On Saturday we had a stroll around the grounds at the headquarters of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust at Wolseley Bridge. When we first moved to Staffordshire these were known as Wolseley Gardens and were in a state of decline and about to close. They were the formal gardens of Wolseley Hall which was destroyed by fire in the mid 1950s. They finally closed in 1996 and since 2003 have been maintained by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust as a wildlife and conservation area. They are free to walk around and well worth a visit.
There was a lot of activity on the main lakes. We had watched two skeins of geese fly over in a V shape formation as we drew up in the garden centre car park. There is also a car park in the grounds near the visitor centre but we wanted to walk around the garden centre afterwards so walked from there - it isn't far.
The geese had landed on the lakes and were making a great deal of noise - I guess it is the time of year!
After our walk we went into the visitor centre, the Wolseley Centre, for a cup of coffee. As we were sitting at a table in the education room we did one of the quizzes left on the table. There were twelve 'old English' names for common birds and you had to guess what they were. We managed to get eight of them correct! We had fun doing it and chatting to the man on duty who had put the quiz together. Here is a little example from the quiz:- three well known garden birds - House Sparrow, Song Thrush, Blue Tit and three old English names to match to them Mavis, Jackie Bluecap, Spug - which belong together?
The river Trent runs alongside and there are boardwalks to walk along between the river and the lakes.
There are still features left from when Wolseley Gardens were the formal landscape gardens of the Wolseley Estate.
There were snowdrops dotted here and there under the trees. We had a wander around the Wyevale Garden Centre and then drove off towards Milford and a picnic site with woodland walks.
I can see a face in the tree in the photo below, can you?
After a walk through the woods it was time to go back to the car for our lunch before driving on towards our main goal of the day; but I'll save that for another post.