Friends’ spring nature walk 30 April

David Goode writes:

We had a lovely walk from the Meeting House along the River Avon, across the Kennet and Avon Canal then up Bathwick Meadows into Smallcombe and back though the Tyning. We had a brief visit to the Quaker Burial Ground and ended with afternoon tea at the Secret Garden Café down in Widcombe.

Photos by David Goode

The forecast threatened rain but we were lucky to have sunshine for the walk. It started well with good views of a peregrine falcon sitting on St John’s church where some of the young have already hatched. In the Dolmeads we heard chirping from the growing colony of house sparrows, one of the few places where they are still thriving in central Bath. We crossed the canal by the wrought iron bridge and climbed up to the meadows to find them covered in buttercups. Some patches of old unimproved meadow had swathes of salad burnet along with one of Bath’s rarest plants, the corky-fruited water dropwort. What a name!

On we went through a small orchard where we found a badger sett and the children explored a cave. Then down into the beautiful little valley of Smallcombe where we listened to birdsong of blackcaps and greenfinches, and visited the old cemetery with its lichen covered gravestones. Over 100 species of lichen have been found here. Wild garlic was prolific in the adjacent woods.

Many thanks to David for organising and guiding the walk.

We returned by way of Horseshoe Walk and the Tyning, calling in at the Burial Ground to see the bluebells. And so we ended the afternoon with tea at the Garden Centre, with rain drumming on the roof!


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