Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand. – Banksy
The first Wildlife Wednesday of 2022 and for the first time in a long while I’m not at the Wildflower Hide. Today instead I’m staying local and when I say local , it’s very local because I’m on foot. Actually my destination is an old favourite of mine Mouldon Hill country park with its woods , meadows , lake and river Ray. Anyway more about Mouldon Hill a little later.
One of the joys of my new found freedom is time. And with time comes more opportunities. So today I’m off walking . There’s a foot path that passes within 25 metres of my home that links directly to my destination. The path follows Haydon Brook as it meanders to meet the river Ray ( the river Ray is itself a tributary of the river Thames )
Now for most of the time Haydon brook is a benign small stream , at its widest it only measures two metres wide and is fairly shallow at around 50 cm but this little brook sometimes during heavy rain turns into a totally different beast. The last time it flooded was back in 2007 . The result was nearly 200 local homes were flooded. This resulted in a flood defence wall being built along the entire length of the brook.
This has now created a 30m wide corridor of brook , mature hedgerow , grass and path , a valuable resource for locals to walk , jog and cycle. It’s also been great for local wildlife. So now my journey is almost as good as the destination. Speaking of wildlife on my walk to Mouldon Hill today there were Grey Squirrels , a single Fox , Wood pigeons , Blackbirds , Magpies , Crow’s , Blue tits , Great tits , Robin and Chaffinch.
The destination didn’t disappoint either. A pair of Swans , six Cormorants all handing out in a tree , Mallard ducks , Moorhens , coots , Grebe and a Grey Heron.
Here’s a little bit more about today’s destination……
Mouldon Hill is a country park owned and managed by Swindon Council. The park features from several footpaths and walkways making it the ideal location for a walk with the family and friends or with dogs. The park is popular during summer months for picnics and BBQ’s. There is a free car park at the site so you can enjoy the park for as long as you wish, although there is a height restriction of vehicles permitted to enter the park.
The park consists of a large lake , canal , the river Ray , Mouldon hill and Purton Woods ( managed by the Woodland Trust. The Cricklade and Swindon steam railway also terminates at Mouldon Hill.
The following images are all from previous trips to Mouldon Hill…..