisy nesting Jackdaws and Rooks we were joined by grandparents carrying out their grandchildren caring duties so the sounds at our level were of laughing youngsters enjoying being outdoors.

There was so much to enjoy, wildflowers in full vibrant colour, fresh green leaf burst in the trees and busy productive growing in the walled garden.

The old Head Gardener’s cottage garden provided a colourful welcome to the park’s visitors.

 

Enjoy a wander through the walled garden by exploring the gallery below. (Click on the first pic and navigate through clicking on the right arrow.)

We left the walled garden to follow the One Mile Walk, which would take us close to the river and afford us views of the woodland and pastureland beyond. It is a quiet but popular walk. Most visitors here enjoy the peace and the chance to be part of nature.

 

Bluebells gave clouds of deep blue, a haze of calm and beauty.

    

The pale colours of fresh willow foliage gave a ghostly feeling to this section of the walk.

 

Rhododendrons provided surprise splashes of colour in the shadows of the tallest of trees.

 

Towards the end of our wanderings for our April visit to Attingham Park, the deciduous trees with their bright fresh new foliage and bursting buds gave way to dark needled coniferous evergreens. Their large cones looked like a family of young Little Owls.

 

In part two of our report on our April visit to Attingham Park I will share with the the pleasure of finding flowers, wild and cultivated, on our wanderings and some pics of fresh foliage growth.

 

 

 

 

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A Week in the Lake District – Part 6 – Bluebells

The Bluebells in our Shropshire garden were flowering and sharing their rich scent with us early in May, so we were more than a little surprised to find them only just coming into flower when we visited the Lake District a month later. While driving the perimeter road around the lake called Thirlmere, we followed the road as it moved into woodlands of tall trees elongated as they fought to reach the light.

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Beneath the canopy, the play of light and shade fascinated us as explored the woods.

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As we explored further we noticed a haze of blue appearing among the fine grasses of the woodland floor. On close inspection we realised they were Bluebells, the wildflower of spring.

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Please enjoy this final set of photographs showing the richness of light in the woods around Thirlmere, one of the many bubbling streams and some of the wild plants growing there.

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In search of bluebells near Sugnall Walled Garden

So after enjoying our refreshment in the tea shop at Sugnall and refreshing our souls in the tranquillity of the walled garden we went off up a narrow lane in search of a nature reserve recommended by Geoff. We were anticipating the delightful experience of seeing and smelling the most English of wildflowers, the Bluebell.

Geoff did not let us down. We found the reserve and it was a stunning place to walk and enjoy what is best about the English countryside. A meadow, a marsh and a broadleaf woodland surrounded by traditional mixed farmland.

It was clearly signed and even had a box on the fence with leaflets in giving us a map and info. Jude the Undergardener loves maps so was happy before we even set off, happy enough to cross a meadow with cattle in!

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The hedgerow gave protection to a select few delicate wildflowers such as Red Campion and Stitchwort.

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As we left the meadow behind we passed a wet area alongside the track just before we entered the wood itself. It had a primeval quality to it.

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Entering the wood the temperature fell a few degrees and the strength of the sun weakened as we walked in dappled shade. The pathway look inviting and was soft underfoot as our feet touched the deep leaf litter.

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The scent of Bluebells was intense in the humid atmosphere below the heavily leaved ancient oaks, ash and beech. Below this rich scent lingered the warm aroma of leaf mould. Click an image below and use the arrow to take a stroll with us through the bluebells.

This little reserve is well-known for the huge and very ancient badger sett which covers a large proportion of the wood. Entry holes litter the slope all along one side of the wood. Evidence of their liking for the bulbs of the bluebells as part of their diet can be found. Small holes in the ground show where the bulbs have been dug up and consumed, the top growth, stem, leaves and flowers are left to litter the surface. These bulbs are poisonous to most wildlife but badgers relish them.

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Red Campion thrive mixed within the bluebells just as they did under the hedgerow along the more open meadowland. Campion and bluebell with their pink and blue go so well together.

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As ever, when visiting any woodland I spot the hand of Mother Nature in the natural sculpture she crafts.

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So two great places to visit within half a mile of each other and so different from each other. The two things they do have in common though are tranquillity and atmosphere.

Just before leaving for home we took a short stroll along the boardwalk through the marshland bordering the meadow near where we parked the car. Click on any image and use the arrows to view the short gallery.