Walk for Health – Week 2 – Greenway Centre Walking group

This is week 2 of there being no walking group due to the Corona virus. The Government have asked us to not make non essential car journeys. Although I can walk to where the walking group walks from it’s quite a distance from home so I decided to stay on my local patch this week – Stoke Park.

I’ve been very aware that many are unable to go out for a walk at the moment and being stuck at home can be difficult. I have been setting a daily photography challenge for those stuck in the house. I have written about the challenge here  I have put all of this weeks challenges into a printable document in case anyone is interested in having a go at them in their own time. Corona photo challenge You can have a go at the challenges indoors or in your garden.

On my walk this week the days photo challenge was reflection. The idea of the challenge is to capture 4 photos of reflection – you can take it literally and try to capture actual reflections or you can take photos of what reflection means to you or use the photo to reflect how you are feeling. There are many possibilities! Here are some of the ones which I took during my walk:

Our walk took us across Purdown where you can see right the way across the City to the Bath skyline. It looked particularly impressive with the bright blue sky. We passed our local landmark – the TV transmitter which is an iconic feature of Lockleaze and can be seen all the way from Bath. Last year the Council planted some seeds in the meadows and it was nice to see some cowslips coming up. They reminded me of the walking group and Badocks Wood, as there is a lovely patch there near the burial mound that we often pass.

Despite walking around this area for years we discovered some nice paths we had never walked on before. It’s surprising how easy it is to get stuck on using the same paths. Taking the new path mean’t we saw huge patches of beautiful blossom. I’m not very good at identifying trees, but this may be Blackthorn:

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Our new path eventually dropped us down to a spot familiar to us – Duchess Pond. It is close to the motorway, but in the summer it has the most diverse range of dragonfly in the whole of the city. It is home to Coots, Moorhen, Canada Geese, Mallards and Cormorant. There are often occasional more unusual wildfowl or birds which come in for a short time. Whilst watching the Mallards I saw a duck which didn’t quite look like anything I’d seen before. A closer look through the binoculars showed that it was a Shoveler Duck I’m afraid I don’t have a photo as I only had my mobile phone on me. On talking to other bird watchers online afterwards I believe it is the first time this duck has ever been seen on Duchess Pond. It’s amazing how an area so familiar can still surprise us!

I also spotted some naughty Mallards not following the social distancing rules!

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As we headed home we took in the sweeping views of the Dower House. Whenever I tell people I like to walk in Stoke Park they often don’t know where I mean, when I say to them it’s by the ‘big yellow house you can see from the M32’ they immediately know where I am talking about!

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The last part of our walk took us past some stunning spring flowers, they seem especially beautiful this year, perhaps because a short daily walk has become such an important part of my day I am taking things more slowly and observing things more.

The final pull up the slope to home always feel hard work, but there’s something about the tree on the horizon that makes me stop, take a breather and smile.

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It feels strange not getting to see the changes in the woods that we visit with the walking group, but I am thankful I can still see these changes close to home. I hope these photos can bring the outdoors in to those who can’t leave their houses.

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