Friday March 4th – Deer Leap
Two cars occupied the car park when we arrived at Deer Leap. One occupant was reading and the other returned from a walk across the site with his dog.
Pockets of frost were still visible in the hollows, particularly along the shady side of the wall. We attempted to retrieve cans thrown into the brambles from the site side of the wall as it was impossible to reach those and bottles that had been hurled into the brambles from the car park.
Clumps of snowdrops nodded bravely in the icy winds and sky larks flew up as we crossed the field. Their song, as they rose, gave us promise of warmer days to come.
Friday March 4th – Blackmoor Reserve
It was very quiet at the Reserve despite the sunshine – just two vehicles and two people walking who were returning to their car.
We recovered a fair amount of rubbish on the lane up to Nordrach as far as the farm gate. The rest of the reserve was fairly clear of litter apart from the inevitable dog-waste bag. Through Nether Wood there is evidence of bicycle use again and some horse tracks.
It was an attractive winter landscape through the wood bare of leaves and looking very dry with the long absence of rain.
Friday March 4th – A heavenly evening of star-gazing!
Thanks to Chris Sperring (whose knowledge base is astounding) we were treated to an evening in the Observatory using the telescope to view such bodies as The Pleiades and Sirius.
I, for one, had never been especially interested in astrology but thanks to Chris’s infectious enthusiasm I now look at the night sky with renewed interest.
As well as using the telescope, standing outside the buildings on a frosty night with Chris talking us through the “landmarks” in the skies was truly magical. Many thanks again to Chris for giving us his time and an evening to remember. Another bonus for being a Volunteer Ranger!
Thursday March 24th – Blackmoor
It was a beautiful spring morning with only a light breeze when we pulled in to a very full car park at the Reserve. There were two large white mini-buses as well as numerous cars.
Walking along the track towards Nether Wood we saw two people in amongst the gorse with cameras. Then we encountered three people who stopped and asked us about access to the flues. One described bringing a class of children sixty years ago and enjoying sharing the experience of climbing right into them! They had just seen a group of youngsters listening to their instructor near the site.
On our return towards the car park we met a couple complete with cool-bag, towels and sun-tan lotion.
The public certainly use the Reserve in many different ways!