Monday, October 15, 2012

A Wetland Walk

On Saturday we decided to visit Middleton Lakes a fairly new RSPB nature reserve near Tamworth.  I'd been told about it in the summer when we stopped to chat to a young lady who was manning an RSPB stand in the farmyard at Shugborough.  Then, just a few weeks ago, I saw photos of the reserve on Susy's blog Rustic Vintage Country.  The reserve has been constructed in the 400 acres around an old gravel quarry in between the River Tame and the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.  There is a large car park at the site but first we stopped just a little way up the drive at Middleton Hall to have a look around and take a few photos.

The Hall looked wonderful and the grounds, walled garden and lake are open to the public on certain days between Easter and September. The Hall, run by a charitable trust, seems to be open to group visits only at the moment.  A reason to return again in the Spring to take another look as I love walled gardens.

 Opposite the hall were the former stables which were being refurbished.

 Behind the building above was a courtyard of small craft shops and a cafe where we would return later for lunch.


 We set off down to Middleton Lakes where on our walk up to the reserve we crossed the boardwalk at Heron Corner.


After the boardwalk the paths were very muddy so it was a good job we had put our wellies on.

 We crossed over the canal at Fisher's Mill bridge and headed towards the Wetland Trail.

 It was so quiet and peaceful just ourselves and the waterbirds.

The trail is about 3km long, that means nothing to me but I expect it is around a couple of miles if you add the approach to it from the car park.

There were many swans on the lakes. Especially on the small islands at the top end.  We also saw and heard them flying in with the gentle 'thrum,thrum' of their wings so different to the loud, aggressive honking of geese.

We also saw coots, grebes and cormorants. 

It was difficult to take many clear photos in the bright sunlight which was there even though it looks quite overcast in some of these photos.

On the opposite side of the trail the water of the River Tame was moving very quickly and it seemed high along the banks.

The paths close by were very wet as if at some point the water had flooded over.

We thoroughly enjoyed our walk and intend to go back again, perhaps in spring and do the other walks on offer.  The meadow trail and the woodland trail which, on Saturday, was closed off for maintenance.

We followed the path back over the canal to the car park and made our way back to the courtyard at Middleton Hall for a lovely lunch of hot soup served with the largest roll I've ever seen!  I couldn't eat all mine.  Then it was back toward Tamworth and our next destination, the castle, of which more in my next post.

23 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you got to visit, it's a lovely place. When we went it was quite boggy in places and the same walks were closed for maintenance. I'd also like to see the walled garden and gardens so it'll be another visit for us too. Of all the times I've been to Tamworth and been up and around the castle but never in it...another one for the 'to do' list. Thanks for mentioning me! x

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    1. I'd love to visit again, probably in springtime. The castle is well worth a visit there was so much more to see inside than I expected:)

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  2. Love the timber framed buildings. Great photos.
    June

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    1. Thanks, the buildings were lovely:)

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  3. Replies
    1. It was a lovely place to visit and walk around:)

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  4. I remember seeing swans flying in on a visit to Slimbridge a couple of years ago. It is quite an impressive sight. The timber framed buildings do look great. And definitely worth another trip for the walled gardens.

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    1. When we lived on the Linconshire fens we used to visit Welney and watch the swans fly in for winter, such a wonderful sight:)

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  5. This sounds great! I read about the lakes on Susy's blog too and thought they sounded worth a visit.

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    1. I'm sure you would enjoy it, Louise it is well worth a visit:)

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  6. That looks a fab walk (and the food sounds good too!). I was looking for you yesterday. We visited Keele Uni for the young man. We had a great day. If he goes to Keele, you might get a lodger!!! (He's rubbish at housework, but handy for reaching things on high shelves!)xxxxx

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    1. We were at home most of yesterday, too! Glad you had a great day, I did one of my OU summer schools at Keele little knowing that years later I'd come to live in this area. I guess you had a very structured day but if you come this way again don't forget to visit Rosie's cafe:)

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    2. If we had had spare time, I would have called your mobile (but I bet you wouldnt have had it switched on. I would have loved to have called. xxx

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  7. It looks fab - I really must come over your way a little more and do some exploring! Jx

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    1. I'm sure you would enjoy many of the places there are to visit in Staffordshire:)

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  8. Are you sure your roll wasn't a loaf Rosie?!!! It looks like a wonderful place to visit. Beautifully scenic and peaceful. x

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    1. Not quite a loaf, Simone but what we would call here abouts a bap. It was a lovely place to visit:)

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  9. My favorite is the stables with the two birds in their nests.

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    1. The doves were my favourites - even though we saw some lovely water birds on our walk:)

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  10. Hi Rosie, this looks like a lovely tranquil place for a walk and I would love to have a look at Middleton Hall....I had a dose of history last week when I visited York, which is one of my favourite cities. Marie x

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    1. You've been over here? How wonderful! I love York too! Hope you had a great time:)

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  11. What wonderful place and you have taken so many lovely photos.

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    1. Thank you, greenthumb - I sometimes think I take far too many photos:)

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