Monday 17 May 2010

Saturday - part deaux

With the young man and his buddy's watching Chelsea Vs Portsmouth (having no vested interest in either team winning, they watched it purely for the love of the game!), hubby and I set off for an afternoon out on our own. I hang my head in shame when I tell you that "Old Moor" RSPB centre is about 3 miles away from where we live and we have never been! To be honest, I always thought it would be rubbish, as it is right by a very busy dual carriage way, and doesn't look much from the road. How very wrong I was.

The site is reclaimed from old mining land - and you know how much I love when nature reclaims once heavy industrial land. The best bit about old coal tips is that chemically they are very different to ordinary soil and so flora that is very rare elsewhere is abundant in area's such as these.

The gorse was in full bloom by the paths and had a beautiful scent. The staff at the centre are really enthusiastic and friendly and jumped at the chance to show us around for a while so we got a bit of a guided tour for a while - really interesting.

The site has some smaller ponds and also larger lakes - both are home to a diverse range of wildlife.

It was great to sit in the hides and listen to the birds. I could feel the stresses of the previous work week leave my muscles - it was totally relaxing. To make amends, hubby and I decided to join the RSPB for the year. This is the sort of place we can walk around when we only have a couple of hours at weekends when hubby has to work. Its also a place that I can feel safe walking around on my own too. Its also opening until 8pm on summers evenings so I think we will use our membership well. It also gives us access to many other places in the UK that we may not have visited before.

They had lots of wooden sculptures around.

I remember picking "milk maids" when I was a little girl.

And this "cowslip" meadow brings back lots of memories for me too. Cowslips are very common around our area - especially where the old coal tips used to be.

We didn't get chance to visit all of the site today as hubby had spotted the cafe when we came in! And lovely it was too.

And so another brilliant place for a great day out discovered on my doorstep - previously overlooked and dismissed. What else have I been missing?


Unknown said...

What a great place, and right on your doorstep too.

Gilly said...

Now you have joined the RSPB you must go to some of their other reserves! There are lots around, though I must say yours seems to have everything!

Just Original said...

You have just reminded me to make a visit to Potteric Carr near Doncaster, it does sound very similar but is part of the Yorkshire Wildlife scheme instead. And half way round in the middle of the reserve is a cafe!


lesley said...

Isn't it always the way, you don't bother with things on your doorstep, I don't know why that is. Maybe, because psychologically you have to travel to feel you have experienced something. Beats me! Glad you had a relaxing time, I always enjoy looking at your photo's...x

Mandy said...

Oh, it looks lovely, very peaceful.

Lisa said...

I love all the sculpture and those birds on the signposts.
What an absolute treasure of a place to have found so close.
Lisa x

Rosie said...

I nearly shouted 'snap' when I read your post! We have been out today in the Manifold Valley and have photographed the milk maids of which there are a lot around this year, purple orchids and cowslips. We met a super chap near Wetton Mill who was travelling, on his cycle, around all the RSPB and WWT sites in the UK for the whole of this year for charity. For ages we've been doing the the Garden watch and other surveys for the RSPB but we have decided that we are going to join this year too. Your local reserve looks wonderful:)

harmony and rosie said...

I think we're all the same - never visiting the local places, instead travelling far and wide to see somewhere else. Lovely wooden sculptures in your reserve, it looks like a lovely spot.

Kate x

Lyn said...

What a lovely place, and wasn't it a lovely sunny spring day?

WinnibriggsHouse said...

That sounds right up my street. Properly back to nature and so near. I think we are all guilty of ignoring the places under our noses, but isn't it great when you find such little gems.
Glad you are loving the lamb, it's always a bit of a risk passing on something you love. have you tried the coca cola ham yet?

The Curious Cat said...

How beautiful...I could do with a little serene right now...some space in nature to defog my cluttered mind...ah how nice! I loved your little comment below about dying your hair! How funny! xxx

Paris Pastry said...

I love the wooden sculptures! Very pretty. And the greenery so full in bloom, lovely! Sounds like you had an amazing time there.

♥ DaniĆ«lle

Homes and Dreams said...

One of these days I'm going to bump into you as we seem to visit the same places!!!
I love the cafe at Old Moor - the cakes are scrummy. Was at Elsecar yesterday and thought of you as I passed the gallery and cup cake shop!
Have fun,
Vicky x

Karen said...

The truth is--we tend to think landmarks near us aren't as interesting as those far away. How wrong that often is!! Many thanks for the wonderful photographs. I'm glad you had such a happy day, dear Diane!

Selfsewn said...

Hi Diane looks very tranquill. I do like to partake in a bit of twitching myself.

I am actually quite frustrated fabric wise.
I keep seeing lots of lush fabrics on blogs, mainly from Australia.

My fabrics were both vintage aprons, sacreligeous(spelling!!) I know.
Generally I find them in charity shops or when feeling rich eBay steps in.

Any patchworking going on yet??
Clare xx