Saturday, 11 October 2008

A Folly for Wildlife

Before I mention on the blog this morning's visit to Folly Farm, more wildlife folly. Below suspect 1, Collard Dove. Biggish bird, on a small bird feeder. The antics of the three Collard Doves on this feeder, yes dear reader there have been 3 doves on at one sitting....! has to be seen to be believed. Collard Doves are the Paris Hilton of the wildlife world in my view, nice to look at but lacking a certain mental ability. I'll keep quiet for their sake that yesterday I spied a Sparrowhawk over our gardens!

And so to this morning. I was kindly asked to attend the Avon Wildlife Trust's Folly Farm Media Group today. So at 11am I presented myself all spick and span as the new boy on the block, hair slicked back, shoes polished, pencil sharpened, that sort of thing. And what a wonderful place Folly Farm is. Click here for the website.

Without going into too much detail as to why we were there, we were basically there to brainstorm the notion "how do we promote this facility", using the group members wildlife media backgrounds and contacts; the fact of the matter is I've known about this place for years, had never visited, and so the very fact I'd never visited confirmed in my mind that, it needs promoting more. As we said, if the converted are unaware of it's existence, then the unconverted will be completely oblivious.

So in a small way, I'm promoting it on my blog. Not that anyone reads this rambling stuff. But keep an eye out in the future as I have offered to go there for a few days soon and look at "interpretation". Just get a feel of the place, why people come to visit, be there as a point of contact when they arrive and to advise. I'll look forward to that and will report back on the blog if I survive.

After our tour of the facilities with the Centre Manager we had a couple of hours "blue sky thinking" over coffee and cakes. Once the session ended I had decided to have a wander myself up to the view point, known as Roundhill, which not only looks over the 250 acre nature reserve, but out across the Chew Valley. This whole area was once Somerset, but in the 1970's became Avon and then in the 1990's became North Somerset. All very odd. But as we all said in the session it is less than 10 miles from the centre of Bristol and one could be in the middle of rural Wessex.

The walk up to Roundhill is a bit of a climb, through open woodland and then into this glorious dappled shade path, helped today by the fabulous weather.

Eventually the path heads off towards open fields and a viewpoint. Just through a stile was this lovely view across rolling countryside.

But then at the top of the hill, the view. Not quite in the same league as I've been used to over recent years in Dorset, but I have to say on a day like this it was just lovely to look out over Chew Valley Lake. I had to remind myself this wasn't summer, but mid October. Just me, some sheep and a warm breeze. Perfect autumn weather.

And made up for me not being at the Alwinton Show in Northumberland today. As I write this blog at 6pm, I can imagine the show field there emptying and the autumn sun setting over the hills. I may be in Wessex, but the heart is always up't in the Coquet Valley.

And now, a quick wash and polish before the pub. Champion pet.


  1. Whay ye knaa bonny laad coudn't hev said it better mesel like