Westonbirt Arboretum

This Arboretum was nice to visit although the ten pounds entrance per person is something I wouldn’t want to be paying out for to often. So many different tree varieties amongst this verdant expanse of knit combed cultivation but amongst all I’d say the Japanese Maple was clearly a favourite.

The refreshments on site were reasonably priced and even on a bank holiday weekend this space did not feel to crowded. The experience was similar to Kew gardens but without the noise and smell of Heathrow’s jet aircraft.

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The Arboretum will be rolling to Rick Astley on the 18th of June, dare say I won’t be making that despite being an eighties child!

Swannymote and Blackbrook reservoir

As the Peak District falls so the hills rise again in North West Leicestershire. Seven hundred million year old rock at degree protrudes from the ground reaching out to the sky here . Swannymote is located next to the village of Whitwick and also located on a huge tectonic lay line running North West to South East from Breedon hill to the Alter Stones in Markfield. Here as a child I found sanctuary as a child from a troubled home / school life, affinity with nature developed amongst these auspicious rocks, trees and the abundance of wild life this place lovingly nurtures. This was also a place where wise men of Leicestershire would meet, called Swains or Swans hence the name Swannymote.

Many local people come to Blackbrook Reservoir and enjoy this open space, water here is used as a drinking supply for the surround towns and villages. As children we would come here, throw ourselves off the bridge and swim, completely ignoring the ‘No swim’ signs. The area is rich in fauna; in Leicestershire were there is water I found a lot of game being bred. Along the blind corner lanes it’s been known that locals here will fight over who takes the road kill (deer,pheasant etc) home to eat!

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My friend Karen who accompanying drove the journey between Wiltshire, Wales and the Peak District

There wasn’t any time to photograph more of these places as our stay was limited to five hours in Leicestershire.

Hergest Owl’s

At the small breeds farm and owl centre in Herefordshire I couldn’t help feeling an overwhelming apathy and sadness, not just at the unfriendly reception at the ticket office but at the sleepless spectacle these nocturnal birds have become in their enclosures; should I have paid the nine pounds entrance fee and took these pictures? would these birds be otherwise dead if I’d of not given money but to whom are we to decree them unworthy of being unable to live naturally, to make an entrance, a return to their natural habitat? but even within this questioning has not my / their own very interest of issue ultimately kept these Owls detained, incarcerated in captivity? This exposure they shun, guiltless yet imprisoned without life; an experience I to have come to know of all to unwell.

Oak, broom and meadowsweet, my namesake…..

Owls are wild creatures they belong in the wild both in life and in death.