Just a mile down the road from the Lower Mill Estate is Lower Moor Farm Nature Reserve. It forms the gateway to three more reserves: Clattinger Farm, Oaksey Moor Farm Meadow and Sandpool Farm.
Lower Moor Farm is made up of three lakes, two brooks, ponds and wetland scrapes which are joined by ancient hedges, woodland and meadows. Mallard Lake is a site of special scientific interest as a marl lake which is rich in stoneworts.
There are two bird hides which give fantastic view of the birdlife…and the otters too!
At the visitors centre you can pick up a Children’s discovery trail to keep children engaged as you walk around. There is also a replica Iron Age hut which children enjoy exploring.
Westonbirt's trees and shrubs are gathered from all over the temperate areas of the globe which means there is a succession of spring colour, from extraordinary rhododendrons from the Himalayas and champion magnolias from China to some stunning conifer foliage from Eastern Europe.
Visitors in March can expect to see the rhododendrons and camellias followed by magnolias. The Savill Glade in the Old Arboretum will be a wonderful array of colour and scent.
During April the rhododendrons will continue to flower and in Silk Wood, carpets of celandines and wood anemones will be found amongst the fresh new foliage bursting out on the native trees.
May will bring a sea of bluebells in the glades whilst the Japanese maples will open in a beautiful array of colours.
Westonbirt Arboretum is offering half price admissions every Wednesday in April and May: adults £4, children £1.50 Definitely a good excuse to take some time out and enjoy some spring sunshine.
For most people, the sight of the first daffodils, with their beautiful yellow heads is a sign that Spring has finally arrived. The poem Daffodowndilly by AA Milne sums it up well: She wore her yellow sun-bonnet, She wore her greenest gown; She turned to the south wind And curtsied up and down. She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbour: ‘Winter is dead.’
The wild daffodil, sometimes called the Lent lily due to the time it flowers, is smaller than garden cultivars, but as with snowdrops and bluebells, when flowering en masse is a beautiful sight. Depending on the weather, wild daffodils flower from mid March to April.
Whilst wild daffodils were once a common sight in England, over the years intensive agricultural practices has led to them becoming less common. In Gloucestershire, around the villages of Cymock, Kempley and Oxenhall, wild daffodils once carpeted the meadows, orchards and woods, and for this reason it is known as the Golden Triangle. Good conservation practices by local farmers and landowners, as well as the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has preserved some special sites where wild daffodils are still flourishing in abundance.
The Daffodil Way is a popular way to enjoy the wild daffodils in the Golden Triangle. The famous 10 mile circular walk takes you through meadows, orchards and woods. On the weekend of 14th and 15th March Kempley Daffodil Weekend takes place, with the Village Hall hosting teas and refreshements as well as walking tours.
The most common topic of converstation at The Thames Head Inn near Kemble is not politics, or even sport, but rather the source of the River Thames. The pub takes its name from the place, about half a mile away, where the river begins its 154 mile long journey to London Bridge. The source of the Thames is not quite as simple as that – as the river is ground water fed, the precise source depends on the ground water level, and as such can vary by a few miles between summer and winter.
The Thames Head Inn serves a varied menu of fresh home cooked food and visitors can enjoy a drink or meal enjoying relaxed atmosphere of the pub, complete with its various nooks and crannies and open fires or outside in the garden.
Exploring the Cotswolds on foot is a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful countryside which makes up this part of the world, and get up close and personal with nature.
Escape to the Cotswolds have published a series of Jubilee walks – so called as they were created as part of 2012's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Each walk is around 2.5 to 5 miles in length and takes you on a circular walk. The walks can be downloaded from http://www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk/walking/downloadable-walks/jubilee-walks They include a clear map, directions and some interesting facts and stories. Perfect for exploring the Cotswolds with the family on holiday.