I have always loved waters whether the sea, lakes or rivers. The rivers are usually in a valley such as The Stour Valley.
As a child I grew up on Merseyside watching the River Mersey and at school next to the River Dee. Later I moved down south near the River Lea and the Thames. We also lived near the banks of the River Roding at Chipping Ongar. Eventually we moved to Dorset on the banks of the Dorset Stour in the valley at Wimborne Minster. Finally we stayed put on the banks of the Warwickshire Stour in our Cotswold village.
It is that Warwickshire Stour Valley where we have most recently walked, and looked at and heard the wildlife from our village. Most days we walk up Weston Park or less frequently to Traitors’ Ford.
It is rare not to see the blackbird, thrush, Robin, woodpeckers, tits, starling, pheasants (galore), red kites, barn owls, wagtails, green finch, kingfisher, etc. I frequently notice muntjacs (in our garden) and larger deer (in the field next to us), foxes, bats, badgers, rabbits, hares, moles, voles, field mice, toads, frogs and hedgehogs. There is plenty more: snails, butterflies, wasps, bees and ladybirds.
My mother was a botanist and my father a keen Walker. My Life Science studies were great and took in field trips to the Lake District, Peak District, Brecon Beacons and local rural walks over the country. All of my family love walking.
I have recently joined the local wildlife group from the many villages centred on Shipston on Stour. It covers from Stretton under Fosse with its leader of 14 years on climate, energy, sustainability and wildlife – huge work across the villages of the Stour Valley.
From swifts to wild flowers and Bird flu to cycle routes there is a lot going on in a relatively peaceful part of our county.