Yippee, after what seems life a lifetime ( thirteen weeks ) it’s finally time to immerse myself back into Mother Nature and treat myself to a short walk . I can now imagine just how a bear must feel emerging from hibernation , it feels great to be outdoors again soaking up all the fresh air and sounds.
My walk today takes me along a path which runs next to Hayden brook. For most of its two miles from my house to Mouldon Hill Country Park ( where the brook joins the river Ray , a tributary of the river Thames ) the brook struggles to expand past one metres width and only has a depth of around half a metre. However as with most waterways, Hadon brook has the capacity to turn into a watery monster able to consume houses that line its normally docile banks. One such event happened in 2007 when the brook flooded some 200 houses.
To this end the brook runs through a fifty metre wide corridor with newly installed flood defence walls concealed with the ground. For most of its length the brook is also flanked on both banks by an array of bushes and trees. This makes this stretch of land a vital wildlife corridor and one of the main reasons we have such a wide variety of wildlife visiting our garden.
This vital corridor is now also the home of an experiment, carried out by our local parish council. As of February this year the grass areas won’t be mowed in future , and the whole area has been planted and seeded to create a wild meadow , ok only 10 metres deep in places but running the whole two miles. This should create the ideal habitats for many pollinating species, which in turn creates a food source further up the food chain . And the best part of this new experiment is that in the long term it’s going to save money !