30 Days of Wildness – Day 23 – A Sad, Sad Day

Day 23 of the 30 Day Challenge was a sad one for us.

It started out so well with the kids wanting to go on a bimble with their scooters. We decided to visit our favourite woods at the Frith.

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A scooting Bimble tonight

The Frith is an ancient woodland with a massive electrical substation in the middle of it so we can only wander around the edge.

At the far end though there is a small copse off to the side with permissive paths through it (sign posted saying keep to the paths because of ground nesting birds). When we got there tonight, though, the landowner had put up a fence over all the access points and posted signs saying it was now closed to the public.

I have really enjoyed this small oasis over the years and cannot understand why the landowner has done this.

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A sad sight – our local woodland has been closed off

We soldiered on though and headed on around the Frith to a place where there is a lovely pond. I ended up carrying the scooters but it was worth it.

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Moved on to the pond

I spotted my first Meadowsweet of the year – a real plant of the summer.

First Meadowsweet of the year for me
First Meadowsweet of the year for me

There was plenty of life around the pond. As the kids had a snack I got down to the serious job of stalking the dragonflies 😉

Catherine spotted the little cricket on the bench she had been sitting on.

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Lots of activity

We headed off towards home saying one last goodbye to our old paths on the way.

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A last look

It was a lovely bimble but a sad one none the less.



30 Days of Wildness – Day 19 – Fathers Day Fun

For Fathers Day my main request to the family was that we did something together but outdoors for the 30 Day Challenge.

Alison suggested a barbecue at the Lime Pits nature area near Basingstoke. As soon as we arrived the kids were all over the playground equipment – I do include Alison in this 🙂

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Lime Pits Park

It was great to spend time together in a place that holds so much beauty if you look closely.

I found that this is a great place for Self heal and Thistles – Lovely purples.

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Family and Nature – Fathers Day request

We had a Red Kite hovering over us for a while, lots of bees in amongst the comfrey and crickets galore. I had to struggle through some nettles to get to my prize find of the day – Large Yellow Loosestrife – a beautiful flower.

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Life in the park

Now the barbie could have been a bit of a nightmare. I had set it all up and lit it but it did not take. After a bit of a re-think plan B was to raid the first aid kit for a couple of dressings, found my lip balm (vaseline based) and added a few ash twigs.

A quick strike from the firesteel and up she went.

Then it was over to Alison for the cooking – I know barbies are supposed to be a male preserve but it was Fathers Day 🙂

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Barbie time

There was plenty of time to run through the woods or roll down hills or in my case struggle through nettles to get the picture of the Loosestrife.

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All having fun

The food was cooked to perfection by Alison on the barbie and there was plenty of fruit afterwards to enjoy – I did manage a couple of beers along the way as well 🙂

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Great food

Soon it was time to go home so out came the water bottles for a quick hose down to put out the barbie. The kids for some reason insisted on doing this themselves. I was left with the messy job of mixing it all together to make sure it was properly out.

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Time to cool things down

As a final note I must say thank you to Catherine and Finlay for being such great kids today and to Alison for making Fathers Day such fun.

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Thanks Alison



30 Days of Wildness – Day 4 – Bramley Bimbles

What a cracking day it has been. I had no problem getting out and about for the thirty day challenge as it was such a lovely day.

We popped out to Clift Meadow here in Bramley for the ‘Big Lunch‘ – my wife Alison had organised an excellent picnic for us. This is a one-day get together for neighbours to meet up and chat over a spot of lunch.

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Picnic time

My son Finlay was off playing with his friends so after our picnic my daughter Catherine and I went off in hunt of some insects. We went to one of our favourite ponds that is full of Yellow Iris and Brooklime – a perfect attraction for insects.

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Sit spot

We were hoping to spot some Mayflies but it was not to be. We did though spot some bees on the flowers on the way and at the pond itself a cricket and a small moth on the Brooklime.

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Our spots

Later on in the afternoon we jumped on our bikes and headed out to our local woods.

After hiding the bikes we spotted lots of deer tracks and had some fun on the old bridges.

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Woodland wanders

The main reason to go to this spot was to look for some of the Common Spotted Orchids I know grow here. After a quick recce we soon found them.

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Orchid hunting

It was soon time for dinner so we headed back for the bikes. On the way back we spotted a pigeon kill site. I had a look at the quills and none of them had been ripped off so I imagine it was a bird of prey that had its dinner here.

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The journey home

All in all a great day with the family.