I am trying to get back into the habit of going for a walk every day, so yesterday I visited a friend and we strolled around two lakes close to her home. Known as Stonydelph Lakes, they are part of a long thin nature reserve which skirts the edhes of roads and housing estates on its route down into the town centre. According the an information leaflet it’s a ‘green corridor’ which runs through the town, and I think that’s a pretty good description. The entire area, designated as Kettle Brook Local Nature Reserve, takes its name from the Kettle Brook which runs through its heart, and includes five small lakes. It is, apparently, a slow-flowing wetland habitat, with grassy meadowland and wooded areas, and the variety of habitats makes it a haven for plants and all kinds of wildlife – birds, insects, butterflies, bats and other small mammals, as well as fish, waterfowl and all kinds of creatures that live in and on the margins of water.
Most of the lakes have been created with water from the stream, but one of those by my friend’s house was established for run-off from a major new road. The two are linked, and over the years bridges have been built, as well as paths around the lakes. I’m always in two minds about paths in ‘wild’ areas – I think they can make places look a little too tame and cultivated, and intrude on the view. But on the other hand they ensure there is easy access for everyone, and they encourage people to follow a recommended route, they provide a degree of protection for plants and wildlife.
We stuck to the paths, because it was quite muddy, and I must admit it all looked a little bleak, but then everywhere does at the moment. Sometimes you see herons and swans here, but yesterday we only saw mallard ducks, coots and moorhens. There were lots of birds (which I couldn’t identify), and grey squirrels scampering about, and some of the trees were in bud, and some were laden with catkins, so spring is definitely on the way! I’d like to how far we walked, and how many steps I did, but I’ve mislaid my pedometer, and failed miserably in my efforts to use an ‘app’ on the mobile, but it’s exercise, and any exercise has got to be good.
Anyway, I took a few photos, and plan to try and take more from the same spots as the year progresses.
*The natures reserve is owned by Tamworth Borough Council, and managed and maintained by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and local volunteers through the Wild About Tamworth project.