|Main pathway into Park Lime Pits from car park|
This winter although stormy, wet and windy has been incredibly mild and today would have been a pleasant day for a walk had the conditions been conducive. Attempting to walk on incredibly wet ground where the clay mud attempts to suck your sturdy walking boots off your feet is hard going and there is no let up. Even on walkways and hard pathways there are puddles and slippy, slimy mud waiting to trap you with each footstep.
|Water levels are incredibly high- the steep embankments look positively benign!|
The brook that runs through the reserve was as fast and full as I have ever seen and it is making massive inroads into the banking. No willow weaving to keep the banks sturdy and strong.
The pools also are as full as I can remember and this can be seen from the level of the water line shown in some of the photographs I took today. No steep embankments at the lower end of the large pool and no decking platform on which to pond dip on the smaller pool because it is several inches below the water level. Despite the clearance of an old and damaged beech tree, the shrubbery on the edge of the small pool by the pathway between the two pools is in dire need of some attention. The view to the smaller pool and the hope of seeing the resident kingfisher is constrained by the abundance of willows that have set strong, even in the bleak mid winter. Come spring there will be no view at all.
|Towards the small pool, getting difficult to see|
Although I enjoyed the walk today particularly as the small birds were in abundance, their song a joy to hear and we even had the pleasure of spotting a yellowhammer, I couldn't help but feel the gradual decline of these places I love, through neglect, wanton or otherwise. What I feared is coming to fruition, only much sooner that I feared.
|The farmer's compost heap gets larger, a home for all sorts of insects|
|Rushall Church through the trees|
|I'm always amazed that this very old beech tree manages not just to survive but to thrive despite the damage to its heart|
|Cycling could prove difficult along here|
|Riddians Bridge - looking like it needs some TLC|