After a trip with M to the doctors and my checkup appointment with the dentist, we decided to take Harper to the Red Squirrel Reserve.
She had never been, and we had not been for several years either, even though it is quite literally on our doorstep, due to Lilu not being able to walk far we tended to go to the beach or the local fields. The place is owned by the National Trust which means that parking is £5 if you are not a member. We joined last week so for us, it is now free, which is great as they now own most of the coast and woods here. The National Trust do a great job with conservation and keeping the endangered species safe, apart from the red squirrels we also have Natterjack Toads, Sand Lizards, Northern Dune Tiger Beetle and we also have the rare Dune Helleborine.
Most of the wildlife is getting ready for winter, and apart from the odd squirrel the only life seems to be the birds and other people walking their dogs, and even then the people are sparse too. There was a field trip of school kids, but again, due to the size of the place, we did not see them again apart from them getting off their coach.
I like being in the woods, it is peaceful and you can hear the roar of the ocean in the near distance. I only had my iPhone with me so the photos I took are not the greatest, next time I will bring my DSLR to get better shots, but I thought I would share some of the sights we enjoy here. We are lucky as we have 22 miles of coast and about 5 miles of pinewoods to explore. In the winter the farmers graze their cattle in the woods which is always nice to see.
One part of the woods has quite a lot of folklore attached to it and with that stories of witchcraft, ghosts, and unidentified animals that have in the past caused the death and savagery of many sheep, all of which cannot be explained, and the locals will not go in the woods after dark. There is a cottage right in the middle of the woods and the residents have reported strange goings-on at night, and do not venture out once the sun has set. I wonder if there is any truth to the lore or is it in fact just that, folklore?
One thing is for sure, we are very lucky having all this beauty on our doorstep, but I am a country boy so slightly bias.