Monday, February 14, 2011

Two Short Walks

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.


  1. I have visited the wolseley centre, quite a while ago, but never knew that it was a formal garden before that.

    I believe they are painting one of the educations rooms there with a fabulous nature scene, unless I have my wildlife trust centres mixed up!

    We still haven't managed to see any snowdrops yet, except for a few in my grandmother's garden! The weather on Sunday ruined my Rode Hall plan!

  2. Hello again!

    The pelicans are still there. The muntjac has moved to the enclosure at the front, alongside the driveway. There is another type of deer where the muntjac was - the one I pictured in my blog - but I have forgotten what kind it was now! Things have moved around quite a bit since I was last there and I don't remember there being guineapigs last time, but I may be wrong!

    The 99p offer ends this week so you need to go before the weekend to take advantage. Prices return to normal in time for half term!

  3. I guess Jackie Bluecap is the Blue Tit? Who'd have thought that birds have old english names?!!! You do go on some lovely walks Rosie. Yes! I could see the face in the tree too! x

  4. Thanks Louise, don't know if we can manage to get there before the weekend! Shame about Rode Hall! The education room in the centre was very colourful with loads of info and things to do for both children and adults.

    Simone, yes Blue tit it is. I though the face was a bit human but also a bit like a lion too:)

  5. That looks a lovely place to walk! I've been so busy recently, haven't done much walking - must remedy that! Enjoy your week! Abby x

  6. It looks a really nice place and the tree has a very strong face indeed. Interesting about the country names for birds, my dad always called song thrushes throstles and I'm nearly sure that he used the word mavis for a blackbird. It's a long time ago though and I may have remembered that wrongly.

  7. Abby - it is a lovely place - hope you get out walking soon:)

    Rowan - my Dad always called a thrush a throstle too! The man who had put the quiz together told us that the Song thrush was called Mavis. Some of the terms come from different parts of the country so perhaps the terms varied.

  8. We still call Sparrows Spuggies! What a really lovely walk - it was a nice day on Saturday - so good to get out in the fresh air. xxxx

  9. Diane - we call sparrows 'spaggers' even now and there are lots in our garden at the moment:)

  10. What a lovely walk and super photos too.I must look up where it is.

  11. Lovely walks and how nice to see the snowdrops making an appearance.x

  12. You certainly packed a lot into a day. I could see the face, I love the Trent and will have a guess at the birds...

    Blue Tit - Jackie Bluecap
    Song Thrush - Mavis
    Sparrow - Spug

  13. Love the photos of the water - tranquility - the last pix of the tree has a face on it - looks like Rooney !

  14. That's a lion's face in the tree trunk, isn't it? So lovely to see a gloriously blue sky in your photographs.

  15. How gorgeous!
    I do see a face in that tree...I love visiting your blog.

  16. I am scratching my head to think where this is, I must Google Maps it!

    I think Staffordshire should appoint you as Head of Tourism, you seem to know where all the hidden gems are.

  17. This looks a really interesting place to visit...must try it as a day out.