One of the lovely things about Daisy Chain is the abundance of birds to be seen. Herons, Egrets, Grebes, Terns, Swallows and Kingfishers to name just a few. But have you ever wondered what the Lower Mill Estate looks like to them? Some recent guests shared these great pictures taken from a drone.
Swooping over Somerford Lagoon, Clearwater Lake is straight ahead. To the left is Howells Mere with Swillbrook Lakes beyond. To the right beyond the green, the tennis court and the Mill Village pool is Spinney Lake, edged on the near side by the new houses with their green eco roofs.
Zooming down towards Daisy Chain you can see some people sitting on the grass enjoying the sunshine and pick out the barbecue on the lower deck – perhaps they’ll be wheeling that out in a minute to cook up some burgers and kebabs by the lakeside! That belt of reeds doesn’t just look great in the sunrise photos that guests take from their bedrooms, it’s also home to many birds – and sometimes a murmuration of starlings lands there during the winter. Just over to the left in the corner of the lake is the handy place for slipping the canoe into the water.
Here she is, as seen by the birds, slipping quietly across the calm waters of the lagoon. Where are they off to? Round the island before breakfast? Paddling to the reed beds to see how many different species of birds they can count? Heading across to the narrow strip of land where they can portage across and canoe on Flagham Fen to see if they can spot the beavers in the water just a few metres away from them? Or just enjoying the simple pleasure of being afloat, the freedom, the ripple of the water, being captain of your own boat, the satisfaction of learning to make the canoe go where you want with the ‘J stroke’ (turning the paddle at the end of the stroke to act as a rudder so you don’t have to keep switching the paddle from side to side). It’s just great being out on the water … I wonder if they can smell those burgers cooking yet?
Winter is a fabulous time to visit the Wetland Centre at Slimbridge as thousands of migrating birds over winter on the Severn Estuary. There are 12 hides with amazing views looking out over the estuary. There is also a 360 degree observation tower for a birds eye view. There's plenty of other things to do during your visit to Slimbridge, including seeing the UK's largest flock of flamingos, visiting the tropical house, watching the resident otters and feeding ducks, geese and swans.
This weekend the popular BBC1 Programme Countryfile will be featuring Batsford Arboretum. Countryfile will focus on Batsford Arboretum's use of Tomographing which is a technique which uses a form of x-ray to show the extent of decay within trees. This technique has been used to enable the arboretum to decide whether or not a tree needs to be felled. Batsford Arboretum will feature on Countryfile on BBC1 on Sunday 17th January at 6:30pm.
With so many lovely things to enjoy when staying at Daisy Chain on the Lower Mill Estate, it can be difficult to decide when to stay. Hopefully this graphic will make your decision a little bit easier!
We visited Broadway Tower, a unique Folly Tower built on the second highest point on the Cotswold hills, a couple of weeks ago. On a clear day you can see a huge 62 mile radius encompassing up to 16 counties. While we were there, on looking up we realised there was a 'smile in the sky' above us. The circumzenithal arc, which looks similar to a rainbow, is caused by the refraction of sunlight through ice crystals, usually in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. Apparently these are more common than rainbows, but presumably due to their smaller size and higher position, they are seen more rarely.
At the end of June 2 Red Panda Cubs were born at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens. They are just beginning to venture out of their next and explore. It looks like a perfect time to visit and enjoy all that Cotswold Wildlife Park has to offer.
The brilliant Corinium Museum in Cirencester has a number of extra summer holiday activities throughout August. This week on Tuesday children can make a Roman Standard, and on Thursday they can make an Anglo-Saxon inspired broach. Great activities to enjoy if the weather isn't all that we'd hope for in August!
A recent visitor to the museum tweeted "Think I might have found my new favourite museum" Why not visit and see if you do too.
The ever popular Cotswold Farm Park is a great place for families to visit in the Cotswolds. There is plenty to keep you busy all day: demonstration barns, exploring the park and finding out about rate breeds, adventure playgrounds, nature trails and tractor rides. During the summer holidays each week has a special theme. This week is Birds of Prey Week with regular talks and demonstrations taking place. On Monday 10th August, the theme is 'Romans in the Cotswolds' with activities based around finding out about how the Romans shaped the Cotswolds.
Until the end of August, Westonbirt Arboretum, the National Arboretum, is offering free children's admission. They have lots of fun family events planned or there is a play trail for families to explore.
There are plenty of opportunities to exercise during a holiday on the Lower Mill Estate, and lots of guests like to run around the nature reserve. There is a 5K route signed around the estate, so you can complete that whilst enjoying the peace and tranquility of a run on a nature reserve with only the wildlife for company. If you are a Park Run addict, the nearest one is at Lydiard Park, just outside Swindon – only 12 miles away, That way you won't miss out on adding another run to your tally!